Jan 30

President Obama has not exactly started out making a great impression that he will bring U.S.-China relations to a new high – what with unwelcomed vague belligerent references against communist and authoritarian governments in his inaugural speech, followed up by now Treasury Secretary’s Geithner’s sharp tone and use of the legally-loaded term “currency manipulation” in Geithner’s confirmation hearings (I don’t want to get into the “currency manipulation” debate here since we will have specific posts on those topics soon). Continue reading »

Jan 28

Intro: China’s accumulation of foreign currency is a hotly debated topic. Secretary of Treasury Geithner recently characterized it as “currency manipulation,” a legal term of art which allows the United States to take retaliatory measures.

I have written a paper that approaches this practice from a different angle, and recommends a different solution. The paper can be downloaded here http://ssrn.com/abstract=1332842

In this paper, I revisit the historic ideas surrounding miserliness and usury. I explain why these were economically pernicious activities, and why they were socially stigmatized or made illegal. The paper then moves onto international relations. I argue that China has been acting as miser and usurer on the world stage, at the expense of its own needs and global productivity. The world needs to balance spending vs. saving/investing/lending, and if there is too much of the latter then a rebalancing is inevitable. China has been doing too much of the latter, and the current economic crisis is that rebalancing.

The preferred solution to this problem is not trade protectionism, but rather increased trade. Over the past decade Americans have spent trillions of dollars on Chinese goods and services. This created employment in China and helped the country achieve its potential. The Chinese have responded by hoarding and lending that money. But a relationship where Americans spend and Chinese save and lend is not viable. Only when China takes the dollars Americans spend to employ Chinese, and uses it to employ Americans, will there be a sustainable relationship that can tap the productive potential of both countries. The United States has taken the first step and spent to establish this relationship. It is now China’s turn to spend, to advance that relationship.

I am interested in comments before the paper is published, so please do not hesitate to write me at the link above with any feedback.

Note: post title and content changed per the author’s request. -admin

Jan 27

Here is an article published today by 聯合網 UDN on U.S had sue China on their lack of effort of protecting intellectual properties and patents and U.S has won the suit.

So what does this mean for china? does that mean they are going to enforce the patent laws? Anti Piracy laws?

Here is the full article:

美控中保護智財不力 WTO判中國敗訴

2009.01.27 10:37 am


美國代理貿易代表歐蓋爾(Peter Allgeier)發表聲明指出,小組的發現「是一項重要的勝利」。








【2009/01/27 中央社】@ http://udn.com/

P.S I am not good at translating so I am not going to try

Jan 26

Apparently, at least one of the columnists at the Washington Post reads this blog. Sebastian Mallaby, a veteran from the Economist and contributor to Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Prospect, the National Interest, the New York Times, Policy Review, Slate and the New Republic, and specializing in globalization, trade, investment trends, international development and economic policy, has apparently taken my advice for Tim Butcher to heart. Mr. Mallaby decided to follow up with Tim Geithner’s recent and much discussed comment about China’s  “manipulation of currency” and penned a piece that’s not safe for your computer if you are drinking coffee while reading it.
Continue reading »

Jan 26

1-oxchinese-zodiac-oxIt should be Chinese New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day throughout most of the world by now …  so I just want to wish everyone here a very Happy and Prosperous Year of the OX (牛)!

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Ox symbolizes prosperity and is associated with fortitude and hard work. Those born under the influence of the Ox are natural leaders, are dependable, and possess innate abilities to achieve great things. Continue reading »

Jan 24

On January 19, 2009, Tibetan legislators endorsed unanimously a bill designating March 28 as Serfs Emancipation Day, a day designated officially to mark the freeing of 1 million serfs from serfdom 50 years ago.

For many ethnic Tibetans, this day represents a celebration of freedom (from cast and class based oppression), economic empowerment, and social and political liberation that has been a long time coming.  The day has been held hostage for so long partly because the government, in hopes of trying to convince the Dalai Lama to return back to China, had not wanted to mark the occasion while the Dalai Lama was still in exile.  But one cannot hold back a celebration of freedom forever, and fifty years has been a long time… Continue reading »

Jan 22

The money laundering saga of self-proclaimed son-of-Taiwan Chen Shuibian continues.

