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Mar 19

Recently it has been proposed that the practice of mandarins travelling in official litters should be reinstalled.

An official litterMajor advantages of the proposed change are:
1. Environmental friendly; no carbon emission.
2. Create jobs. Assuming 4 people are needed to lift each litter, this proposal creates 32 million employment opportunities.
 3. Save $150 billion yuan annually on government vehicle operating cost.
 4. Eliminate traffic congestion in metropolitan areas.
 5. Entrepreneurs will emulate what officials do and thus double its impact on job growth. .
 6. Commoners can stop the litter to air their grievances

Nov 09

Pacific Rim Shots

Written by: Steve | Filed under:General | Tags:, , , , ,
9 Comments » newest 2013-06-12 03:09:49

I’d like to announce our blog to the Fool’s Mountain audience, an offshoot of this blog written by Wukailong, whose comments and posts you’re probably familiar with, and Steve (that’s me). Rather than write specifically about China, we’ve opened it up to the entire Pacific Rim and have posted articles about many countries, though because our backgrounds are in China and Taiwan, they are the subject of the brunt of our articles.

Unlike most blogs about China and East Asia, we tend to stay away from current political affairs and are more on the cultural side, though we do dabble in politics every once in awhile. We figured the political and current event scene was covered ad nauseum by other blogs out there and didn’t want to be a ‘me too’ site. If you like music, movies, photography, culture, travel and food, you might enjoy checking us out.

We also have a continuing feature, a photo after every 3rd post, from Jesse, who lives in Beijing and has his own blog where he posts one photo per day, everyday. His headlines are as good as his photos!

As the title states, our site is called Pacific Rim Shots. You can find us here: http://pacificrimshots.com/

Hope to see you there!

Jun 12

minipost-Take your money and get lost

Written by: real name | Filed under:-mini-posts, economy, politics | 9 Comments » newest 2013-02-20 07:20:05

“Let some people get rich first, lead and help other areas, other people and this way can gradually achieve common prosperity” was one of the slogans of economical reforms.

Many from the richest part of today’s China did not believe in talks about common prosperity and so from Hong Kong in years 1984-1997 (when HK was returned under Chinese control) nearly 1 million people emigrated (about one eight of population).

(Despite different average in Hong Kong is economical inequality even bigger than in rest of China.)

Even more people did not return from study abroad. To be more concrete: in years 1987-2009 it was about 1 160 000 people. But gradually returns more and more, during for world crisis year 2009 it was already 56 percent.

In that time they returned because of problems abroad, many with foreign passport (although sometimes hidden – China does not allow double citizenship), to try find a job at home or to outsource their business to country with lower costs.

But together with growing return of so called “sea turtles” another escape began – this time of the richest Chinese. Continue reading »

Apr 16

minipost-Real threats to China-US relations

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts | Tags:, ,
11 Comments » newest 2012-03-23 08:20:26

By BI Yantao

allvoices.com, Mar 05, 2011

In the coming decades, the China-US relations will be deteriorating if the US doesn’t adjust its strategic positioning. It seems the Hu-Obama summit held earlier month is unlikely to dramatically ease the tensions between the two countries, let alone change the trajectory. In my eyes, one major threat to the U.S. determination to maintain its global hegemony.

To a great degree, China’s assertiveness is the result of the wishful thinking by some non-Chinese observers. The more determined the US is to maintain its global leadership, the more sensitive it is to China’s growth. It is a new version of a Chinese fable which says one sees a snake when a bow is reflected in a cup full of water. Once you believe China intends to challenge the US global primacy, it is easy to “find” sufficient evidences. In fact, many of the evidences are intentionally or unintentionally fabricated by the observers. A good case in point is that certain American commentators suggest the traditional Chinese culture determines China’s aggressive stance. They cited the example of the implication of “China”, which means “the central kingdom”. This sounds ridiculous to the majority of the Chinese people, because the Chinese people bear in minds the old motto “The moon waxes only to wane, water brims only to overflow”. This partially accounts for Deng Xiaoping’s legacy “Never to be in front”.
Continue reading »

