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Jan 02

When I started following the China-ASEAN free trade agreement few years ago, I knew they were on an accelerated pace, and I knew this day would come. This is such an awesome start for 2010! I have no doubt ASEAN+China will eventually extend to ASEAN+China+Japan+Korea. Here is Xinhua’s report, “China-ASEAN free trade area starts operation“:
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Dec 19

Apparently, after much drama, intrigue, and sleepless nights, we have some sort of agreement at Copenhagen. We’ll probably get the text of the Copenhagen Agreement soon. But I think the gist of it is as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 15

minipost-Global Warming or Global Fussing?

Written by: berlinf | Filed under:-mini-posts | 59 Comments » newest 2010-01-22 05:01:18

Chinese philosopher Liezi once described a story about a man from the Kingdom of Chi who was so worried that the sky would fall down that he was losing sleep and appetite and generally the will to live. The phrase “Qi Ren You Tian”(杞人忧天) has then evolved into a generic idiom describing a big fuss over nothing, used typically in negative connotations. After the global warming theory came into fashion, now once again, people are worried about the sky falling over!

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Dec 14

minipost-An 1833km pipeline for regional peace

Written by: dewang | Filed under:-mini-posts, economy, General, News, Opinion | 27 Comments » newest 2010-01-08 19:58:52

A theory often taught in foreign policy courses is that heavily interdependent states tend to want peace and stability between them. I was very encourage to read that a massive gas pipeline, 1,833-kilometers in length, has been constructed, linking Turkmenistan through central Uzbekistan, southern Kazakhstan, and into China through northwestern Xinjiang province.
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Nov 26

In contrast to the fairly positive reportng by Sichuan Online on overseas Chinese serving in US military, this article titled “Who Am I Fighting For” exposes a different view of life in the American military.

“Who Am I Fighting For” appeared in November 2008 issue of Siwen Times Digest, chronicled a Chinese graduate student’s entry into the Iraq war, and the deaths he witnessed on and off the battlefield:

http://bbs.51ielts.com/thread-513028-1-1.html

Who Am I Fighting For – A Chinese American Soldier’s Diary
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Nov 17

Both NPR and Xinhua covered the meeting of the U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Hu. I thought the coverage were actually decent in that the issues they list were basically identical. Obviously, NPR did not give equal weight to how the Chinese see the issues. Likewise, Xinhua did not give equal weight to how the U.S. see the issues. Naturally they both are biased. (A disappointment for me obviously is there are enough “free” media preferring to stupefy the “West”, as DJ’s prior article shows, even on an important occasion such as this. “Ah, that tricky Chinese propaganda machine, how devious it is to deceive the foreign media!“)
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Nov 16

President Obama is currently visiting China and the very first dispute is shaping up between China and U.S., namely, what his name is and where he lives.
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Nov 15

This may sound like a Dilbert kind of approach, but some problems are solved if you wait long enough. Copyright protection is certainly a case in point.

The United States has been a patient critic of Chinese copyright protection, but according to Wei Gu, columnist for Reuters, such calls for action has fallen on deaf ears (see: Copyright protection battle in China).   The hope is that Chinese government and individuals realize themselves the importance of protection for intellectual property.

That day may come sooner than expected. Continue reading »

Nov 14

minipost-Understanding China geopolitically

Written by: justkeeper | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | 139 Comments » newest 2009-12-08 20:45:29

I just came across this old post on Sun-Bin:http://sun-bin.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-mauldins-geopolitics-of-china.html, which I am sure most of you must have read, most of the points in that article are valid and verifiable, but there are two I believe to be particularly helpful in understanding the mindset of Chinese people and considerations of Chinese leaders in their policymaking:

  1. The statement “However — and this is the single most important fact about China — it has about one-third the arable land per person as the rest of the world. This pressure has defined modern Chinese history — both in terms of living with it and trying to move beyond it.” — understanding this will help one understand why the PRC leaders often talked about survival as one key elements of ‘human right”, they are serious about this, historically many people die (in fact, famine was commonplace in Chinese history) whenever there was upheaval (and vice versa).
  2. The geopolitical impreative that China needs to Maintain control of the buffer regions.(Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, etc).