On Wednesday, Chen Shuibian’s son Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching both pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in exchange for leniency.

According to China Times, the main terms of the plead bargain includes: Continue reading »

Jan 21

Today we witnessed again another routine yet extraordinary democratic transfer of power in the world’s most powerful country.  For many, this particular occasion carries an especially momentous meaning because not only has America elected her first black (should be mixed) president, but Obama has also promised dramatic changes in the role the government plays in domestic governance as well as the way U.S. – as the world’s lone super power – exercises diplomacy abroad. Continue reading »

Jan 20

By BI Yantao, China

An international conference on Struggle Against Sexism and Racism is to be held in London January 31 to February 8, 2009. More than 150 participants from 21 countries will attend it.

The 10-day conference consists of 5 five seminars to discuss respectively:

1. Grassroots Struggle Against Sexism and Racism: an International Comparison;
2. Our Debt to Haitians – the First to Abolish Slavery;
3. Rape and Prostitution – A Question of Consent;
4. Invest In Caring, Not Killing: Valuing the Work of Caring for People and the Planet;
5. Rediscovering Tanzania’s Ujamaa –Tribute to the Great Ntimbanjayo Millinga and the Ruvuma Development Association.

This conference is organized by Global Women Strike and International Women Count Network, two grassroots organizations which are headquartered in London.

The organizers say, Mothers who produce all the workers of the world are not considered contributors to the economy and must fight for every penny to feed families. Some are fighting to survive floods, droughts or other climate catastrophes. Others are separated from their children. Domestic workers who produce time for others are marginalized and exploited. Rural workers who grow the food we eat are the most neglected.

Invited by International Women Count Network, Miss Wang Shumei, a rural woman from mainland China, will attend this international gathering. She will introduce the effect of China’s reform and opening-up on its political, economic and social ecology in the countryside. Wang Shu Mei will exchange experiences with grassroots women from other countries. On her return, she will be reporting back on these common concerns.

It is noticeable that this international event will be staged at the Venezuelan Embassy in London.

Jan 20

Too often when we discuss Tibet, we reflexively focus our attention on the political spat between the CCP and the Dalai Lama.  However, Tibet is much more than the current political spat.

For one thing: there is the people; the indigenous culture; the land – and of course the important environmental role the Tibetan Plateau plays in regional as well as global environment.

The following is a video from Asia Society on the Peril the Tibetan Plateau is under – as well its implication for all of us in light of global climate change. Continue reading »

Jan 19

Robert Adanto’s The Rising Tide, which recently screened at Art Basel Miami Beach, examines China’s economic and cultural metamorphosis through the work of some of the Middle Kingdom’s most talented video artists and photographers, including the internationally recognized Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Wang Qingsong, Chen Qiulin and Zhang O. It is narrated by Rosalind Chao and Gordon Chang.

“Adanto’s surprisingly grim film highlights both the vitality and urgency of China’s burgeoning new culture while allowing its subjects to speak of the darker and more painful aspects of change,” says Gerry Mak in the on-line publication Flavorpill.
The Rising Tide is an incredibly timely examination of China’s growing prominence in international culture. In a climate of industrialization, urbanization, and increased freedom of expression, Chinese Contemporary Art has emerged as arguably the most vital and imaginative cultural force in the world today. “The rest of us better make an effort to grasp what their work is about, or get out of the way,” says Mark Lynch, host of WICN’s Inquiry, ” [The Rising Tide is] an ‘eye-opener’ in every sense of the word, if you are an artist, curator or art teacher be sure to catch this film.”

Thursday, 1/22 @ 7:30pm The Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, 2/05 Kansas City Institute of the Arts, Kansas City, MO
2/06 and 2/07 in NYC
2/21 in NYC
March 2009 Cape Winelands Film Festival, South Africa
April 20, 2009 Academy of Entertainment & Technology, Santa Monica, CA
May 2, 2009 The Peabody-Essex Museum- Salem, MA

For more information, visit www.therisingtidefilm.com.