Mar 23

The urban myths around China’s property bubble are as compelling as they are odd. There are tales of office blocks, towering in Shanghai, Beijing and a dozen other provincial cities, behind whose mirrored-glass exteriors is a ghostly silence. There’s the story the cycling professor noting a complete absence of lights in ranks of buildings, during the most recent solar eclipse in Beijing. Of taxi drivers who ply their trade, whilst nailing down million-dollar property deals on the phone. Of couples divorcing, so they can claim an extra share of the property bonanza. Even allegations of 60 million homes mysteriously having no electricity charges for more than 6 months. Continue reading »

Oct 14

It has not been a good year for China. From the google censorship issue, Cheonan, Iran, Taiwan issue, Yuan appreciation/export issue, ASEAN, Diaoyu Islands, Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel prize winner, China’s foreign minister is working overtime to convey the message of the Chinese government but may not be getting its message out in a positive way. In this electronic global Media era, getting your message correctly is the key and use all forms tools of channels, whether it is economic, media, or trade is the key. Getting mad at other countries and making outrageous commendations and cutting off ties is not the way to go. Here’s how I rate China’s diplomatic issues so far this year.
Continue reading »

Oct 13

Here is a translation of an op-ed from a Chinese blog about Liu’s Nobel that we at FM found interesting.

So here goes the news again: Public Enemy Number One in China, Liu Xiao Bo, has been awarded the Nobel Prize!  Not sure where that infamous title of Liu came from.  But this latest Nobel prize must be giving people in the U.S. quite a laugh.

The award of a Nobel to Liu is certainly controversial. Allegedly, the Nobel committee itself was internally divided. But given Liu’s high profile conviction last year, this decision is not totally unexpected. I originally did not plan to write about Liu. However, given the renewed and widespread interest of Liu’s Nobel, I have decided to wade in my thoughts. Here is a translation of what a typical report in the West is like. Continue reading »

Oct 12

minipost-China and Japan Leaders to (Try to) Improve Ties

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts | 2 Comments » newest 2010-10-12 15:27:49

It’s a new month since the fiasco of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Japanese PM Naoto Kan have met to mend recently frayed diplomatic ties. That a centuries’ old enmity will be healed is unlikely if not unfeasible, but both diplomats have agreed to improve relations, “to resume exploring ties,” said Japanese spokesperson Noriyuki Shikita.
Continue reading »

Oct 01

Reflections on China’s One-Child Policy

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:General | 11 Comments » newest 2011-11-22 19:20:50

The following reflections were based on an interview with a student on Chinese perspectives on the “one-child” policy:

If China is leaving the “world factory” model, economy is not necessarily the only driver of this change. There are other factors at play, for instance, the family planning policy.

Recently I called my youngest sister, who worked in Kunshan, a prosperous industrial city near Shanghai, and we chatted about the job situation there. She said factory jobs are easy to get these days. I asked why that is the case. She said most potential workers are single children in the family. “If you were their parents, wouldn’t you want your only child to go to college and get a better job?” Continue reading »

Sep 20

This week has been contentious week between China and the US. Timothy Geithner came out and blasted at China for undervaluing its currency which hurts American Jobs. Leading the charge, NY times has been the loudspeaker of this Anti-China effort.
Continue reading »

Sep 08

Dilbert in China

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:culture | Tags:, , ,
9 Comments » newest 2013-07-28 13:30:14

Dr. Lin Yutang, whose Chinese rendering of humor as 幽默 became the standard translation of the word, once said that “it is terribly serious when our rulers do not smile, because they have got all the guns.”

Dr. Lin believes that if humorists come together in world conferences discussing serious issues confronting the world, wars could be avoided. Here is an optimistic picture he presents for us: “You will find George Bernard Shaw shouting that Ireland is wrong, and a Berlin cartoonist protesting that the mistake is all theirs, and Heywood Broun claiming the largest share of bungling for America, while Stephen Leacock in the chair makes a general apology for mankind, gently reminding us that in the matter of stupidity and sheer foolishness no nation can claim itself to be the superior of others. How in the name of humor are we going to start a war under these conditions?” Continue reading »

Sep 06

minipost-Did Chinese medicine make Chinese emperors live longer?

