Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

《辉煌中国》–Amazing China

September 25th, 2017 1 comment

The 6 episodes of “Amazing China” are now available on YouTube. I haven’t visited China for 2 years now, yet the speed of transition described in this video series caught me by total surprise. I do hope CGTN will translated it to different languages and broadcast them. It probably will cost a lot less than those short video montages shown in Times Square and much more effective.
Coming the month before the convening of 19th Party Congress, it described what China has accomplished during the last 5 years and the bright future of China Dream. It fills me with a sense of optimism contrasting with the pessimism I feel of U.S. after the election of Trump. The events of last 8 months only confirmed my pessimism. As a Chinese American I can’t be indifferent to what is happening in U.S., no matter how it will benefit China, I do wish U.S. well.
Of course we expect that the videos will sing paean of party secretary Xi Jinping. Yet, when we contrast his eloquent speeches over the years when he’s not at the top with the vulgarity and illiteracy shown by Trump, one can’t but wonder so called Democracy can produce such trash as leader of the so called Free World. One quote by Xi when he was party secretary of Zhejiang province and repeated at Davos is instructive, ” We aspire for gold and silver mountains, yet we want green mountains and green waters, for they are the real gold and silver mountains.”.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

September 13th, 2017 No comments

During the 2008 financial crisis, it is well known that nobody went to jail because of it.  However, it is relatively unknown that only one bank did get charged for mortgage fraud.  Abacus Federal Savings Bank is a relatively small bank which has 6 branches in NY, PA and NJ, has uncovered improper behavior of one employee and was subsequently fired and reported the proper authorities.  However, in the coming months prosecutors increasingly ask questions about the incident which led to this.  Unlike the big banks where the cases settled out of court with a fine, Abacus was criminally charged.  It should also note that out of about 3000 mortgages sold to Fannie Mae during 2005-2010, only 9 of them defaulted, which is less than 1/10 of national average.  PBS Frontline has an excellent documentary about this ordeal.  Here’s an story about this.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

September 6th, 2017 3 comments

Pete Seeger wrote that song in 1963 about a training accident during WW 2, and obviously referring to the then developing Vietnam War. Incidentally I think he should have received the Nobel Prize for Literature that went to Bob Dylan 1 year later instead after he died. The reason this song triggered in my memory is the recent policy shift/continuation of Trump administration on Afghanistan and “Fire and Fury” toward North Korea.. The lyric perfectly illustrates the dilemma faced by U.S., “Waist deep in the big muddy, but the big fool said to push on”.
The increase of troops in Afghanistan was expected and received approval from the military and main stream media, but opposition from both right and left. It’s true that Trump campaigned against bigger involvement in Afghanistan and certainly not in the best interest of U.S., but that’s the nature of empires. Afghanistan has been the burying ground for empires from British to Soviet, and now probably American Empire. To me Taliban is a push back against modernity which U.S. helped to finance during the Cold War, and sowed and reaping the backlash now. I detest Islam’s treatment of women, and time and modernization is the only solution as China is doing so in Xinjiang.
As for North Korea I think Trump and Kim deserve each other. For me Trump reminds me of the character in Stephen King’s novel and movie, “The Dead Zone”, Greg Stillson. I just hope the generals can somehow restrain Trump from releasing a nuclear holocaust. At least Steve Bannon understand there can be no military solution against North Korea which probably is beyond Trump’s understanding. Logic dictates U.S. has to negotiate with North Korea for denuclearization in exchange for American troop withdrawal from South Korea. U.S. do not need those military exercises, or troops as hostages in South Korea to deter North Korea from invading. Nuclear umbrella from Japan or submarines are more than sufficient. If North Korea feels survival is no longer a question it will evolve by herself. Similarly U.S. do not need troops in Germany to deter Russia from invading, all are excuses to maintain the empire.
Looking at the world today, one can’t help but admire China’s policy of non-interference of internal affairs of other countries. This policy may be dictated by China’s weakness in the beginning, but I think also due to the wisdom of Chinese history and philosophy. The “Star Trek” has the “Prime Directive” which every episode of the TV series violated because entertainment value, but for China it’s great and wise.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

North Korea; Has the nuclear calculus been changed?

September 5th, 2017 No comments

In the past, the US stance on North Korea gone from the ‘appeasement’ during the Clinton Era, “Axis of Evil” Era during Bush Era and “Strategic Patience” during the Obama Era. In the advent of Bush Era and Obama era, the US has been trying to hatch a plan of trying to overthrow the North Korean government, very much like what happened to Syria and Libya years after the “Axis of Evil” speech.

The US, South Korea and Japan has been pushing for regime change while China has been pushing for talks and the status quo.  Up to this point, North Korea has little threat to the mainland US, but has ballistic missiles to go against South Korea and Japan.  In the latest Nuclear test by North Korea, they claimed that they had built a nuclear fusion bomb that can be installed on top of an Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).  What has changed is that North Korea has the capability to go after large cities within the continental US.

What I am surprised is that South Korea favors dialogue with North Korea and Trump blamed South Korea that “appeasement does not work.”

http://www.newsweek.com/north-korea-south-korean-president-wants-make-peace-not-war-659669

Meanwhile, China has been blaming the US for not having a dialogue with North Korea which caused this mess.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2017/09/05/2017090501307.html

Russia agreeing with China and warns of “Global Catastophe.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/05/asia/north-korea-putin/index.html

What I am now starting to find that some western sources now start favoring dialogue instead of doing the same thing over the past few years.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/05/america-north-korea-diplomacy-negotiation

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/09/south-korea-north-korea/538815/

I do believe that this is a turning point where the US will start to give up is grandiose ambitions of taking over North Korea.   Considering that China and Russia is condemning more on the US and South Korea for not acting and the US did little after the latest nuclear test, we will see a change in a few months or years.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

China vs India

August 5th, 2017 5 comments

China has been giving warnings right and left on the oncoming border war with India, while India has been downplaying it and very much ignored by the West fixated on North Korea ICBM testing. The facts are obvious to those interested in them. The Tibet border with Sikkim was set in 19th century and undisputed. India annexed Sikkim and very much like to annex Bhutan next. The border negotiation between Bhutan and China has been inconclusive because India has exerted veto over any normalization of relations. China initiated road building on land she controls, and India moved military personnel over the Sikkim border into China, claiming she is doing so on behalf of Bhutan. India demands that China stop the road building before she will withdraw the troops. China has refused the demand. The situation is obviously untenable.
China has been doing live military exercises in Tibetan plateau, and both sides have been re-enforcing border troops. China conducted military parade for the 90th anniversary of the founding of PLA in Inner Mongolia. Yet all the warnings have been fallen on deaf ears. Chinese Politburo is probably meeting in summer beach resort and a decision will be make soon. Obviously any confrontation will affect the Shanghai meeting in September, but I think China will act probably within a week or two and not delay until after the meeting of BRICS.
Scenario I imaged will start with artillery barrage annihilate those invading troops, that is artillery against foreign troops in Chinese territory. When India try to respond by counter barrage, then it automatically become incident for expanded conflicts. The routing of Indian army is not really in question. The question is how far does Chinese troops will advance? Whether China will retake control of areas when she withdraw after 62 war? Whether China will assert air superiority and bomb airfields and support troops. I suspect China will be more restrained after victories and proclaim cease fire, that would disappoint those more nationalistic, but I think China will demand Bhutan be really independent and settle border with her. Modi may beg for American help but with North Korea indigestion Trump will pass.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Snowden vs Human Rights Lawyer