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Nov 11

minipost-Happy Singles’ Day

Written by: DJ | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture | Tags:
28 Comments » newest 2009-12-02 12:28:19

Happy Single's Day

November 11th has now emerged as a new holiday dedicated to the singles in China. It essentially serves as an anti-Valentine’s Day, and is the Chinese equivalent of Singles Awareness Day (SAD), during which those unhappily unattached commiserate in their single status.
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Nov 09

The Ambassador of Taiwan His Excellency Mr. Wenchyi Ong said that beside its unifying force a good film can easily strike a chord in the viewer. He was formally inaugurating the festival of films from Taiwan at Asian Academy of Film & Television. Family value, respect for the elderly, belief in democracy and diversity, working as a team and attaching importance to spiritual life are the dominant commonalities between the people of Taiwan and India he added. In his introductory remarks Prof. Sandeep Marwah said that watching films from Taiwan would indeed be a refreshing experience for the students. The Ambassador disclosed that he has invited the well known Taiwanese Director Ang Lee to make his next film in India and hoped that collaboration with Indian film producers will lead to making great films to tell the world remarkable stories of both India and Taiwan. The Ambassador of Taiwan accepted the life membership of International Film & Television Club on this occasion. Later he spoke to Noida people through Radio Noida 107.4 FM.

Nov 06

Despite great strides made over gender equality in the last 60 years, there are still a lot China can do as a nation to promote greater equality and promote the livelihoods of women – especially in the rural areas.

But in the city at least, the power dynamics between men and women seems to be changing – at least on a family per family basis.

Here is an entertaining video from James Fallow on who holds the family purse in China? Continue reading »

Oct 28

minipost-How to more effectively brainwash others with your ideas

Written by: dewang | Filed under:-mini-posts, General | 10 Comments » newest 2009-11-12 03:08:52

Mark Rosenfelder over at zompist.com has a really good article about how to debate, titled, “HOW TO ARGUE WITH ZOMPIST or, Social Skills 101.” (This link came via courtesy of Wukailong.) The article is not about brainwashing others with your ideas, of course. It is about how to debate more effectively and points out all the common fallacies people make, especially in heated discussions.  (Well, for some of us wanting to brainwash the world with our ideas, this will be helpful too, I think.)

I think I have been guilty in committing almost all of the sins he has warn us against.  I bet you will learn a lot more about yourself if you take time to read this article.  While I don’t want to repeat any of his points, I thought I simply share his take on “Why debate at all?”

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Oct 21

The NYT just posted a report on how Cantonese is being “swept aside” by Mandarin in Chinatowns of North America. This post has nothing to do with that story.

Chinese class
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Oct 15

Oct 14

A friend recently visited Mao Zedong’s hometown, Shaoshan, during China’s national holiday week. One of the photo he took was a recount of conversation with Mao about his shabby pajama:

A day in the Summer of 1963, I went to Zhongnanhai’s laundry to fetch the Chairman’s clothes. The comrad at the laundry said the Chairman’s pajama is too old, can’t be washed, and is it time for new one? Few days later, I was eating with the Chairman. He was wearing the very pajama.

I said: “Chairman, time to change your pajama this year?”

The Chairman casually said: “The nation is going thru some difficulties, patching will do!”

I hushed a complaint: “But you’re the Chairman.”

“Oh, I’m the Chairman, Chairman’s closthes can’t be patched? Aren’t you wearing patched clothes?”

“Chairman, you and I are different.” I explained.

“How are we different, because I’m the Chairman? Aren’t I but one among the People?”

Oct 13

The Chinese government has been repeatedly criticised by various countries, such as America and European states, for its lack of action/results over protecting intellectual property. Thus it’s welcome to hear that a group of Chinese and foreign firms have united to take matters into their own hands, even if they are motivated by different factors. The Economist has the story.