Jan 19

The following article appeared in the BBC News Online today:

Serfs’ Emancipation Day for Tibet

By James Reynolds

China has declared a new annual holiday in Tibet called Serfs’ Emancipation Day, to mark the end of what it says was a system of feudal oppression.

The local parliament in Tibet has passed a bill which declares 28 March as the new holiday.

The announcement comes in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the escape into exile of the Dalai Lama.

The 49th anniversary a year ago led to widespread protests by monks and others in and around Tibet.

Continue reading »

Jan 19

Chinese American Art & Culture

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, General, music | 4 Comments » newest


Heart Sutra: Calligraphy by Wendy Lee

The San Diego Chinese Art Society recently presented the Thirteenth Annual San Diego International Music & Arts Festival. Sometimes we tend to forget about Chinese who have emigrated to other countries but continue to keep in touch with their culture in a new environment. The San Diego Chinese community has many organizations dedicated to keeping their ancestral culture alive, and the events these organizations hold are supported not just by Chinese Americans but by the San Diego residents from all ethnic groups.

Continue reading »

Jan 17


Huaiyuan Lou Tulou; built in 1907

We’ve had discussions about Hakka culture in the past with several of our commenters being of Hakka ancestry, so I wanted to show some photos taken by Ted of tulou (土楼; 土樓) in Fujian province. 60% of Hakka are from the Xingning/Meixian area of Guangdong province and over 95% of overseas Hakka were originally from that region, but tulou exist only in Fujian.

Continue reading »

Jan 15

No, not Cosmo Cramer. Jim Cramer of CNBC`s Mad Money fame tonight made Xinhua China 25 his [China] Play of The Day, and expressed his bullish confidence in China`s dictatorship.

This is while self-appointed expat China experts are making doom-and-gloom, Panarin-esq predictions that China will suffer fatal crisis or fall from revolution, from range of issues: unemployment, to porn sweep, to an essay few have read.

Please allow me to add one more possibility – PETA will take China down (Pamala Anderson will let y`all know when to get out of Dodge).

Cramer bullish on China

Jan 14

Here is a new book to recommend http://www.routledge.com/books/Was-Mao-Really-a-Monster-isbn9780415493307:

“About the Book

Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday was published in 2005 to a great fanfare. The book portrays Mao as a monster – equal to or worse than Hitler and Stalin – and a fool who won power by native cunning and ruled by terror. It received a rapturous welcome from reviewers in the popular press and rocketed to the top of the worldwide bestseller list. Few works on China by writers in the West have achieved its impact. Continue reading »

Jan 14


☆ 本書由英國史學權威Gregor Benton(班國瑞)教授主編,所有評論均出自專門研究中國共產黨歷史方面的國際知名專家。
☆ 本書的評論,各自不同的角度,都在長期積累、嚴謹細緻的史料鑒別基礎上寫出,對尋求有關的歷史真實做出重要貢獻。
☆ 本書的各中國問題專家對《毛》書寫作方法和結論感到震驚,提出異議,進行辯論。
Gregor Benton(班國瑞)

前言 / Gregor Benton

Jan 14


We covered China’s  underground music scene in a previous thread and with the new year approaching, I wanted to introduce some alternative artists from Taiwan.  I’m sure everyone already knows the most popular Mando-pop stars, so here are a few that are a little less known. Most of these musicians either made their debuts or saw an upsurge in their popularity over the course of 2008. An article I read recently in the Taipei Times was the initial catalyst in my search for finding newer artists.

Continue reading »

Jan 13

This is a  post by Nick Wong in his blog, which is in turn a repost of a post by Xiao Han







1. 政府以涉嫌颠覆国家政权罪刑事拘留了“零八宪章”的起草人刘****晓****波先生,传唤了推动此事的另一位重要人物张***祖***桦先生,我认为这样做是违法的,因为对国家大事发表意见,这是每个公民的基本权利,起草人也好,其他签名者也罢,都没有用任何不正当手段去做推翻现政权的行为,只是呼吁现政权下定决心进行宪政改革,与颠覆国家政权完全不沾边。