July 29th, 2017 2 comments

Recently I saw Oliver Stone’s film on Snowden from Showtime and read NYT magazine article on Chinese human rights lawyers and feel the need to discuss both here. Mr. Snowden and the lawyer Liang Xiaojun and his client Xie Yanyi are in both cases dissidents. Yet their stories are so different and revealing. I suspect Chinese propaganda department could learn something from both Mr. Stone and NYT in the treatment of stories when they bemoan the soft power deficits. I hope maybe they can hire Mr. stone to do a biography on Xi Jinping.
The NYT article is by Alex Palmer. The article reads like a gothic novel, heavy laden dreads, implied threats everywhere, worried spouses and innocent children, tea meetings for interrogations, ending with Mr. Liang free but uncertain, and his client freed after 1 year in detention because prosecutor dropped the charges. Nowhere does Mr. Palmer stated how did the lawyers make their living or their economic status. Did they get subsidies from West? From lawyer’s fees? Rich families? Suddenly my memory stirred about the 709 ( July 9, 2015) incident. There were swirling rumors before then of a police brutality in Chinese internet. A beggar was shot and killed in a railroad station by police. There were demonstrations and lawyers and “big V”s demanding justice on Weibo. Then the government initiated crack down, some lawyers were arrested and law firms closed. Then the truths were revealed. Surveillance video showed a professional beggar, yes, he makes his living by traveling from Northeast to major cities with his 2 children begging for living, got into a scuffle with the security police at the checkpoint in rail station. He was drunk and used his young daughter as a battering ram against policeman, and using that distraction attempting to disarm the policeman. In self defense the policeman fired 1 shot and killed him. And those demonstrators? more than half were professional demonstrators traveling place to place and paid by the lawyers to extort from local governments weary of mass incidents. I also recall there was a film about murders committed by gangs throwing unwary recruits down coal mining shafts and pretending grieving families to extort from mine owners and local government trying to hide unsafe working conditions. I guess they also need human right lawyers to negotiate a price. The only thing I gleam from Mr. Palmer is they both have military officers as parents, corrupt enough to send one to Singapore to study law? Where he learned rule of law, the law from British colonial days where communists were jailed from 30-40 years without trial? I did learn from the comment section one claimed that 14 student activists were awaiting beheading in Saudi Arabia and nowhere from the newspaper.
Mr. Stone is a gifted story teller. I am his fan since “Platoon”. Snowdon portrayed by him is a patriot who volunteered for Special Force because of 9/11, he broke both of his legs due to stress fracture in training. He didn’t finish high school because of family circumstance, yet smart enough self studying computer to pass CIA school in flying color. His politic is more like a conservative unlike his liberal girl friend. He revealed law breaking by NSA and CIA, and willing risk jail for the rest of his life. He’s an American dissident and a worthy contrast to those Chinese lawyers.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Response to Nicholas Kristof

July 9th, 2017 4 comments

After reading his column from July 8 in New York Times, I found his arrogance unbearable and have to respond. Although there is a comment section there, it is usually censored and full of praise, so I decide to write a rebut here.
As most of us have preconceived biases and opinions on Liu Xiaobo, yet mostly ignorant of his real writings I decide that Wikipedia might be a good place to start. Mr. Kristof compare Liu to Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in jail fighting against colonialism and racism, while Mr. Liu wants China to surrender and subservient to West completely.
“In a 1988 interview with Hong Kong’s Liberation Monthly (now known as Open Magazine), Liu was asked what it would take for China to realize a true historical transformation. He replied:
“[It would take] 300 years of colonialism. In 100 years of colonialism, Hong Kong has changed to what we see today. With China being so big, of course it would require 300 years as a colony for it to be able to transform into how Hong Kong is today. I have my doubts as to whether 300 years would be enough.”[22][23]
Liu admitted in 2006 that the response was extemporaneous, although he did not intend to take it back, as it represented “an extreme expression of his long held belief.”[23] The quote was nonetheless used against him. He has commented, “Even today [in 2006], radical patriotic ‘angry youth’ still frequently use these words to paint me with ‘treason’.”[23]
Known for his pro-West stance, Liu once stated in an interview: “Modernization means whole-sale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing Western way of life. Difference between Western and Chinese governing system is humane vs in-humane, there’s no middle ground… Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race” [24]”
Now it might seem I am quoting him on his extreme position, he might walk back a little. He did claim, “I must: 1. Use Western civilization as a tool to critique China. 2. Use my own creativity to critique the West.'”[27]”. Yet he did nothing of that sort, as we can see from his opinion on Iraq War.
“Liu also published a 2004 article in support of Bush’s war on Iraq, titled “Victory to the Anglo-American Freedom Alliance”, in which he praised the U.S.-led post-Cold War conflicts as “best examples of how war should be conducted in a modern civilization.” He wrote “regardless of the savagery of the terrorists, and regardless of the instability of Iraq’s situation, and, what’s more, regardless of how patriotic youth might despise proponents of the United States such as myself, my support for the invasion of Iraq will not waver. Just as, from the beginning, I believed that the military intervention of Britain and the United States would be victorious, I am still full of belief in the final victory of the Freedom Alliance and the democratic future of Iraq, and even if the armed forces of Britain and the United States should encounter some obstacles such as those that they are currently facing, this belief of mine will not change.” He predicted “a free, democratic and peaceful Iraq will emerge.”[29] During the 2004 US presidential election, Liu again praised Bush for his war effort against Iraq and condemned Democratic Party candidate John Kerry for not sufficiently supporting the wars in which the U.S. was then involved. He commented on Islamism that, “a culture and (religious) system that produced this kind of threat (Islamic fundamentalism), must be extremely intolerant and blood-thirsty.”
As we look at Iraq today, Libya today, and Syria today, we can see why Mr. Liu is the darling of the neocons and liberals like Mr. Kristof. For them China Dream is a threat to their way of life. A divided, broken China, with pseud-democratic farces like U.S. where presidents are elected with minority votes, where republicans dominates in the House when their vote totals less than Democrats is his beacon. The 1.3 billion Chinese people standing up against poverty is less important than his concept as a savior. It’s sad and certainly a personal tragedy for his family on his liver cancer. The Chinese government has gave him medical parole and allowed German and American specialists to treat him. It was his choice to stay in China, and certainly China is under no obligation to allow him to die in U.S. as an anti-China martyr.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Hong Kong: Is One Country 2 system actually hurting them?