In mid-September the China Internet Video Anti-Piracy Alliance, a group comprising both big Chinese internet portals and foreign rights-owners, including the Motion Picture Association of America, announced a broad legal attack. It said that it had begun collecting evidence against more than 1,000 suspected violators of intellectual property and would start filing lawsuits, with the first target being 503 videos found on Youku, an increasingly popular website, that the alliance claims are pirated. Youku has counter-sued for defamation. Continue reading »

Oct 09

Below is a short article on China’s state of Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) under Kyoto Protocol, and future of China’s low carbon, green development:

http://www.epciu.com/Html/0908/17/3471B33FF1937070.html

Carbon Trading Prelude To Low Carbon Economy

Environmental China, 8/17/2009

(Carbon trading market is a hopeful prelude to “low carbon economy”. Beijing Environmental Exchange CEO Mei Dewen says China, being the nation with largest carbon resource, has tremendous development potential in carbon trading. Thru Clean Development Mechanism, in 2012 China may receive 1.8 billion tons of carbon trading credit, as much as several hundred million USD.)

China’s carbon-based economy is a must, says Mei Dewen. Establishing exchange, develop products, speedy connection with international channels, Mei believes, developing market and pricing mechanism, attracting qualified financial institution and enterprises, is central to the future of carbon-based economy.

As 2005 Kyoto Protocol framework relates to China, in recent years, global carbon trading and marketplace had exponential growth, From 377 million Euro in 2004 to 91 billion Euro in 2008, with expert projection of 140 billion Euro in 2012, surpassing oil market as largest marketplace.

Carbon trading and derived financial market is on the horizon. According to World Bank’s estimate, half of the 5 billion ton emission reduction target by developed nations will be realized from CDM, and China have the potential for 35% to 40% of the global CDM.

However, financial development area is lacking, Mei Dewen says. Although China has the largest carbon capital, carbon economy and carbon trading are left and rigt legs, without support from carbon economy, China will lose out on carbon trading like pricing mechanism, and lose out on opportunity in development of new financial sector.
Currently, carbon trading is mostly monopolized by developed nations, such as ETS in EU, ETG in UK, and CCX in US. Although China has established environmental exchanges in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing, these 3 exchanges are limited to conservation and environmental protection technology transfer transactions, and still far from monetizing on carbon trading. China’s carbon marketplace development not only far behind developed nation, it’s even behind India.

In concrete terms, China’s carbon trading is akin to farm commodity market, while India’s carbon trading has elevated to level of currency market. Mei says, India’s carbon marketplace development is more advanced than China, in terms of trading platform or CDM capability. India’s carbon credit is 2-3 Euros more per ton than China.

Oct 06

minipost-China Yearns to Form Its Own Media Empires

Written by: guest | Filed under:-guest-posts, -mini-posts | 66 Comments » newest 2009-10-29 15:11:43

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/business/global/05yuan.html

When many people think China and media industry, many would probably be right to think that it would be a paradox. It seems that China’s government is encouraging consolidation of the media entertainment industry and possible partnerships with Western companies to create a media industry within the China’s market. The question is that would these Western Media companies would work within China and comply with Chinese laws and governance? Many of the Tech companies working within China are already doing that. Cisco has supplied the technology for their GFW. Google’s search engine within China blocks out sensitive information like the TS 1989 incident. Yahoo has provided China information which lead to arrest of an Chinese dissident. My guess that many media companies who are looking to do business in China would comply with China’s laws and censorship. What do you think?

Oct 06

Recently there have been some discussion on China’s rapid development, industrialization, increased pollution and destruction of environment such as deforestation. Not being knowledgeable or ever being interested in the subject, I decided to look for answer to the question – Is China recklessly polluting the planet? Continue reading »

Oct 05

Mind as well dress all these musicians in panda costumes. 🙂