10. 辛亥革命的主要国父是两位,一位是孙中山,还有一位是袁世凯,以前人们总是将袁世凯打入冷宫,剥夺他作为中华民国国父之一的身份,这是一种道德中心主义观念下的偏见,而不是政治上的公允之论。如果没有孙袁双方互有妥协的谈判及其成功,请告诉我中华民国自何而来?就靠南方革命党的国库里那几块钱,能打赢政府军?即使筹集到银两巨万,革命党打赢了这场战争,那又得死多少人?因此,无论从哪个意义上,我们都要感谢孙袁两位为基本和平的宪政破航做出的贡献。袁世凯后来想当皇帝不得而死,那是以后的事,至少在1911年,他是新国家的创立者之一。

11.中国未来的政治道路,应该是在和平推动中完成宪政改革,共产党必定是其中的重要力量,甚至是最重要的力量。因此,不能把共产党当作敌人看待 ——无论名义上,还是具体措施的操作上,都不能,而目前的宪章,其措施如果全部实行,那么共产党必然就成为了中国全体国民的敌人(虽然宪章本无此意)。要求共产党经过改革把自己改造成沦为阶下囚的国家之敌,共产党能答应吗?




15. 凭三条,第一条,再这样治理下去,共产党统治会导致烽烟四起、天下大乱、民不聊生、朝不保夕的日常生活,共产党会和这个国家的人民处在绝对对立的死胡同里;第二条,只有结束这样的治理方式才能挽救中国、挽救中国共产党;第三条,结束这一过程,需要给共产党及其重要成员一些基本承诺。

16. 清帝退位的原因是两个:第一个是在辛亥革命之后,袁世凯对清王室的连哄带吓,第二个原因是民国政府给出的《优待清室条例》——和平新建政权是要代价的。




20. 要使得共产党成为和平宪政改革的同盟者甚至主要改革者,必须要有一批“污点国父”——他们可能在这个体制内获得了巨大的不义之财和地位,但是只要他们愿意主导或者推动宪政的和平改革,除了应该将他们及其家族的财富按照一定比例退还国库,其他一概既往不咎,并且保护他们及其家族的一切安全,使得他们在此基础上成为与广大无罪国民权利平等的公民,如果他们成为国家重要领导人的,以后卸任了也绝不秋后算账。上述政策应该也是针对其他一切共产党官员的做法。


22. 要平稳走向宪政深水,首先得试水,如何试水?共产党与社会各界共同拟定一份“过渡期宪政方案”,主要内容至少应该包括但不限于:1共产党继续执政,确定具体年限;2全面实行三权分立的公权力监督模式,正常发挥议会、行政和司法保护公民权的功能;3允许结社自由,因此而成立的政党,除了在过渡期内不能进行执政竞选,其他一切符合良法的活动都可以开展;4全面保护原宪法所承认的公民权利;5增补并保护原未被承认的公民权利;6军队国家化,不得介入内政;7拟定对将近60年来共产党过往问题的调查、审判、赦免程序与制度性宽恕方案,并且保证过渡期之后将来的其他执政党绝不出尔反尔;8过渡期结束之后如果多党竞选的条件还不成熟,那么应该由议会讨论决定是否延长过渡期年限。这些具体方案都是宪法性文件,具有各界不可凌越的法律地位。



Jan 12

The recent tragedies in Gaza have reminded me again the mind-numbing role the sensationalistic use of emotionally charged words can play in international politics.

Recently, Israel railed against the Vatican when Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Vatican, characterized Gaza as a “concentration camp.”  According to the NY Times: Continue reading »

Jan 07

For many Chinese website operators, 2009 didn’t start very well. China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre, a semi-government agency, has published a list of websites which contain “vulgar and unhealthy information” deemed to be harmful to the country’s youth. The list (in Chinese) can be found here.

The interesting thing about this list is that it covered majority of the most popular websites in China. Google was ranked number one “vulgar” site (see, e.g., NYTimes article), followed by Baidu and Sina.

I’m very confident that every Chinese netizen have visited at least one of such vulgar websites. I myself must have visited at least 75% of the websites listed and would probably be diagnosed as psychotic under the Chinese guideline. Continue reading »