July 1st, 2017 3 comments

Hong Kong was once a prosperous 20 years ago, but its economic stagnation is dwarfed compared to the Rise of China, even to a point that I see where neighboring Providences like Guangzhou and Shenzhen is equal or better than Hong Kong in terms of technological innovation and lack of economic integration to Hong Kong.

Let’s be accurate here, the Rise of Hong Kong in the years leading up to Hong Kong is because China was opening up and Hong Kong was the gateway to the world, not because of British rule. Now that China has already opened up to the world, it no longer needs Hong Kong to be its gateway. Because of this, much of the economic prosperity has been bypassed by China. For example, Hong Kong was innovative when it used Octopus cards for Cashless Payments. China has eclipsed Hong Kong’s innovation in Mobile Payments yet Hong Kong largely failed to adopt them.

Another Criticism of Hong Kong’s government is that they try to bolster up its existing industries like tourism, financial hub, services, and retail instead of trying to create new industries like IT, health and renewable energy. In fact, much of Hong Kong has not been built up like in the New territories like what it has been built up in the southern parts like in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The new Chief Executive Carrie Lam doesn’t have the priority is not doing this, but rather try to fix the housing problem.

Another problem is with its Lego failed Hong Kong because of political deadlock which failed to implement many legislation but instead there was lots of political infighting. In fact, much of Hong Kong has been trying isolate themselves of “International City” instead of integrate with China as a gateway to Hong Kong’s economy. Until then, Hong Kong will probably flounder for the next 20 years.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Tempest on Table Tennis

June 25th, 2017 No comments

During the round of 16 of Chengdu Table Tennis Open of men’s competition, 3 of the top Chinese champions and 2 of their coaches withdraw from competition and were disqualified. They also posted in Weibo their dissatisfaction over the reassignment of head coach ( a promotion, but really more kick up stair.). The resulting furor triggered mostly negative reactions from the fans mostly in favor of the athletes. They apologized a few days later, and expect punishments to be mete out soon. I suspect something like probably 6 months suspension from competition for the players and exile of the coaches. Observing the furor from afar I have no special expertise on the bureaucratic infighting of China’s athletic departments, but some conclusions can be drawn from this incident.
The target of the protest obvious is against the minister of national athletics. He initiated some overdue reforms which touch on the special interests. He limited the commercial interest in soccer and basketball by limiting the number of foreign players the various teams can buy to boast their teams. The recent scandal of female table tennis team coach on his gambling debt in Singapore ( as a communist party member he’s barred from even entering casino.) probably triggered the change in table tennis. Chinese table tennis has resumed domination in this sport recently, and fans are loath for any disturbances which will affect the status quo.
The question is not unrelated to President Xi’s anticorruption campaign. Xi has been trying to reinstate some socialism values by not just attacking obvious malfeasances such as bribery, none performance, and other monetary corruptions, but setting value systems like Mao was trying to do. He’s getting pushbacks by entrenched interests in all levels. What’s the value of Olympic gold medals and the resulting hero worships? Will China return to more socialism values and away from capitalism monetary rewards.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Ireland

June 23rd, 2017 No comments

As I wrote earlier I went to my niece’s Irish wedding in June. Overnight after a flight from NY to Dublin, I found that Theresa May lost her election gambit, so the young people after indifference to Brexit finally decided to vote. Hopefully Millennials in U.S. will do the same soon to evict Trump. The wedding took place in the town of Wicklow, about an hour drive south from Dublin. Ireland, known as Emerald Isle, totally fit this description, with green everywhere eyes can see. The gulf stream keeps Ireland and Britain Isles both warm and temporal with few episodes of snow or ice. Hopefully the climate warming will not change this soon, as I understand that the melting of ice from Greenland with resulting fresh water might disrupt the current, causing cold weather for Northern Europe.
We have a reception the next day by the groom’s family with Irish music played by 2 local musicians. Irish folk music like “Danny Boy” and “Molly Malone” were played. I requested an American folk song “Freight Train”, although they remember only a few stanza of lyric, they played beautifully. All those songs like Chinese folk songs tell what life is like for ordinary people. The next day we have a catholic church wedding, though I am an atheist, I found the ritual enchanting, with guests finishing some of priest’s incantations. The Irish people are inevitably graceful and open, and I found myself responding likewise.
After the wedding we stayed for 1 week more for sightseeing and soaking in local culture. On the 4 hours drive to see Cliffs of Moher we stopped in a rest stop called Obama Plaza. Unlike U.S. where any taint of black and you are considered black, Ireland embraced Obama, his 7th cousin by his mother side are celebrated. To me someone like Beyoncé is more white than black, and Tiger Wood is very much Chinese as much as black.
Ireland with more than twice the size of Taiwan, yet with a population of only 6.4 million (1.8 million in Northern Ireland). We went to see EPIC museum about Irish emigration through the ages since 500 AD. I always compare Chinese to Jews, as both have long history and cultural identity, but after seeing the museum I have to include Irish in this regard. They were colonized by Britain, most were tenant farmers struggling to feed their family and survive, paying absentee landlords exorbitant rents, and when natural disaster struck as during potato famine, forced to starve or emigrate. In the 1841 census, Ireland has a population of 8 million, yet after the potato famine a few years later, 1 million starve to death, and more than 1 million were forced to emigrate. China over the ages, suffered the same, when natural disasters and wars forced migrations all around the world. The famine sculptures on the northern bank of river Liffy testify the toll on people.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Yang Shuping’s MU Commencement Speech

