One of Air China’s top brass recently gave a speech in Los Angeles, drawing attention to how politicians and media muddy the path to a better understanding between Americans and Chinese.
The entire article is worth a read, bringing up some interesting points on “unobvious” interrelations, FDI, currency manipulation, progress in China, human rights, freedom of the press, tourism, democracy, capitalism– you name it.
I particularly liked this passage, discussing how any alleged currency manipulation is unlikely to return jobs to the US, a point often missed by fear-mongers in the Western media:
“The danger, however, is to let our disagreements dominate our agreements. And our politicians and the media have done a grossly inadequate job of helping the public understand what’s really going on and helping them put things in perspective. Instead, barbs are lobbed back and forth on the airwaves and the atmosphere of the U.S.-China relationship continues to be poisoned.
For example, politicians and the media accuse China of stealing jobs from American workers by manipulating the Chinese currency. China started to peg the yuan to the dollar in January 1994. How did our politicians and the media just wake up to the currency manipulation issue now? Also, will the yuan’s appreciation win back American jobs? Probably not, because the root of the problem is capitalism itself. Capital by nature will go after the maximum profit. Sure enough, as the yuan has been appreciating about 25 percent in the last few years, the unemployment in the export manufacturing sector in China has shot up as expected. But have those jobs come back to the United States?
We don’t know. According to a Wall Street Journal article titled “Who Gains, Who Loses,” some of them are going to Vietnam because American capital has found a new haven for low cost and cheap labor there, just as it has made its way over the years from Japan, to Singapore, to Hong Kong, to South Korea, to Taiwan, and eventually to China.“
Should we all be more like Cletus? He's done his part to help the aging population.
So, let me see if I am getting this right. The only way to support an aging population is to have more children. Then, to one day support those now-grown children, we’ll need even more children. Then, presumably, more children. And then more, and more, and more.
If we are to follow this exponential equation of human sustenance, perhaps the geniuses who constantly howl at the moon about it would be so kind as to inform us how exactly this everlasting expansion of population will be sustainable– especially, in say, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, like, oh, I don’t know, Taiwan.
The entire premise is rubbish. This apocalypse of “family values” is just a bunch of rabble-rousing hubris.
Conservatives are horrified the antiquated religious ceremony called “marriage” will lose its flimsy standing as social institution.
Economists are petrified their models of constant growth based on ever-increasing consumption of meaningless junk won’t hit the next quarterly target.
Here’s the deal. Most of us aren’t out there harvesting. I don’t need to have 10 kids because only 3 will survive to adulthood. I don’t need to have sons to fight the next tribe over the hill or daughters to auction off for cattle. Times don’ changed, folks.
I’ll be perfectly happy to have one child in my lifetime. One is going to be costly enough as it is. I’ll have to come up with a pile of money big enough for roughly 19 years of education– not counting preschool and daycare. I’m going to need enough money to pay too much for health care in an increasingly too toxic world. I’m going to need money to buy all the essential hi -tech gadgetry, that thanks to planned obsolescence, breaks every six months and is rendered useless by a 2.0 version if it makes it much further than that.
The last thing on my mind is having kids so I can raise more grandparents. A much healthier, more sane solution would be to develop and institute more effective social safety nets for our elderly. Duh.
Shocking. Just shocking. Thank you CNN for unraveling the mystery and revealing that Chinese people have computers! And not only that. They use the Internet! And not only that, they actually don’t seem to really give a shit about the firewall. Oh, the humanity!
So CNN has been on a week-long blitzkrieg of the Internet in China. It must have been disappointing as the week wore on and producers started realizing they didn’t have a story.
I assume CNN presumed there would be this big undercurrent of angry netizens who are in this protracted slugfest with easily-painted overlord censors. But as these reports hint at, the number of Chinese netizens continues to explode, e-commerce is thriving, and in many ways Chinese websites have surpassed US competitors.
Shocking Revelation #1:Most Chinese citizens are not looking to overthrow their government. Think of it this way. You’re a kid. You’ve wanted to go to Disney World your entire life. Grew up watching the cartoons, the movies. Had the shirt. Had the hat. One day, your parents finally take you. And the next thing you know, you’re inside the park, next in line for Space Mountain, and some guy comes up to you. Hey kid, Mickey Mouse is one bad dude, he says. How about you get out of line (pun intended), kick Mickey in the shin, and burn his house down?
Shocking Revelation #2: Ah, Earth to Matil, Chinese love their cellphones. A good portion of my Chinese friends only use their phones to go online. And they’re always on. Keep in mind, I’d be hiking through some tea fields in the middle of nowhere, and the old man walking the water buffalo next to me starts blowing up– “Ga ga oooh la la…” Boom. Pulls out the new iPhone before its even released in the States, and screams, “喂!” (=wei = hello)!
Shocking Revelation #3:CNN may be surprised how much information is actually available online. There’s a lot out there not containing the buzzwords in this redundant story: Empty Chair, sex, protest, jasmine, Tengbiao, Hillary, Huntsman.
This also reminds me of something a friend and former university instructor said during a poli-sci class. Now, like most things from my college days, I forget the specifics. But he was either telling us a) netizens are 99.9% useless morons, or b) the New York Times isn’t a great source for following politics. Either way, a bunch of students got all riled up over it. Apparently, they went home and sent him some ugly emails about dissing the net and the NYT. The next class, he pulled up the homepage, where it lists the “Most Viewed” and “Most E-mailed” stories of the week. Number one in both: Fat Kid Numa Numa Dance.
Shocking Revelation #4:Major foreign companies and many individual foreigners are clients of high-powered VPNs and have no issue surfing the Internet. None. Ever.
Shocking Revelation #5:There are a huge number of free VPNs that can be easily downloaded in any Chinese city. Eventually, particularly around political events, your free VPN might be discovered by censors and rendered ineffective. But if you have the extra 20 minutes, you can find a new one.
Shocking Revelation #6:While Chinese websites may have stolen a lot of the IPR to create look-alike Chinese versions of popular US sites, many of those are now outperforming the original. I actually miss some of the websites I had grown accustomed to using in China. Top of the list might be Qunar.com a travel site far better than Expedia or any crap hosted in the States. In fact…
Shocking Revelation #7: People can live without Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. The two sites that suck to have blocked are Gmail and Wikipedia. Besides those two, I never had a problem finding information on other sites. It’s funny that the land of democracy and free market competition is so stunned that more than one form of a company exists. Baidu, Renren, Douban, QQ, Weibo, Qunar. They’re legit.
Shocking Revelation #8:A lot of things blocked in the Chinese language are not blocked in English, and vice versa.
Shocking Revelation #9: Many sensitive web pages actually still load. It is only when you stay on them for a while that the next click may lead to a connection disruption.
Shocking Revelation #10:You can still download porn.