Written by: real name | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis, culture | 32 Comments » newest 2011-09-29 10:19:12

In the discussion about Chinese medicine arose the question why in China people do not live longer than elsewhere.

It is clear that except medicine is their life expectancy affected by many other factors.

If we consider the negative impact of today’s polluted environment why the Chinese did not live longer in pre-industrial era?
“Because they were poor and hard working.”

So let have a look at the longevity of those who
– were not poor, can afford the best food, doctors and drugs
– (according to advertisement) they were mad about chi-kung
– (according to the net-shop with no real address) followed feng-shui rules.
Let’s have a look at the longevity of Chinese emperors.
Continue reading »

Sep 05

minipost-The Problem Of Evil And The Eastern Model of God

Written by: whooper | Filed under:-mini-posts, Opinion, religion | 44 Comments » newest 2010-10-11 04:21:40

I am an Englishman brought up as an atheist by my parents, but I attended a Christian primary school. I remember my father catching me at a very early age praying. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Praying to Jesus to help me at School” I replied. “Study”, he said, “it will do much more good!”

In fact my father had been a devout Christian in his youth, and had at one time even considered the priesthood as a career. Later he abandoned Christianity, as so many intellectuals do, because of the problem of evil.

Indeed, the presence of evil, pain and suffering in our world is the most persistent argument raised against Christianity. The argument runs as follows:

1. If God is perfectly loving, He must wish to abolish evil
2. If He is all powerful, He must be able to abolish evil
3. But evil exists. Therefore, an all powerful, loving God does not exist

The conventional Christian response is:

1. God created a world of free will
2. Although God therefore made evil possible, man makes evil actual
3. Eventually God will defeat evil
Continue reading »

Aug 27

Legitimacy, Democracy and Chinese Government

Written by: whooper | Filed under:General, Opinion | 346 Comments » newest 2013-08-18 12:41:35

In order to understand any system of government, we need to understand the extent to which government aligns itself with the common good. For example, Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia 1740 to 1786, was an example of a famously benevolent and progressive despot who transformed his country from a relative backwater into an intellectual and military superpower. An interesting question is what mechanisms, if any, protected the Prussians against selfish / incompetent Kings? The answer is brutal, in 18th Century Europe incompetent regimes tended to be annihilated by their neighbours, because in the long run the common good, the flourishing of society, brings economic success and military power. For example, the Ottoman Empire eventually disappeared because its failure to embrace Prussia’s progressive values left it weaker than its European neighbours.

Today Political Scientists talk about the concept of “government legitimacy”. Defining legitimacy is actually quite difficult, but some of the ideas we tend to associate with it include benevolence, competence and popular support.
Continue reading »

Aug 03

This month mark the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA (29 August 2005), This remind me the 2nd anniversary of the Earthquake in Sichuan, China (12 May 2008) three month ago and the 1st anniversary of the Black Saturday (Bush fire) in Victoria, earlier this year in Australia (7 February 2009).

The similarity of these 3 events is that they are natural disasters with many deaths and many more left homeless. However, for those who lost their home in such a large scale natural disasters, which government do you think do more and care more for their citizens in need? The so-called “autocratic” regime in Beijing, China or the so-called “democratic” and “human right” governments in USA and Australia?
Continue reading »

Aug 01

Going back to 11/09 when Obama made his historical trip to Shanghai and Beijing, things seems to go pretty well for both countries. Obama said: “The United States does not seek to contain China. On the contrary, the rise of a strong and prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations.” Perhaps Obama spoke too soon.