May 25th, 2017 4 comments

Recently Ms. Yang’s speech went viral with disapproval in China. Most felt betrayed by her fawning comparison of pollution in major Chinese cities compare with sweet and fragrant air in U.S., or the freedom of speech and political process with China’s closed system. Obvious the pollution comment was really an opening used to introduce the resulting praise of politics in West.
I have no problem if Ms. Yang is an incoming student with naiveté talking about something beyond her competence, but she is a graduating student after 4 years of study in theater and psychology, then I have a bone to pick with her. She used a one woman play by Anna Deavere Smith, “Twilight, LA”, as a point of diversity, questioning of authority, and freedom of speech. As a student of theater does she really understand what Ms. Smith is trying to say? Does she understand why did the Rodney King riot occur? The riot happened because after Rodney King was brutally beaten by police with video footages documenting it, all the policemen were acquitted in court. The people felt there was no justice and redress. The results were loss of 58 lives, over 2,000 injured, and over $1 billion property damages. Ms. Smith interviewed over 200 people of various occupations and circumstances, and distilled down to a few monologues to give viewers a sense of history as it happens. Yet beneath it all she showed the gulf and injustice prevailing over LA and U.S..
Now in 2017, 25 years after the riot, we have similar verdicts coming down. Policeman involved with shooting Tamir Rice found not guilty, shooting of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma, found not guilty, and all with videos documenting them. The list is endless. I would think Ms. Smith would be outraged if her student gleam from her play only the praises of such an unjust system instead of outrage and protest.
Yesterday we have the Trump budget plan for the coming years, cuts in Medicaid, cuts in food stamps, cuts in cancer research. As Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said, “We must lower the debt for unborn children by taking food from children”, and of course tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Pollution in Beijing may yet take a decade or more to solve, but solve it will be. China has lifted half a billion people out of poverty, and will soon be the beacon for nations in Africa and other underdeveloped countries. Ms. Yang’s family probably benefitted greatly from China’s development. I suspect it probably cost her family $200,00 for her education. What a waste.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Response to Ai Weiwei

May 8th, 2017 3 comments

New York Times recently was back to attacking China with articles on overfishing, Namibia uranium mining, and Ai Weiwei talking about free speech and censorship. Although per capital consumption of fish by China is slightly above U.S., the per capital consumption of meat by China is less than 1/2 of U.S.. So it’s rather disingenuous for NYT to focus on fish rather than meat. As for new colonialism as NYT claims about China’s investment in Africa is really laughable as most Africans welcome the investment in infrastructure. China pays for any mineral wealth extracted at world market prices and issue loans at below market advantageous rate. They even implied that the price of uranium dropped by half recently due to Fukushima nuclear disaster, and China is benefitting from this decline.

For opinions inside China, West is somewhat more limited in their arsenal. So they use people like Mr. Ai, since parachuting insurgents to Tibet is no longer an option. They exaggerate people like Mr. Ai of their artistic achievements, give out awards like Nobel Prizes, and use intellectual arguments to appeal to the emerging middle class. I am not a fan of Mr. Ai’s work as an artist, but I want to deal with his argument directly here since NYT doesn’t allow rebuttals in their pages, even negative comments are somewhat hidden and discarded.

Mr. Ai’s arguments consist of 2 prongs, censorship and freedom of speech, to which liberals in the West are self evident good and beyond reproach. I beg to differ here and will hold the politically incorrect position. Since the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court has essentially allowed sexually explicit materials without restriction with the possible exception of child pornography. Yet when the opinion was originally written, the community standard was paramount, gradually the community standard eroded until now it’s non existent. Yet the pushback against it probably caused the election of Trump, and of course if you consider the community standard of China and Chinese law, I rest my case. Given the recent cases of murders and suicides in Facebook I think many will favor some censorship even here. Next is the question of political speech which is more problematical. I do think China has the right to push her standard even in the political realm. As China enter the world community, she has her own vision of what society is striving, not individual rights, but societal rights. The alleviation of poverty, basic human dignity, health and education. As China grows richer and stronger, those political speech became less threatening and as anyone can attest, the political space is also growing. Even in the West, the freedom of speech has an exception, that of yelling fire in a crowded theater. In today’s interconnected world resembles a crowded theater, where internet posting of rumors can go viral and cause panic. So such regulation as true name posting is necessary to control sabotage. And of course any postings by terrorists which endanger society are not allowed even in U.S..

As China considers compiling a new Chinese encyclopedia competing against Wikipedia, I do advise her to giving out her narrative to the world, competing against the narrative by the West rather than suppressing it. China should not just give out blank answers to query about Tibet or 6/4, but share the lives of modern Tibet contrasting with dark history of serfs past. The reaction against corruption which triggered the original grievances of 6/4, the martyring of PLA soldiers by mobs on approach to Beijing, the confusion, and tragedies. I watched the recent TV program of the ascent of Qin Empire, in episode 1, the mother of future king told him it would be easy to be a good person, but extremely hard to be a good king. Mr. Ai can easily tot up his earnings of his artworks, for President Xi, it’s the livelihood of 1.3 billion Chinese he has to worry. History will judge the events of 6/4, but looking at history of Arab Spring contrasting with the growth of China’s economy, I think it has already rendered judgment.

 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Chinese American Male

April 12th, 2017 18 comments

Coming June I will be traveling to Ireland to attend a wedding for my niece. I am happy for her, yet it triggered reflections on my part on the Chinese male/female dynamic, male and female gender ratio imbalance in China, patriarchy and misogyny.
I have 2 nieces, both vivacious and outgoing, having various American boyfriends since high school through college, and good careers in Manhattan and California. They have white boyfriends, the older one was engaged to a Scotsman and now will wed an Irishman, yet neither ever have a Chinese American boyfriend. It’s not because Chinese American males were absent in NYC. I have nephews and knew other friends’ sons, yet they all seem to have difficulty engaging with females. I know most male Chinese Americans are in STEM fields, are introverted, and socially awkward, and I think they make exemplary husbands both in income and respect for women, but maybe not in Hollywood sense of romance. I am sure I am exaggerating to some extend, but I don’t think I am that off the mark. The sense of loneliness probably drove some over the cliff, such as shootings in Virginia Tech and Isla Vista. Though some will take issue with me that Cho was of Korean heritage and Rogers was only half Chinese, but it still holds.
There is no disagreement that human society is a patriarchy except maybe during cave man era. In China, the need for male heir still dominates even in the era of one child policy. Sex selective abortion and abandonment of female babies, which caused gender disparity in China and large adoption of female Chinese babies by Americans. Yet the sex disparity has perversely increased the status of females in China as much as Mao’s dictate of equality of sexes. Hong Kong billionaires may be able to scoop up Olympic female diving champions as their daughter in laws, but villagers short of females must resort to exchange their life saving for Vietnamese brides. In cities like Beijing or Shanghai, one must have an apartment and car ready before wedding bell tolls.
The enrollments in some elite universities has already tipped in favor of females, and that has caused backlashes from males. I suspect Trump’s triumph in the voting booths to some extend was due to misogyny. They disguise the reason for their dislike for Hillary’s Wall Street connection, but now we have a cabinet full of billionaires dismantling any remnants of Obama’s legacy and even some of Roosevelt’s New Deals.
As a male Chinese American, my advice for others is to break away somewhat from the cultural background of Confucian culture of very reserved indifference, be more open to the opposite sex and sexuality. you don’t have to embrace Dionysian carnality, but be open and flowers will help.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Opioids

March 30th, 2017 1 comment

Reading the news about the opioid epidemic in places like Ohio and middle America elicit mixed feelings in me. I attended primary and junior high school in Shanghai in the 50’s where Chinese history is mandatory. Even today I would think Opium Wars are taught in schools there which left an ineluctable mark in my psychic. When I arrived in Hong Kong in 59 I can’t believe there were addicts there using heroin. Britain forced opium on Chinese in the name of free trade. During the 60s, heroin was mostly a drug for the ghettos and black people., while marijuana was prevalent in colleges for white students I refrain from touching it and the only time I touched cigarette was when I was a child I lighted the cigarettes for my grandma from the coal stove. In a way you can say I was brainwashed or immunized against drug use and Western values.
On the one hand I think white American is reaping the harvest of seeds they sown, yet one can’t help but be sad when one reads about children calling 911 while their parents pass out in the car. The profit motive for drugs, incessant advertising for pain relief, the pressure of life when opportunities disappear all play a role. Even in China today there is some drug use among entertainment stars and in urban areas. Various solutions like Singapore’s zero tolerance and heavy penalties, Philippine’s death squads, U.S.’s heavy incarceration rate, or Europe’s free drug use in controlled clinics are all in use and failing. I think education as taught in China is the only effective solution together with effective enforcement.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Second Annual Poetry Competition

February 23rd, 2017 1 comment

Although this is more about memorization and understanding of Chinese poetry than actual writing of new poems, the 10 sessions of competition which can be accessed on YouTube is refreshing and revealing. I highly recommend them to all Chinese interested in Chinese values. Although you need to understand Chinese and be somewhat proficient in language as even some non-Chinese competitors are.
For someone like me who’s been in West for a long time; looking through tinted glass at events in China; making value judgments of events there whether pro or con, surprised and shocked at the fast pace of changes occurring there, depressed and outraged about all the corruptions revealed in the last 3 years of anti-corruption campaign, one can’t help but be hopeful as those videos reveal China being in the right and healthy direction.
Capitalism is by nature revolutionary and corrosive, sweeping all traditional cultures before it like a tsunami. One can look at the Native American cultures disintegrating even after the genocide had stopped. I worked for a while in Alaska, where federal government gave back some lands and money to the natives to form various native corporations in early 70s. Yet despite some attempt to stay dry and ban alcohol in the native villages, alcoholism and resulting domestic violence is endemic and destroying their cultures. The same is true for Native Americans in lower 48 states; maybe some casinos and welfare generate some revenue to alleviate some suffering, but I am not optimistic in the final outcome.
For a while Chinese media in their reform and recoil against Maoism, produced imitations of western shows which depressed me. I remember once I looked at my wife’s IPad when she was watching a dating show, during which a man was showing his various good qualities and about 20 women showed their interest by leaving their lights on. When a new contestant, reasonable good looking young man, but his occupation being a bus driver, all the lights immediately turned off. It’s obvious money and wealth will be the final determination.
During the poetry competition, there were various segments introducing contestants to show their backgrounds, from teenagers in grade schools to Russian and Congolese studying in Chinese universities. I was most impressed with 2 segments, one was a teacher from the minority nationality who graduated from college and returned to her native village in Southwest mountains to teach poor left over primary students. The other was a woman farmer, a cancer survivor, reading poetry on her commute to hospital for treatments, she took 3 or more buses and train to save commuting cost instead of direct long distance bus. Those 2 segments revealed the problems of education and health concerns for rural areas and were very inspirational. The eventual winner was a 16 years old high school female student from Shanghai. The fact that Chinese parents are encouraging their sons and daughters to study traditional poetry in addition to STEM is a revelation. The fact that most of the winners were girls and women showed why China is different from those Muslim countries where their resistance to modernity will fail without equality.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

A Fancyful Suggestion

February 2nd, 2017 6 comments

I think everyone know about Trump’s temper tantrum against Australia Prime Minister by now. Giving China’s interest in “One Belt, One Road” and the interest in attracting talents from the rest of the world in considering giving green cards to foreigners to work in China, I think there is a relative inexpensive and powerful argument to offer Australia in accepting the 1,250 refugees that Trump most likely will reject.
China already offer scholarships to third world countries to study in China. Absorbing 1,250 people, mostly women and children and college educated men will be easy. China needs people grateful for the chance to start anew, with language skills (Persian and Arabic) for the Silk Road Project. I do not discount the propaganda value which cannot be measured.
Of course this will enrage Trump or maybe he’ll like it as that takes a problem off his hand. As some of you know Trump’s advisor, Steve Bannon has already said war with China in 5-10 years will be inevitable. Additionally this will really shut up all those human right advocates and make them speechless.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Obama’s Foreign Policy, World Less Safe and America not a Shining Beacon to the World.

January 30th, 2017 4 comments

Donald Trump has taken over the presidency and Obama’s foreign policy has taken to the scrapheap. Many other presidents try to aim to use their goodwill to set an example as a world power by Obama is just trying too much to impose America’s will over other countries at the same time, namely China and Russia, that ultimately backfired and made China and Russia less dependent on America.

In Russia’s example, the US has staged a coop against the Ukraine, which ultimately allowed Russia to annex Crimea and there are deep instability within the Ukraine. The US has paid terrorists to destabilize Syria and Russia has been trying to get rid of ISIS while the US has been hampering these efforts. Other sophomoric efforts by the US to embarrass Russia are with the IOC athletes ban and putting additional sanctions by blaming Russia for the ‘hacked’ elections ultimately are desperate actions by the US and does nothing but to piss Russia off while not hurting them.

In China’s example, the “Pivot to Asia” policy is Obama’s biggest mistake. Duterte will no longer be America’s lapdog in enforcing its win in the South China Seas, as much as the other ASEAN countries. The TPP, which is largely a rebuke against China’s trade policies will be scrapped, but China’s One Belt One Road Policy will largely go forward to counter America’s policy to China, Not to mention that President Xi has come out against US and Europe’s protectionist policies.

Ultimately the worst part of Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” policy is the buildup of military in the Asia Region.  As a result, China has been spending more money on modernizing its military and prepared to counteract US’ capability.  In Addition North Korea has built up nuclear capabilities and US did nothing about it except expecting China to deal with it.

As I said in the beginning, many other presidents try to focus on one region, Reagan in Russia, the 2 Bushes on the Middle east,  Nixon Sino-Soviet Split.  Obama’s foreign policy has been disastrous in the middle east, Russia and China.  As a result, Russia and China has increased cooperation economically and politically which will not be broken for some time.  This results that many foreign countries will be less dependent on the US and the west for the years to come.  With Trump and many European countries turning more protectionist, many weaker Latin American, Africian, and other Southeast Asian will be looking towards China and Russia for help instead of the West.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Interesting Trip Journal by Canadian Traveler to China

January 21st, 2017 3 comments

Here is the link to an interesting trip journal by a Canadian recently traveling to China. Many good points and food for thoughts. Political – sure, but in a raw, intelligent, sincere, and honest way. I hope you enjoy!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

白卷英雄”与“亿万富翁”:谁才是真正的张铁生? Who’s the Real Zhang Tiesheng?