It looks like 2010 will be the worst diplomatic relations between China and the US since 1989. It started with the censorship issue with google, then trying to isolate China from Iran’s with its nuclear program, the issue with the sinking of the Cheonan resulted in war games between South Korea and US in the Yellow sea. Perhaps these issues will come and pass, but there are more distressing issues in Southeast Asia. Continue reading »

Jul 30

Give Us the Face, Keep the Change

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:culture, Opinion | Tags:, ,
72 Comments » newest 2010-09-06 08:29:13

Give Us the Face, You Can Keep the Change - 南桥 - 南桥的博客
Image from the Atlantic monthly article Renting a White Guy 

 
Reports of “renting a white guy” is making its rounds in the US media. In these reports, Mr. Mitch Moxley shared his rather interesting experience as a fake businessman in China. Moxley claims to have no working experience, yet he was hired by a Canadian Chinese to be a quality control expert for an American company in China. Together with several other such fake quality control “experts”, he went to a place in Shandong, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony, made speeches, shook hands, and took photos. For these, he was dined and wined in a good hotel, and got paid 1000 dollars and promised better work like this in the future. I wonder if somebody in America would like to rent a Chinese guy for half that money. Not very likely, and there is even an immigration law coming in Arizona, making non-residents’ lives even more difficult than they already are. Continue reading »

Jul 20

In the recent release of the highly praised iphone 4, many people thinks Apple will dominate the smartphone market for the next few years. For the most part that it true. RIM will cater to the corporate market. Microsoft will probably fall to the wayside with its botched launch of the Kin and its slow deployment of Windows Mobile 7 OS. Yet Apple makes oodles of money selling iphone4’s and ipads at a premium.

Android came out about 2 years ago and steadily rose up from being the niche smartphone to the ‘alternative’ smartphone. Mobile manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG clearly are in the game while other companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Acer will have smartphones down the pipeline.

But what does Android and China have do with this? After all, google (which developed Andriod) and China were at odds with the censorship issue earlier this year. Despite this, China has been embracing the Android market with open arms. They are creating Android services with their own email app stores, search engines and maps from google. Continue reading »

Jul 06

Once per year, Freedom House releases its annual report covering the levels of freedom throughout the world. I’ve included their reports for China, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. They issue two scores, one for Political Rights and one for Civil Liberties, along with a Freedom Status. The lower the number, the higher the rating.

China (2010)

Capital: Beijing

Population: 1,331,398,000

Political Rights Score: 7
Civil Liberties Score: 6
Status: Not Free

Explanatory Note

The numerical ratings and status listed above do not reflect conditions in Hong Kong or Tibet, which are examined in separate reports.
Jul 02

Something a bit different – go to the Mercury Brief to read an interesting and personal account of the Chinese education system from Michelle Cui Xiaoxiao.

….In contrast, he argues, Chinese teenagers are never allowed to take risks, which blocks self-understanding and self-reflection. Because Chinese students never confront typical teenage tribulations, they are doomed to live out their teenage years forever.

I am a product of one of these Chinese boarding schools, and a participant in many small acts of teenage rebellion. Yes, we were required to wear uniforms and were not allowed to wear jewelry. But my desk-mate and I had fun sneaking ear studs behind our hair, an act we perceived as extremely defiant. We were not allowed to leave school on weekdays, so we pretended to be sick and obtained special permission from school nurses to leave school for two hours. Then we devoured hamburgers and fries at McDonald’s and came back in time for afternoon classes.

Continue reading »

Jun 26

The ECFA – where next for China and Taiwan?

Written by: Raj | Filed under:economy, General, Opinion, politics | Tags:, , ,
94 Comments » newest 2011-02-07 00:32:51

The ECFA trade agreement between China and Taiwan looks like it will be signed in the near future.

It is hard at this point to be sure of who will benefit the most from it economically. There are concerns in Taiwan that there will be a net loss of jobs as a result of the agreement. Whilst Taiwan will be able to ship goods to China with fewer trade barriers, this does not mean that increased trade will employ more Taiwanese than lose their jobs due to an increase in Chinese imports. After all, some Taiwanese bosses may just pocket increased profit, though others will see increased demand and need to employ more workers. It will be easier to consider the impact of the agreement after it has been in place for a year or two.

But now that the ECFA has been agreed upon, where do Sino-Taiwanese relations go from here? The Wall Street Journal has a suggestion.

Continue reading »