January 6th, 2017 No comments

I was scanning stories on guancha.cn, suddenly a headline triggered my curiosity. ” Who’s the most beautiful stock sold ( reduction of ownership sale) person?”. Upon reading the article, I decided to investigate further and searched Wikipedia. There are only short articles about him, but on the Chinese Wikipedia, it is more detailed.
When I was a child in grade school, I was a somewhat indifferent student, but I still remember more than 60 years later, the moving interview by Wei Wei, “Who’s the most beautiful person?”, about Chinese volunteer in the Korea War, munching dry grain and eating snow while answering his questions in the trenches. Nowadays articles using ” Who’s the most beautiful —-, teacher, doctor, etc.” to attract attention for stories usually about someone with admirable qualities or selfless deeds.
Zhang Tiesheng became a hero during Cultural Revolution when during the first aborted college entrance examination in 1973, he wrote on the back of the mostly empty answers why he’s failing the exam. He got accepted to a veterinary college and his letter was published nationally and debated. When the Gang of Four was arrested he was also arrested and tried for being a counterrevolutionary. He refused court appointed lawyer and refused to recant and bear witness against Mao’s nephew who championed him. He became a villain for those who suffered during CR and received the longest prison sentences ( 15 years ) for those intellectuals that opposed Deng with a speech. Those who are versed in Chinese can read about him in Wikipedia/Chinese. Upon release from jail, he served the full 15 years with no reduction because he refuse to confess or admit he committed any crime. He with others started an animal feed company, and now he’s worth about $100 million U.S.. The article on guancha.cn talk about the reasons of his stock sale, for family, relatives, and charities.
I did have vague memories reading from NY Times at that time about him turning in blank exam answers, yet the details of the story is so different and moving. He has to write letters to his fiancée who insist on waiting for him to not wait for him. Another girl did wait for the full 15 years to marry him. I instinctive like him when looking at the pictures when his company became public, with everyone in tie and suit except him in sweater.
Recently CCTV released videos titled “To make irons one has to be self strong”, about communist leaders from provinces and even from inspection team leaders that committed bribery and corruptions that each came to hundred of millions of yuans. They confessed their failings and be lessons for others. Also news recently published about 2 cases of executed innocents their verdict being reversed. One of the Wikipedia story has Zhang Tiesheng, when he was a village cadre, demanded that the deputy party secretary’s young son, who destroyed an inner tube to make slings pay back the village for the damage as public property. I wonder when Xi demands that communist cadre be selfless, that maybe he should also reverse some of the verdicts of CR and let justice prevail.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

In US’s Consumption Economy, Tariffs are just pointless Government Accounting Tricks

January 3rd, 2017 4 comments

First, a simple case of fact of what happens to a massive tariff against Chinese made products.

In 2011, US imposed a massive tariff against Chinese made solar panels and cells.  In 2013, EU followed with a 50% tariff against Chinese made solar panels and cells.  In order to “keep US and EU solar companies competitive against unfair dumping”.

Now, 3-6 years after that, the tariffs are still in place, but nothing else changed much.  Chinese solar companies grew in market share.  No US or EU solar company booms.  Solar panels and cells prices continued to drop.  (Solar module prices dropped from about $0.70 per watt 2013 to about $0.55 per watt 2016).

There is no teeth in the tariffs, when big international companies are involved.  (They simply hire lawyers to get around the tariffs, or they find a way to make the consumers pay for it).

This is the same for iPhones and cars.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

My Homeland/Motherland

December 20th, 2016 No comments

一条大河波浪宽 风吹稻花香两岸 我家就在岸上住 听惯了艄公的号子
看惯了船上的白帆 这是美丽的祖国 是我生长的地方 在这片辽阔的土地上
到处都有明媚的风光 姑娘好像花儿一样 小伙儿心胸多宽广 为了开辟新天地
唤醒了沉睡的高山 让那河流改变了模样 这是英雄的祖国 是我生长的地方
在这片古老的土地上 到处都有青春的力量 好山好水好地方 条条大路都宽畅
朋友来了有好酒 若是那豺狼来了 迎接它的有猎枪 这是强大的祖国
是我生长的地方 在这片温暖的土地上 到处都有和平的阳光

Recently in August, Lung Ying-tai, former culture minister of Taiwan (2012-2014), an essayist and cultural critic, gave a speech in Hong Kong University titled, “One Song, One Era”, which came to internet in December became viral and elicited many comments from China. During the speech she asked audience for their “Enlightenment Song”, and a vice president of Methodist University replied “My Homeland”, She understood it to be a red song, yet was not even aware of its existence; caught in embarrassed smile, she asked him to sing its lyrics. He started to sing and the audience joint in, and the resulting video became viral. She wrote an article in Dec 18 defending her speech against critics. She praised the vice president for his courage to be politically incorrect, giving the climate of young students in Hong Kong at present, acknowledging she didn’t know the song, but criticizing her critics for politicizing culture, asking whether they are tired of being political, for militarize it, and saying sometimes a river is just a river, and a rice flower is just a rice flower.
Giving the fact she was a minister of culture, and a cultural critic, the fact she was unaware of the most famous red song other than the Chinese national anthem is laughable. The theme of her speech was songs and their ramification, and trying to say a river is just a river is insulting the intelligence of her audience. After all, the song she quoted, John Lennon’s “Imagine”, is very much an attack on capitalism and religion. It’s certainly not just idle imagination.
The singing of red songs recently also triggered debates in China as it also triggered reflections on Cultural Revolution and Mao. With Mao’s birthday less than a week away it’s useful to reflect on our heritage.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

How should China deal with Trump?

December 13th, 2016 2 comments

With his Twitter comments Trump has exploded the illusions of those who believed his election is good for China and U.S.. As for being good for U.S. I just need to list his appointments for his cabinets of fellow billionaires, anti-labor, anti-minimal wage increases, non-believers of climate changes, anti-choice etc. While the slogan ” Make America Great Again” is catchy and his campaign against foreign involvements are superficially appealing, to me it was always based on false premises. For how can you increase military spending, more personnel, more warships, more fighters, while retrench foreign involvements? Empire does not voluntarily retrench. To make American great again, you need to put down any upstart challengers, and the number one on the target is of course China.
Trump is to me like a mafia godfather sitting in his lair, Trump Tower receiving obeisance and tributes from former competitors and underlings. He demands more protection money from Japan and Europe, provoking China and Iran while embracing Russia with childish delight, and dispensing favors like Carrier jobs and throwing thunderbolts like criticizing F35 and Air Force-1 costs. His inauguration is more than 1 month away, but China better be prepared for his ascension.
Many in Chinese media consider Trump to be a businessman, and doing business was no problem for China, but that was obviously a mistake. For a godfather, Don Drumpf will be my way or highway, China has to be firm. Trade obviously will be the first casualty, expect some tariffs and retaliations. Taiwan obvious will be the redline, core interest for China, but China should play a waiting game. There is no point in confronting U.S. militarily at present. Continue the one road, one belt strategy, move more aggressively in space technology. Embrace other powers in Europe, Germany, Iran, Cuba etc. Wait out the Trump bubble to burst in U.S..

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

“The Coming War on China” by John Pilger

December 11th, 2016 No comments

Sorry, don’t have a good link yet for this documentary but this is the best one….  If anybody finds a better one, let me know.

In any case, I have made comments that under Obama is the biggest threat to world peace and why Trump presidency is a good thing.  Yes, I believe that Trump is a corporate con artist but its appointments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China’s Ambassador Terry Branstad seems that there might be better relations between US and Russia and China.  We will never know what happen to US/China relations until he becomes president next year.  But the recent departure of park geun-hye and the Philippines’ Duterte who don’t want confrontations in the SCS, perhaps there will be some peace in the future.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Donald Trump is the proof of HH was right about Democracy, No Schadenfreude on HH Critics, Just Pity on the Pre-Truthers

November 29th, 2016 4 comments

At the very least, they wasted their energy huffing and puffing about China, while they should have kept their eyes on their own homes.  (A lesson not lost on HH folks, who are keen to keep a watch on China).

At the apparent, their own “liberalism” against China showed why Trump won.  Their stereotyping of China and Chinese people paved way to Trump style stereotypes and fake news and “post-truths”.

HH has warned them for years.  They chalked it up to “Chinese nationalism”.  Now they see the same tactics turned on them in their homeland in US and in Europe.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

What Did the Accident Reveals?

November 27th, 2016 1 comment

Recently the tragic news of collapse of cooling tower work platform killing 72 workers in Jiangxi province caused the usual flurry of blame casting and scapegoating. It was revealed that wooden supports were prematurely dismantled, that cement curing was slow down by cold weather, that it happened during a shift change so it might be overloaded, that fast forced schedule while ignoring safety concerns and adequacy of management control were all mentioned. So is the need for market return and profits. President Xi and Premier Li both issued instructions on necessity for a transparent investigation. Yet for a non technical observer like me, the biggest elephant in the room is not mentioned.
As someone concerned about climate warming I do read about the CO2 emission on coal fired power plant in China. I understand that’s one of the zombie industries in China with large overcapacity, with utilization rate close to 50%, that a lot of the coal fired power plants are losing money. While central government issue orders to slow or stop more constructions and local governments disregarded such orders and kept constructions going. I wonder if there is such a dead line for further coal fired power plant from center and locals instead accelerate the construction trying to beat the deadline? That’s the one question I wish the central government to resolve rather than pro forma firing of bottom managements.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

50 years after the “Cultural Revolution”, Trump’s “Great Cultural Revolution” of the Stupid Populism

November 22nd, 2016 3 comments

This is where I disagree with my friends on HH about Donald Trump.  Maybe because I’m a cynic at heart, maybe because I don’t trust “Great” sales pitches.

Or maybe, because I lived through part of the “Great Cultural Revolution”, which gives me some perspective to call BS.

Here on HH, I have previously written about the Cultural Revolution, its good and its bad.  I have an ambivalent feeling about CR.  The worst of it was the self-destructive hate that it unleashed upon the Chinese people.  How it held back China.  How it wasted the youths of an entire generation.  The ONLY good that came out of it, was the destruction of Chinese irrational faith in political systems and cult of leadership.  Populism was rife through the Cultural Revolution, but it was ultimately its own undoing.

I have no love for the Democrats or the Republicans, both so reliant upon the ideologies of Western Imperialism as their go to strategy.

But I have no desire to see anyone go through a “Great Cultural Revolution” under the Great Leader Donald Trump and his dynastic spawns of multiple concubines.

Is this Trump’s “Great Cultural Revolution”?  At least 1 Trump Supporter thought so:  https://resurgencemedia.net/2016/10/30/the-donald-trump-movement-is-a-cultural-revolution-a-true-revival-of-what-made-america-great/amp/

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

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

November 11th, 2016 6 comments

Many Americans by now are protesting Trump presidency, complaining in social media and especially in the Calexit vote.  Many people are figuring out ways to leave the country and it seems that Western Media forgot why Trump was elected in the first place.

The Democratic party was the party who represented the poor people.  It wasn’t until President (Bill) Clinton who drafted NAFTA which allowed jobs to be shipped overseas and de-regulating wall Street.  These policies are more Republican than democratic which would not be possible even under President Reagan.  Now we have Obama did didn’t do a damn thing about it, in fact, want to enact the TPP which would further screw the poor people and Hillary Clinton would further continue Obama’s failed policies.

Trump’s message to the rustbelt is to convey those messages that Hillary would continue Obama and Bill Clinton failed domestic policies and decided to vote for him instead.   What remains to be seen is that if Trump will actually promise to bring the jobs back.  However within the DNC there is already a revolt that the corporate eliteists who colluded with the Media are already on its way out.  If the democrats are smart, they should go back to the grass roots and appeal to the downtrodden instead of appealing to the corporate elites.

Many people believe that Republicans are bigger war hawks than the Democrats.  This is entirely false.  Since Obama became president, there has been many countries which has been destabilized including the Arab Spring uprising in many Middle Eastern countries.  Many other countries has been thrown to disarray like Libya, Syria, Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Ukraine and etc…  To maintain American Hegemony, Obama has been causing this problem to the rest of the world including the Asian Pivot as well as funding the NDI in the ‘localists’ movement.  Many republicans want to maintain American hegemony by being dominant in business and making money.  The problem with Democrats is that they are funded by the defense industries in selling Arms and using proxies instead of American troops to destabilize other countries, which would cause more of an blowback to America.

I would predict that in the next 4 years that many the South China Seas dispute would not be in the headlines and many Asian Countries would settle their disputes in a bilateral manner instead of dragging the UN into this.  In the North Korea issue, I would predict that the 6 party talks would start and the US would have a less heavy handed response than Obama would.  I would also predict that the ‘localists’ movement in Hong Kong would plateau and perhaps it will eventually die down.

Within the next 4 years in the US, I would predict that Trump is a Businessman who will probably ignore the rustbelt states, largely reneging its promise to bring jobs back to the US.  The voters in those states are there to remind us that they are hurting and America should focus on domestic issues rather maintaining its global hegemony like what the Democrats are doing.  Hopefully the Democrats will clean house and bring back candidates who can bring real change and not corporate elitists like Obama and the Clintons.  I also expect the next 4 years would be chaotic, but I have a saying: “You can’t get rid of dead wood in the forest unless you have a forrest fire.”  Maybe a forest fire is the exact thing we need.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Democracy as Fiction Revealed by Events in Hong Kong and U.S.

November 2nd, 2016 23 comments

One of the cardinal rules of democracy is voting, and its corollary, the rule of law. Over history, from Plato, Magna Carta, U.S. Constitution, to today, liberals have the myth that it’s sacrosanct and inviolable. Critics, which I include myself, have always questioned whether voting with insufficient information or education, does really serve society well. It may well be an elitist view, but recent events in U.S. and Hong Kong shows the fallacy of so call democracy.
I will not belabor the problems in U.S. other than the fact voting since its inception was restricted to propertied white male, the genocide of Indians and local tribes, those worthless treaties with them, slavery, and now the basket of deplorable that constitute 40% of U.S. electorate, that essentially believe a flat earth, biblical past utopia. And their leading con-man Trump might well be the next president with the fate of the world held in his nuclear trigger fingers.
Actually I want to talk more about the event in Hong Kong, the local election of 2 Youngspiration legislators, their failed oath taking and insult to China. The legal professionals in Hong Kong, both the insurgents and main business elites, were horrified that Chinese People’s Congress probably will preempt their judicial process by imposing their interpretation of Basic Laws by settling once and all, any wishful thinking of an independent Hong Kong. When Deng allowed the 1 country-2 systems for 50 years, he was postponing and hoping the gradual merge of differences between China and Hong Kong. As the past 20 years showed, the economic disparity is gradually disappearing. Shanghai is gradually overtaking Hong Kong as financial center. Hong Kongers feel their special status is threatened economically and politically. China allowed Hong Kong to be a special status after liberation because of the embargo and need for opening to the world. That raison no longer exist today. China has been mollycoddling Hong Kong when they push back on education reform and election. I think it’s time for Xi to force the issue for Hong Kong to face the reality. If some Hong Kong people think they can carve some special privilege by voting some insurgents to bargain, then they have another thing coming. The judicial system in Hong Kong is leftover from colonial British system, and it’s time for them to change. The 1 country – 2 systems was a transitional process, not set for permanent one. It’s well past time for the fiction of democracy, a fig leaf to be revealed.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Crisis of U.S. Democracy and Lessons for China

October 9th, 2016 5 comments

Tonight will be the second presidential debate, and it will confirm Trump meltdown obvious to elites in U.S.. 15 Republican senators have asked Trump to withdraw or disavowed him and counting. Yet the problem will not be solved with the coronation of Hillary. The gap between rich and poor, 99% versus 1%, will still yawn wide. The electoral system of U.S. is over 250 years old, yet it is undemocratic in its origin, and almost impossible to reform. Even with the new Supreme Court and possible repudiation of “Citizens United” decision, I see no real change except marginal improvement in the live of ordinary citizens.
The public opinion polls on Brexit vote, Columbian cease fire accord vote, both predicted passage, yet due to low participation or indifference of young voters, both failed. U.S. election might yet go that way except for Trump meltdown. Professor Qiang Ge of Central Party School, a self professed Trump fan, wrote in guancha.cn after the first debate, questioned a CNN poll of Hillary win by using right wing internet polls for Trump win to question the validity of polls in general. For me it’s not surprising most Chinese have little knowledge of U.S. politics or political process, but I find it dangerous that Central Party School, where provincial and higher officials attend classes to further their education, is not well informed. I mentioned Central Party School because another professor, Wang Changjiang was recently under attack by Maoists for disrespecting Mao.
As public opinion polls show, U.S. with her high college attendance compare to others is still very poorly informed and anti-science. With 40% believe earth is 10,000 years old, with 46% against evolution as creationists, thus even with Trump’s meltdown, politics in U.S. will be challenging in the future. Chinese leaders will need to be well informed in dealing with U.S.. I recently watched a TV program, “Choice, 2016, Frontline”, which gives very good background information on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and I recommend highly to all interested. As China moves to a service and knowledge economy, the problems faced by U.S., rich and poor divide, automation and job loss, loss of confidence in government, will show up in China also. China in addition faces a serious corruption problem which will not be easily solved. Remember, the events of 89 was triggered by backlash against corruption.  The democracy in U.S. is flawed, I do hope China can draw lessons from it, more than just editorialize it in People’s Daily on its failure.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Clinton vs Trump

September 24th, 2016 7 comments

In 2 more days, there will be the first presidential debate, and 45 more days before election determining the next president of U.S.A.. As a Chinese American I would like to share my view on the coming election as it will affect everyone profoundly one way or another. For many Chinese it looks to be a play of the theatre of absurd, cynical entertainment value to be sure, but irrelevant to their lives. With the large immigration of Chinese to U.S., and the large Chinese student population here, the political view has been gradually changing. It use to be Chinese Americans tended toward Republican Party, self centered toward financial security, conservative family value oriented, and absorbing societal biases against blacks as threat against law and order. with the first waves of immigrants in 60’s being anti-communists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Yet the second and third generations now are more liberal and tend toward Democratic Party as shown on the electoral success of Obama. It can’t be understated the emergence of China as a world power on the sense of self confidence of Chinese Americans.
The appeal of Trump to the “Basket of Deplorable” is self evident, but he also appeals to the victims of globalization, disaffected, and those that fear any changes of status quo in a fast changing world. Even I, who is a beneficiary of immigration, when laughing at his comment of Wall on Mexico border, sometimes feel the need for immigration reform or need to close the border at some point. I am a New Yorker, I do know a con when I see it, yet even when I know the game of 3 cards Monte is rigged, I still sometimes has the urge to play it, and Donald trump is the quintessential con man, and many people will fall for it. He reminds me of the character in Stephen King’s novel, “The Dead Zone”, as played by Martin Sheen in the movie, he may trigger a nuclear holocaust. I know some will think I am paranoid, overhype, and biased, but anyone with serious thinking knows that Trump is a fraud, and Germany did elect Hitler to power.

As for Hillary Clinton, I know all about Whitewater, email, and all the pseudo scandals swirl around her. I do think many are due to her gender, many women think she should have divorced Bill. Many think she leveraged her husband’s presidency to get rich and are envious. I wonder all those Hillary haters are aware of her biography, her history, not the republican narrative. In the final analysis this election will shed light of we Americans as a people, whether we are decent, self aware, responsible people or a final nail on democracy as a fiction.

 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: