Care to talk about anything not related to Tibet?

Here’s an open thread to do so.

I just noticed Blogspot is open again, after being open for a couple weeks and then slamming shut again a few days ago. The Cybernanny is being unusually bipolar lately.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 134 Comments

I’m sick and tired about all the hot air being blown around about the upcoming Summer Olympics? What about the scandal of the Special Olympics last year? I lost twenty quid on a bet when my Kenyan long distance runner with Down’s Syndrome came in fourth. “But they’re all winners really!” I protested. Strangely, my bookmaker failed to agree.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

“Why is that group of hired Chinese men holding that poor innocent lama to the ground?” asked my four old niece the other day.

I had to laugh. For you see we were walking round a Peruvian alpaca farm which had taken advantage of cheap imported labour.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

How about Xinjiang? Just kidding.

May I suggest coming Chinese dominance in the world?

We can start by examining increasing Chinese influence in the traditional third world. Witness the torch relay in the “South”

April 21, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

Never mind. I am with Meursault.

Btw upon whom are you placing your bets on the next Special Olympics? I want some hot tips.

April 21, 2008 @ 2:04 pm | Comment

Definitely Heather Mills. I’ve never seen a one-legged person pull such a fast one before.

Still, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my Down’s Syndrome athlete failed to win. How could he have done well with such a negative sounding affliction? Somebody ought to take matters into their own hands and rename it “Up’s Syndrome” before we’ve got another Rodney King on our consciences.

April 21, 2008 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

Apparently the Chinese are now claiming 5,000 years of indisputable territorial rights in Antarctica and are building little shops selling crappy plastic trinkets by Wenzhou immigrants in the hopes of driving out all native penguins, etc. in the name of Han glory…

April 21, 2008 @ 3:44 pm | Comment

@cao Meng De
“How about Xinjiang?”

Aaaaaaargh!!

April 21, 2008 @ 3:46 pm | Comment

Heather Mills, LOL.

Meursault, my man, you should have your own blog dude.

On the 2nd thought, never mind. We need more of your time and humor on this forum.

@LoveChinaLongTime

Your attempt at humor is lost upon all native penguins

April 21, 2008 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

Hey Richard — completely different topic(s)!

For those of you in the Middle Kingdom, what’s your impression of the air pollution in Beijing? Has it improved as they promised?

What about food prices? Here in Taiwan we were sticker shocked bad — whole wheat flour we bought for $37 two months ago is $53 now. Gas is over the top — we rarely drive the car, sticking to the scooters. Fruit is not bad, and vegetables remain cheap. Imported stuff has risen 50% or more — my favorite brand of brie went from $99 to $189. Ouch!

Michael

April 21, 2008 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

@LoveChinaLongTime
“in the hopes of driving out all native penguins, etc. in the name of Han glory…”
@Cao Meng De
“Your attempt at humor is lost upon all native penguins”

Anyone knows the Dalai Penguin?
(sorry, seen happy feet too many times)

April 21, 2008 @ 4:06 pm | Comment

@Ecodelta

haha, now don’t do it again. Let’s keep jokes To bet free.

April 21, 2008 @ 4:19 pm | Comment

Michael, I was just reading a blog post about inflation here. It’s going to hurt. And it’s going to affect all of us working here. We’ve always said China will be tested with its first serious bout of inflation or recession. Well, it’s on the way. My guess is that the domestic economy is robust enough to keep the Chinese economy from reeling, but there will be a lot of agony along the way – lost jobs, broken dreams, reduced ambitions, less luxury and a general mood of disappointment. And yes, you can feel it in your everyday life here. It’s everywhere.

April 21, 2008 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

The ultimate source of inflation is rapid increase of money supply courtesy of the Feds.

China had been importing inflation from US via trade surplus. Once RMB is allowed to free- float, Chinese money supply growth will be brought under control.

One day recession will hit Chinese economy, but not gonna happen this year.

Meanwhile people in US will need to figure out how to live in a stagflation environment.

I hope you guys have stock up on your wheaties.

April 21, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

I happen to agree with you Cao Meng. Although it may be a bit more painful for China than you are reckoning. Inflation can brutalize an economy and cause one’s savings to evaporate. The US will get hit hardest thanks to its lose-lose loose credit policy and other factors that are too staggering to contemplate (like wars, trillions of dollars of debts, lovely tax cuts for the rich, a credit crisis that’s shaking our financial institutions and the soaring price of commodities, and — well, the list goes on and on). And America’s recession is, at least in part, China’s as well.

April 21, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

How are the nincumpoop foreigners reacting to virulent Chinese nationalism?

Are they flabbergasted by the same Chinese who during their visits to China seemed so docile, polite and cute?

April 21, 2008 @ 6:23 pm | Comment

As a nincumpoop foreigner here, I am a bit shocked by the extremity of the nationalism of the 60,000 Chinese here in Ireland. It is simply incredible, being American from Mass. I knew alot of these guys who have literally turned quite ugly these last two weeks with the media giving so much coverage to the Tibet issue. I think they have overreacted in such a bad way, they even shut down the major forum here because of the talk of Tibet/China got so bad.

April 21, 2008 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

You’re right about those cute Chinese turning into monsters and taking you off guard. I bought a Chinese once and was told never to let it get wet, don’t let it near bright light, and never feed it after midnight. Three weeks later they were breeding all over the place and annexing my juniper bushes.

April 21, 2008 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

So is inflation also chipping away at production costs for low-cost industries? And where can they go to get away from it?

Michael

April 21, 2008 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

From what I hear, inflation is eroding the profits of the toy manufacturers and other producers of low-cost goods. Combined with the declining dollar and rising labor costs, you have an almost perfect storm. Not sure where they can go, but I do know some are closing down.

April 21, 2008 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

Richard,

It’s me BOB, of Bob’s Country Bunker from the movie “The Blues Brothers”.

So where should I invest my beer money?

April 21, 2008 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

Question: Why did the Tibetan chicken cross the road?

April 21, 2008 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

@Meursault
That would be liberating your juniper bushes

April 21, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | Comment

@Meursault

“I bought a Chinese once”

You should talk to ferin about that.

April 21, 2008 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

@Meursault:

http://www.serve.com/bonzai/monty/songs/ILoveChinese

April 21, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Comment

Invest in Taiwan

There are not very many investment opportunities out there, because of the recession in the US and inflation everywhere.

The Taiwan stock market is one good place to go. Thanks to the DPP, while markets in Hong Kong and China rocketed in the past, the Taiwan market languished.

Now with the upcoming KMT government, the Taiwan market is poised to catch up.

If you do not live in Taiwan, you can still invest in funds like TFC that are publicly traded in the US market.

April 21, 2008 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Inflation in Shanghai: people here are starting to feel it. Combine that with worldwide food prices increasing and there is potential trouble.

(I’m amazed I haven’t seen middle-aged Shanghainese housewives rioting in the supermarket over the cost of a basic bottle of cooking oil.)

Yes, the factories and businesses aimed at the export market are feeling the pinch. Those who deal with imports, though, or the domestic market are still doing very well.

Overall, however, I think the Chinese government will do their utmost to avoid economic disruption. They know that the one thing that could threaten their stranglehold on power would be a disruption to the Chinese people’s inalienable right to make money. (5000 years of history, and that’s what it all comes down to – making money.) They managed to avoid the Asian financial crisis in 1998, but this will be harder to avoid since the Chinese economy is now much more closely bound to that of the rest of the world. (WTO, double-edged sword, and other cliches.)

April 21, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

I just want to say, as a Chinese, I feel embarrassed and frustrated by the recent angry,extreme, even absurd so-called patriotic strikes against Carrefour and other things…I feel difficult talking to them because their sentiments and irritations are evidently irreversible and stubborn. This is reminiscent of what happened 2 years ago when China got infuriated with Janpanese textbook omitting several facts relating to China.

April 21, 2008 @ 11:13 pm | Comment

5000 years of history, and that’s what it all comes down to – making money.

Hehe, I know this is not very pertinent to your argument, but I have to respond. Most taxes in China were levied in kind for many dynasties and the commercial breakthrough in the Chinese economy did not take place until the transition from Tang to Song. Silver didn’t really become a widespread means of transaction until Ming. So, 5000 years? Nah. Say 1000 years or so.

April 22, 2008 @ 12:19 am | Comment

How’s the blue green algae in Tai Lake ? Will it be a new energy source instead of corn ?

April 22, 2008 @ 12:20 am | Comment

“Inflation in Shanghai: people here are starting to feel it. Combine that with worldwide food prices increasing and there is potential trouble.”

Starting?

I’ll bet those Shanghainese are a bit slow, aren’t they.

April 22, 2008 @ 12:52 am | Comment

CNN should make amends by cooperating with CCTV to develop a manual for “Proper etiquette for Westerners when confronted by the Glory of the Chinese Peoples for the first time” this would help with the indoctrination of westerners for correct behavior when they visit china in the summer of 2008 (for whatever reason). This manual could be used as the basis for patriotic education for the western media commentators.

It’s not that the western media is biased against china, it’s an issue of civility, western media people have not received the same level of education on how to behave properly regarding the People’s policies.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:26 am | Comment

“It’s not that the western media is biased against china, it’s an issue of civility, western media people have not received the same level of education on how to behave properly regarding the People’s policies.”

Eh, there’s clearly bias when the media go out of their way to rationalize a racist riot.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:33 am | Comment

@Lindel

That will not be necessary. We always make exceptions for Barbarians when it come to manners.

April 22, 2008 @ 1:33 am | Comment

,The Taiwan stock market is one good place to go. Thanks to the DPP, while markets in Hong Kong and China rocketed in the past, the Taiwan market languished.

ROFL. Yes, it was all the DPP’s fault. It had nothing to do with the legislature that shut down the government and froze budgets, nothing to do with the failure of Taiwan firms to provide timely and reliable information to investors, nothing to do with the lack of use of the market to raise capital and firms preference for in-house financing, nothing to do with the cross-ownership of firms and the family structures that prevent real shareholder action, nothing to do with the firms use of stock issues to pay employees, thus diluting value…. I could go on. Suffice to say that the reasons for the stock market’s “underperformance” here are structural and long-term.

No, it’s just easier to blame the DPP.

Michael

April 22, 2008 @ 1:41 am | Comment

@cao meng De
“Btw upon whom are you placing your bets on the next Special Olympics? I want some hot tips.”

To bet or not To bet, that is the question…

April 22, 2008 @ 2:21 am | Comment

@ Michael

Or is far easier to just blame the legislature. You sounded just like a Republican you know. Btw, all the things you mentioned (lack of use of the market to raise capital and firms preference for in-house financing, nothing to do with the cross-ownership of firms and the family structures that prevent real shareholder action, nothing to do with the firms use of stock issues to pay employees, thus diluting value) are all common occurrences in the US, too.

———————-

And talk about stock markets, you can long or short any market with ease today. If you want to get into the Taiwan market, you can look at EWT and for the China market is FXI. Both are index ETFs. Of course, there are short and ultrashort ETFs if you think a particular market is going to tank…not for the weak of heart though.

April 22, 2008 @ 2:51 am | Comment

On a lighter note:

Nan’s smoothie recipe:

In a blender, combine

1. 6-8 cubes of ice
2. 2 bananas (for bulk)
3. two handfuls of frozen fruit mixes. A nice tropical fruit mix with strawberries works really well.

4. two capfuls of Madagascar vanilla extract.
5. 4-5 teaspoons of cinnamon.
6. 1-2 teaspoons of ginger.
7. fill half of the blender with whole milk/soy milk (for creaminess) and half with orange juice.

Liquefy to limit separation of the mix while in the refrigerator.

“Apparently the Chinese are now claiming 5,000 years of indisputable territorial rights in Antarctica and are building little shops selling crappy plastic trinkets by Wenzhou immigrants in the hopes of driving out all native penguins, etc. in the name of Han glory…
Posted by: LoveChinaLongTime at April 21, 2008 03:44 PM”

And there are numerous genuine, ancient Chinese documents to prove it. Zheng He’s prodige, Wing Nut, took a fleet of 100 ships equipped with ancient UAVs and snow cats and mapped many areas of the continent still unseen by devilish western white eyes.

As for China’s economic immunity? Isn’t the Shanghai “A” market down by 50% since October ’07? Yeah, enjoy China’s “rise”. Wonder how those middle class investors are dealing with losing their savings and margin calls.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:33 am | Comment

How about a discussion of the significant difference in reaction to the “Genocide Olympics” Torch in the capitals of Europe, and the capitals of Southeast Asia?

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2008/04/21/olympic-torch-relay-in-southeast-asia/

China should continue to embrace its Asian neighbors, and make sure the fruits of its economic growth is shared with everyone in ASEAN.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:02 am | Comment

@CCT

When I read “Genocide Olympics” I thought for a moment you were ferin!

April 22, 2008 @ 4:07 am | Comment

@nanheyangrouchuan,

As someone who’s heavily invested in the Chinese stock market… I enjoy the 35% returns I’ve received over the past 12 months, and the 40% annualized returns I’ve received over the past 24 months.

Thanks for asking.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:00 am | Comment

The problem with EWT is that two companies TSM and Hon Hai are heavily represented.

TSM is in the semiconductor business which has its own business cycle.

Hon Hai’s cost advantage in manufacturing is slowly be eroded by higher cost of both labors and material. RMB appreciation vs greenback is not gonna help either.

Better bet would be invest in Xiamen and Fuzhou, two places that will feel immediate impact of direct contacts.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:18 am | Comment

@CCT

Congrats!

Though I must say that I wish that I had sold my Chinese holdings in last Oct. when I was up 100%. Got blindsided by the halting of “direct train”. Oh, well I guess up 40% is still not bad.

@nanheyangrouchuan

There are plenty of ways to make money. Shorting Fannie Mae and American Financial Industry have been enormously profitable for me over last year.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:31 am | Comment

About the issue of food prices and such, there is an article on the Economist claiming that the Chinese mainland is well shielded to fluctuating grain prices, and that the main impact would be on meats. Which presumably would be generally less destabilizing to the economy. What are anyone’s views on that?

link: http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11058402

April 22, 2008 @ 5:46 am | Comment

@CCT

No automatic stop loss order at least on most volatile ones?

April 22, 2008 @ 5:52 am | Comment

@hulian

Eating grains directly, instead of through meat of grain fed animals, is more efficient.

A good percentage of grains feeding power is lost in the process of feeding the animals.

Not that I don’t mind some animals proteins now and then.

April 22, 2008 @ 5:56 am | Comment

@ecodelta

I agree.

Everyone, please only eat veggies.

More meat for me : )

April 22, 2008 @ 6:00 am | Comment

Oh listen to all of these financial wizards and their 20/20 hindsight!

Look at the love SE Asia is showering on China’s genocide lighter!

w.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/22/2223518.htm?section=justin

April 22, 2008 @ 6:45 am | Comment

@ecodelta,

I buy to hold for the long, long-term. :) I will occasionally re-balance, but that’s it. No stop-loss.

@nanhe,

Don’t be so bratty; I also lost plenty on American equities over the past 12 months. That’s life.

@hualian,

Really interesting article, thanks. I had heard whispers of China’s obsession with self-sufficiency, and I thought it really was too conservative. Looks like I was wrong, and self-sufficiency really does make sense. I never knew that countries could potentially ban exports en masse, crippling the open market almost overnight.

I guess if you think about it (which I’ve never done before), perhaps grains are a strategic commodity like oil. Your country doesn’t survive long if exports are cut off.

I haven’t heard anyone in China complaining about rice costs. All complaints are squarely about pork and oil prices, both of which are obscenely high. I thought that was bad before I realized the scale of the problem world-wide… really, being forced to eat chicken instead of pork is a lot better than going without rice/grains at all.

April 22, 2008 @ 6:58 am | Comment

@CCT
Stop loss not incompatible with long term strategy.
Put one big enough to avoid false triggers. Save some scares, could be used to reinvest on same stock after a big dip.
Not favor constant sell/buy. Commissions eat you alive. (and wrong decisions too)

April 22, 2008 @ 7:11 am | Comment

@CCT

Just thought you could find interesting

“A random walk down wall street”
Burton G.Malkiel.

(If you do not already have it..)

April 22, 2008 @ 7:15 am | Comment

Oh, No not the “Efficient Market Theory” again. I thought Warren Buffett put nails in its coffins many years ago.

April 22, 2008 @ 7:37 am | Comment

@ecodelta,

I once considered a career as a quant for a hedge fund (D.E. Shaw). I studied financial engineering while in grad school… including a class with Andy Lo at MIT/Sloan. So I’ve read Malkiel’s book, and studied deeper the stochastic calculus behind the theory.

And after all was said and done… I decided buying and holding indefinitely was the right way to go with my own personal investments. :)

April 22, 2008 @ 7:46 am | Comment

@CCT

MIT? Got my CS studies there.

Nice place. Still profiting from what I learn there.

April 22, 2008 @ 7:54 am | Comment

@ecodelta,

Small world. :)

April 22, 2008 @ 8:05 am | Comment

From timesonline:

“A Japanese family and their son were waving a Tibetan flag when they were set upon by Beijing Olympic supporters in Independence Square,” W. Karthik, a senior police official in charge of security, said.

An AFP reporter who witnessed the incident said the Chinese mob attacked the adults and child with inflated plastic batons, shouting: “Taiwan and Tibet belong to China.”

Now imagine what will happen when the flag unfurls in Beijing.

Absolute disgrace, btw. Any chance of a Chinese apology?

April 22, 2008 @ 8:11 am | Comment

@CCT

As much as I subscribe to the buy and hold indefinitely strategy, sometime it’s better to sell when market goes nuts.

I wish I had sold PetroChina last Oct. It was and still is a great company. But it was little hard to justify the $1 trillion evaluation (as implied by Shanghai price). There was no way that PetroChina should be worth more than GDP of India (Warren Buffett valued PetroChina around $250 billion last fall).

I got too greedy and became a momentum player by holding onto my PetroChina holdings in those heady month. i thought the market would for sure go from nuts to nuttier.

I had fully expect the Chinese equities market to form a full blown bubble. I didn’t think that even Chinese government have the power to overcome the human nature by deflating an incipient bubble. Boy was I wrong. I learn my lessons in underestimating the Chinese leadership.

Should’ve sold with Buffett. I am lucky that I bought low.

My only saving grace in last 6 month was my shorting of American financials.

Money can be earn back but it really irks me that I violated my own rule of value investing and got burned in the momentum play that I often dismiss as gambling.

Oh well, I guess that I had to pay my tuition.

April 22, 2008 @ 8:18 am | Comment

@stuart

Well, at least they used inflated plastic batons…..

April 22, 2008 @ 8:19 am | Comment

Inflated plastic batons used on Japanese family?

Are we watching anime?

I strongly condemn such anime violence practised in real life!

April 22, 2008 @ 8:22 am | Comment

@Cao Meng De
“I thought Warren Buffett put nails in its coffins many years ago.”

Peter Lynch, Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Bill Miller… Just a few exceptions to the rule :-P

But personally find Ande Kostolany books interesting, do not know how much is he known in Anglo speaking world.

April 22, 2008 @ 8:30 am | Comment

@ecodelta

I guess I have no problem with the rule as long as I am among the few exceptions : )

I guess that you either a Francophone or speaks Deutsch?

April 22, 2008 @ 8:47 am | Comment

@Cao Meng De

Spanish+English+German+French+something else

Bits and pieces of Vietnamese

Got headaches too ;-)

April 22, 2008 @ 8:56 am | Comment

@ecodelta
what is something else?

April 22, 2008 @ 9:03 am | Comment

@Cao Mend De

Not Chinese ;-)

April 22, 2008 @ 9:06 am | Comment

@Cao Mend De

Not Chinese ;-)

April 22, 2008 @ 9:09 am | Comment

Here’s something else to comment on:

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7799247

(Slightly old, but made relevant by the Maoist victory in Nepal.)

I frankly can’t believe people believe India is a potential competitor to China on the long-term scale… not when its internal control + infrastructure seems so weak. China’s well on the way to having a *paved* road to every Chinese village (and the Communist Party was there long ago)… and India still has places where the local government hasn’t even built a hand-pump? Not to mention lack of schooling?

I find that absolutely remarkable, and so different from what’s been achieved in rural China.

It’s like reading about the early days of the Chinese Maoists. I guess it explains why Maoism is still relevant in Nepal and India.

April 22, 2008 @ 9:40 am | Comment

@CCT

Please stop educating other people esp Westerners.

How else am I suppose to profit from the information gap?

Cheers!

April 22, 2008 @ 10:05 am | Comment

Golly, look at all you future i-bankers.

I ‘invested’ in more bottles of perfume. Probably not the wisest financial decision considering I’m a poor lowly nonprofit drone, but at least I’ll smell great (and French.)

April 22, 2008 @ 10:14 am | Comment

@nausicaa

I had been brainwashed by American popular folklore to think that French people consume large quantity of perfumes to cover the … ahem.. French smell.

Thanks for setting me straight.

My profuse apologies to the great French people.

April 22, 2008 @ 10:22 am | Comment

Well…you know what Napoleon said to Josephine after a campaign: “Home in three days. Don’t wash.”

But I’m not French. I’m just doing my (small, humble) part to help the French fragrance industry.

April 22, 2008 @ 10:32 am | Comment

I know that you are not French. Just surprise that you are a woman. But I guess few men would use the name of Miyazaki heroine as his online moniker.

April 22, 2008 @ 10:43 am | Comment

@CCT

I share your incredulity at Western, mostly ‘Anglo sphere’, belief that India would give China run for her money.

But perhaps perception are creating reality on the Ground. Many car makers have move their production to India. Ford, Japanese and esp South Korean all have create foothold on the sub-continent. Car industry is one where it needs and usually foster a host of suppliers and support industry. It will be interesting to see how this will play out in India.

Posco is planning to invest $12 billion in its new steel plant in India. It is the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in India so far.

On paper it makes sense. India has large iron ore deposit and its nascent car industry and booming real estate construction would require lots of steel.

It has been in the plans for years now. If this was China. Government would’ve forcibly relocated the residents, clear the site and finish the plant in 6 month. But being India, The project has already been delayed by more than a year due to time-consuming regulatory clearances. Good news for Tata Steel, I guess.

In this kind of protective market, Indian domestic giants such as Tata group will do well. But is it really good for overall Indian economy? Can Tata Motors really compete against cut-throat competition from Chinese car makers?

Time will tell. I am holding off on Indian investment until I see Indian government get serious about infrastructure.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:12 am | Comment

“I share your incredulity at Western, mostly ‘Anglo sphere’, belief that India would give China run for her money.”

Why? Is India more likely to blockade foreign companies whose bosses show support for the Dalai Lama? Are Indian companies more or less inclined to shaft the foreign firms they do business with?

China might have the infrastructure, but it is also more volatile and restrictive.

April 22, 2008 @ 2:32 pm | Comment

@Cao Meng De,

Auto industry is very difficult to get right, as it entails numerous moving pieces. You have to get design, production, parts, maintenance, and of course infrastructure. And every piece of this needs skilled technicians + tightly managed inventory. Have you seen India’s labor laws? I personally doubt India will give China a run for its money at any point in the next two decades in this space.

India has done reasonably well in getting business in auto *parts* production, but the prospect of a domestic market for assembled cars is still on the distant, distant horizon.

@stuart,

You know not of what you speak. That simple.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

@Stuart

Talk is cheap.

I put my money where my mouth is.

Since last year, I’ve exit all my long positions in US. Now 80% of my wealth is invested in Chinese companies, with the rest in Latin America, Canada and Australia, all natural resource countries that fuels China’s growth.

I am still shorting American financial industry.

I’ve studied Indian equities and decided against investing for the reasons that I listed above. My only exposure to India is thru my investment in South Korean Steel maker POSCO that’s why I had been following the development of their Indian operation.

Before the Olympic fiasco, Carrefour has done extremely well in Chinese market. After the protest is over, you will not see Carrefour trying to pull out of China. To say that China is more restrictive than India in welcoming Foreign investment just shows your real ignorance in the subject. I hope you are not in the investment business, otherwise I feel sorry for your clients.

Do you homework before you speak, it will make you appear more intelligent.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

Richard,

We’ve always said China will be tested with its first serious bout of inflation or recession.

Ah, how shall I put this? Um, . . . how about this—

Where were you in the early 1980s and early 1990s?

How is that for gently subtle?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Cao Meng De,

China had been importing inflation from US via trade surplus. Once RMB is allowed to free- float, Chinese money supply growth will be brought under control.

That is the most, ah, [how can I put it?] *original* analysis I have ever heard.
Keep the day job . . .

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Jinhan,

Shanghai is always slow to catch on to the latest trend.

In the 1950s, it was the last place to give up capitalism and nationalize industry.
In the 1970s, it was the last place to give up communism and relax social controls.
In the 1990s, it was the last place to give up SOEs and embrace the free market.

Once Shanghai catches on, of course, it is the strongest advocate. Most decadent pre-1949, most Maoist post 1949 and now most stock market crazy.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

ecodelta,

Automatic stop-loss orders ?

It is a casino, not a stock market!

.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:29 pm | Comment

@DOR,

I don’t see the problem with Cao Meng De’s analysis on the source of inflation in China as being tied to exchange rate policy. Many financial analysts have made precisely the same argument.

There’s clearly inflation elsewhere in the world as well, so you can argue it’s only part of the answer. But I don’t see anything wrong with this answer… it’s clearly a huge contributing factor to inflation in China.

April 22, 2008 @ 3:40 pm | Comment

@cao meng de

80%? Uh Oh….

April 22, 2008 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

@ecodelta

Don’t worry about me. I am still 100% bullish on China. You will see that I am right in next five years.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:04 pm | Comment

“Don’t worry about me. I am still 100% bullish on China. You will see that I am right in next five years.”

What is “bullish”? Do you mean “bullsh#t?

Vive la France!

April 22, 2008 @ 4:27 pm | Comment

“You know not of what you speak. That simple.” – CCT

I posed a question. Your response tells me that you don’t have an answer. Even simpler.

April 22, 2008 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

“Do you homework before you speak, it will make you appear more intelligent.” – CMD

I refer you to the reply I gave some moments ago.

Learn your grammar before you write, it will lend credibility to your arguments.

April 22, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Comment

Here’s a real puzzle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhECYAi1i0I&NR=1

While we have some truly outstanding minds on show, care to explain the behaviour of China’s finest in this video?

April 22, 2008 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

@stuart,

Sure, I can explain it.

The mayor of Paris had hung a human rights banner in front of city hall, and the next stop was supposed to be his opportunity to wax poetic about human rights abuses in China and freedom for Tibet.

And the Chinese delegation said thanks, but no thanks: the rally is skipping this stop.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:31 am | Comment

Should have planned the torch route a little better, eh? Rangoon, Harare, or Havana might have been a better stop than Paris or London. Nagano’s looking like it might have been a really poor choice too.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:38 am | Comment

@Lime,

Not much you can do when the municipal government decides it wants to make a political statement. I think the organizers made the right statement in balancing the route. Numerous stops in Asia, only 2 in western Europe. North America got the torch for the same amount of time South America and Africa did.

I personally think Nagano and Seoul will both turn out fine. I think Australia is the only mine-field left, it’s really an European nation stuck in the Asia-pacific.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:26 am | Comment

@CCT
I think they could have figured out who the mayor of Paris was beforehand, and when they saw he was a socialist, thought about finding some other municipality to go through.

I haven’t seen much on South Korea’s reaction to all of this, but Japan is looking dicey. Fukuda has levelled the toughest talk of any important western leader, save Sarkozy, against Beijing, the Imperial Palace has said no member of the Imperial Family is going to the Olympics and Tibet is a factor, the torch guards have been told they’re not welcome, the Shinto Temple from the Nagano Olympics says it doesn’t wanted to be a part of the relay, and now it’s been vandalised. Only time will tell, but I think I might just skip Japan if I was them.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:40 am | Comment

@Limey

Old chap, how is your Chinese coming along?

Isn’t it interesting where torch relay is experiencing trouble.

Western country, UK, France, US.

Compare that with Argentina, Tazania, Oman, Malaysia.

Why is it that most pro-Tibetan protesters are white youth from affluent countries?

Kevin Rudd promised that he would come down on disruptors like a ton of bricks. I fully expect the professionalism of Aussie police force will competently handle any forceful disruptions.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:44 am | Comment

CCT,

“I think Australia is the only mine-field left, it’s really an European nation stuck in the Asia-pacific.”

I think you’re wrong. It’s an Australian nation stuck at the bottom of the world. Perhaps you’re right about the minefield though. Hope not.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:50 am | Comment

@Lime,

Time will prove one of us right. We’ll see, but I remain optimistic about the relay in Japan. The imperial family not visiting China in *any* context isn’t a surprise, and no one considers this a boycott.

I’m sure many people are in Japan are “concerned” with the Tibet issue, and the temple took probably the most extremist action we’ll see by refusing to be part of the relay. There are also a healthy number of Japanese rightists who hate China with a passion just out of principal alone.

But I believe the Japanese people as a whole are not hostile, and I believe there will be *very* little tolerance in Japan for overt demonstration or action, especially against the Olympic torch. Japanese media coverage of the recent events have received a heavy thumbs up from overseas Chinese in Japan.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:52 am | Comment

@Cao Meng De
Swimmingly. Thanks for asking.

Considering where Kevin Rudd’s main base of support is, I really doubt if he would be able to ‘come down like a ton of bricks’ on any protesters. Even if he wasn’t a left-leaning leader, there are definite limitation to what a government can do about any protests in the free world. That said, I agree that the police in Canberra will be professionals, and better prepared than London’s. There will be big protests but amid jeers and cheers, the procession will struggle through. I am very curious about Nagano though.

I know it’s comforting to Chinese Nationalists to think that it’s just rotten, spoiled, white guys that are determined to rain on the PRC’s parade, but there are some cracks in this interpretation. The fifteen thousand policeman Delhi brought in for one. (Are Indians ‘western’ in your definition?). And, as I say, the Japanese (western but not white), haven’t shown a whole lot of enthusiasm yet, as I pointed out.

I’m sure rain or shine, the Beijing Olympics will soldier on, but its becoming less and less the Caesar’s Triumph they wanted, and more and more a comedy of errors.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:03 am | Comment

@CCT

Well it’s worth remembering that the French, British, and American people, as a whole were not hostile either. The thing about protesters, at least in democracies is that the cause they represent is almost always a minority position, or at least one that is of minimal importance to the majority.
Like Australia and the rest of the western world, the Japanese government and police are going to be limited by what they can do. I expect there will be large protests, but a ton of police, so nothing untoward like Paris will happen. But if it’s big enough, it’ll get into the English language media and through it back to the PRC people, and that might just stir up some more anti-Japanese demos/boycotts, further undermining this whole One World Olympic celebration. That’s my prediction.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:12 am | Comment

@Lime,

India has something like 200,000 exiled Tibetans. Tibetans have previously set themselves on fire in India, not to mention nearly daily attempts to get over the walls of the Chinese consulate.

India also has a hundred different separatist (and other guerilla) conflicts of its own; there are probably literally a hundred different groups that’d love to get some front-page press by blowing themselves up with the torch. Same goes for Pakistan.

There might be a lot of people in the world who are “concerned” about Tibet; and who isn’t? I know I am. But when it comes to “righteous” anger over Tibet, it really is about white Europeans and the limited circle of locals who hang with white Europeans.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:12 am | Comment

Slight modification to previous most… white Europeans, limited circle of locals who hang with white Europeans, + Tibetans in exile.

As far as police being limited in what they can do in Japan and South Korea, I think you’re completely wrong. South Korea police has a ton of experience dealing firmly with violent rioters, probably more than anyone else on this planet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55PL9fcqYEc

April 23, 2008 @ 3:17 am | Comment

Lime,

The fifteen thousand policeman Delhi brought in for one. (Are Indians ‘western’ in your definition?)

C’mmon. do we really need to go over this? You think the Indian police were preparing for ordinary Indians to protest? India is HQ to 200,000 Tibetan exiles. Indian government’s handling of Tibetan protest so far is very telling in contrast of posturing by governments of UK, France, Germany and certain US presidential hopefuls.

Japanese relay is yet to be seen. The usually ultra-right nationalists will probably be there. Are there gonna be anything like London. Paris or San Fran? I doubt it.

btw. I watched Kevin Rudd’s speech to Peking University. He brought up human rights in Tibet. For some reason, when he presents the issues in Mandarin, it sounds much less grating than say speeches made by Nancy Pelosi.

Rudd is a man that understand China, and I respect him for it. Oz is lucky to have him at the helm.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:20 am | Comment

@CCT
Might be, I don’t know much about South Korea (as previous fuck ups by me on this blog have shown). I’m sure the police will do their job and protect the torch and quell any unlikely riots, but they can’t stop protests from happening.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:21 am | Comment

@ Cao
“Oz is lucky to have him at the helm.”
There again, only time will tell.

I missed the Delhi protests. Maybe you’re right, perhaps all the protesters were Tibetan ex-pats.

What UK leader was posturing about Tibet? Brown’s been about as evasive around PRC-Tibet-Human Rights questions as he can possibly be without becoming a total laughing stock.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Off on another track, I’ve just been reading about this Chinese arms shipment to Zimbabwe that has been stalled/turned back in South Africa.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman responded that “we hope relevant parties will not politicize this issue”, sticking to the usual hands-off, trade-between-sovereign-states story.

Well, if shipping arms to Zimbabwe in the middle of its election mess isn’t political, I have no clue what is. The Chinese government loves to play the impartial, non-interfering objective party, but it just doesn’t fly anymore than it would coming from any other major industrial power. Sometimes I’m stuck between thinking they are incredibly cynical and calculating, or just hopelessly naive in taking the casual outside observer as an idiot. I’m not really sure how many southern Africans would see this as “apolitical”.

The myth that economics and trade are somehow separate from politics is just that- wishful thinking based on stale ideology. I know this is the line the Chinese government has taken INSIDE China (make all the money you want, but touch politics and away you go), but I find their pronouncements to the non-PRC world increasingly ludicrous.

Again, maybe it all comes back to them desperately needing some new PR agents.

Disclaimer: this comment does not excuse the suspect international behaviour and moral hypocrisy of countless other countries when it comes to arms, trade and international economics. This comment, by sole reference to Chinese actions, in no way discounts the reprehensible bevahiour of other people in other places. It is not intended , implicitly or explicitly, to express that the People’s Republic of China is the sole source of problems in the world. In no way should this comment be used as an excuse to launch into a tu quoque attack on the United States of America, France or any other sovereign state which has also engaged in many dubious actions past and present, unless such actions are deemed DIRECTLY relevant to the discussion at hand.

I think I’m going to start including this disclaimer every time I try to comment on a story relating to Chinese government actions.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:36 am | Comment

@lime

You are right about Gordon Brown. I got him confused with those talking heads on British TV and newspapers. My apologies.

But I certainly haven’t heard any CURRENT Indian leader say “China’s human rights are deplorable but Olympic torch is about sports” like British Olympic minister trying to explain to the TV audience.

Difference? Perceptions of China among West vs other parts of the world

April 23, 2008 @ 3:53 am | Comment

“Western country, UK, France, US.

Compare that with Argentina, Tazania, Oman, Malaysia.”

“(Are Indians ‘western’ in your definition?). And, as I say, the Japanese (western but not white), haven’t shown a whole lot of enthusiasm yet, as I pointed out. ”

Isn’t Argentina a “Western” country?
India could be called a “Western” country from a Chinese perspective, Xuanzang’s “Journey to the West” was to India after all. But Japan? It’s certainly “Eastern” if you look at it from China. Maybe we should try to define the term “Western”. Wouldn’t that be fun?

April 23, 2008 @ 4:20 am | Comment

@mor,

Just goes to show how the same events continue to be divisive.

I see the Zimbabwe “arms” purchases, and I’m absolutely baffled. Why is this a *political* decision? A customer called up a Chinese arms manufacturer, and said I’d like to order 1000 pcs of your X, Y, and Z. I’ve just wired your funds, please arrange freight. The Chinese arms manufacturer checks the appropriate lists, and confirms that Zimbabwe isn’t under UN embargo, and decides to ship them.

So, what’s going on here? What did Beijing do wrong?

What’s the problem here? Should China care that Zimbabwe is embargoed by the EU? China itself is under an arms embargo by the EU, perhaps we should just disarm entirely.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:00 am | Comment

@Cao
I can’t say that I’ve heard an Indian leader say much of anything about anything recently, as I don’t often read Indian papers and Indian politics are rarely discussed in anything I do often read (I’m an ignorant American, I know). But doing a little search… Seems like the BJP has been the most critical of the Tibet thing. Here are a few articles;

http://tinyurl.com/5ojppe
http://tinyurl.com/6fyx2o

I’ll see if I can find any comments from the Congress Party.

@Mor
If you think about it, the Americas are to the east of China too. Perhaps Cali is really the mysterious orient.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:05 am | Comment

@lime

That why I capitalized on CURRENT Indian leadership. You can afford to be irresponsible when you are not the party in power.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:11 am | Comment

@Cao
The people cited are not members of the ruling Congress Party, but they are currently members of the government representing the interests of their constiuents. If anything, an opposition party’s criticisms of a foreign government should be more reflective of the public’s opinion, as they don’t have to mince words in the interests of the real-politik of international relations.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Still @ Cao
Arguably why McCain, Hilary, and Obama have all come out an urged a boycott ultimatum, while Bush is being as evasive as Brown and is still saying he’s planning on attending the opening ceremonies.

April 23, 2008 @ 6:28 am | Comment

@lime

You got a good point. I will concede to you on that point. Tibet issue, after all, lies very close to the fault line between Sino-Indian relationship since 1950s. We fought a war over the exact boundary of Tibet in 1962.

What about Argentina, Tanzania, Malaysia, Thailand and Oman then? Why protests are decided muted in these countries? Argentina is arguably a democracy and share similar cultural values as developed “North”.

April 23, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Comment

@Cao
Well, I thinking about it, and doing some quick research, I think I’ve got two basic reasons why the protests were so much more dramatic in Paris, London, and Frisco.
The first is that protesting is a bit of a pass time in first world countries. Our governments tend to be stable enough, and our legal systems lenient enough that a little civil disobedience is not that big a deal. You might spend a night in jail, or pay a fine of some kind, but unless it turns into a real riot, odds are that the consequences will be slight. That’s why you see protests all the time over lots of goofy things. You don’t really need to know anything about the issue, just a piece of cardboard with a catchy slogan (‘No Blood for Oil!’), a case of beer, a van, some friends, and you’ve got a pretty good weekend happening.
I admit that my knowledge of Tanzania, Malaysia, Oman, Thailand, and Argentina is slight, but it’s my understanding that these conditions are not so developed there. Protests are somewhat bigger deals in dictatorships (I think only Oman qualifies now), or countries that were recently under dictatorships. The other thing is that the people may be poorer and have less time and resources to fight for causes that are irrelevant to their daily lives.

Second reason is a concession to you that the negative reaction towards the PRC over Tibet in the western (white, northern, developed, free, Japan + Australia + New Zealand + Britain + Iceland + Western Europe + America + Canada + Japan + maybe Ireland, Some of Eastern Europe, and the ROC, whatever you want to call it) world may be a phenomenon partly specific to our culture, thanks to the post-colonial lens that we now view history through.
I think if you approached the average Englishman at the turn of the twentieth century and explained your ‘Tibet is part of China because we want it to be, and we don’t need to justify it to anyone’ argument to him, he probably would have seen this as reasonable.
In this era though, the end of the European, British, and Japanese Empires, along with the causes and effects of World War II have reshaped our ideas about nationhood, and the relationships between cultures and societies. My personal feeling is that we have become somewhat cynical about the idea of ‘nation’, and have come to carry something that might be seen as national guilt. We can’t help but see Tibet as another Ireland, Algeria, or India, and the PRC Chinese as a past and more primitive version of ourselves (we are all teleologists deep down aren’t we?).
This ideal is stronger in the left than the right, and I think you can see this partly in the fact that it is left leaning politicians (the mayor of Paris, Kevin Rudd, Nancy Pelosi) that are the most critical of the PRC, while the relatively right ones (Bush, Brown, and Harper) tend to take a more fence sitting position (admittedly, the non-English westerners, Sarkozy and Fukuda contradict this, admittedly, and perhaps this analysis doesn’t work as well for their countries). But the fact that it’s the left that consistently dominates the civil services of at least the Anglo world, these post-colonial ideas are guaranteed to be embedded within our Social Studies educations.
I’m not sure where you’re from, but if you are a product of the Mainland Chinese school system your command of English is amazingly good. If you did spend some of your high school education in an English world school system, I think you might be able to look back and see what I mean. I went through the Alberta school system ( part of one of the most right wing governments in North America) and can testify that this post-colonial view of the world dominated. If we want to be really cheesy, you might even argue I was ‘indoctrinated’.
Those are my theories on the matter. I don’t know how post-colonial colonised view the world. You would think that they would sympathise with Tibet somewhat, but perhaps some of them identify with the PRC as a new nation trying to rebuild itself? I don’t know. It would be nice if more non-Chinese, non-ex-imperialists would weigh in here.

April 23, 2008 @ 9:31 am | Comment

CCT,

As ignorant as I am about the shady complexities of international arms dealing, I somehow doubt this sort of transaction would go through without at least tacit acceptance from Beijing. The tone of the foreign ministry’s response to the issue hardly says “this has nothing to do with us”, but rather “this is normal trade between countries (not companies)”.

I know China is hardly totalitarian these days and cross-border trade is complex, but you’d be hard up to convince me that there is no “political” green light given to any arms shipment emanating from the PRC. We aren’t talking about plastic dolls going to Wal-Mart here. I don’t think Beijing would leave itself open to egg on its face by letting its arms manufacturers deal with whomever they pleased at a purely commercial level.

The unfortunate situation in Zimbabwe doesn’t need any more encouragement, particularly of the weaponry variety.
Thankfully, the ship might return to China because of “difficulty docking”. I guess the best solution- Chinese gov’t face is saved, and the shipment doesn’t get involved in Mugabe’s ‘recount’.

April 23, 2008 @ 10:13 am | Comment

@Lime

I appreciate your well articulated and thoughtful response. I will come clean about my background. I am indeed a product of American high school and university education.

My High School history teacher was a full blooded Native American and one of the textbook we used is “Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early North America” by Gary Nash. I was very impressed by the way how Americans come to grip with their past, including admitting past mistakes. I came to admire the left intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky.

When I first came to America, I dismissed all American media as racist, capitalist propaganda, full of lies about China, biased against indigenous people of Palestine and South Africa.

My view begin to change, but I was having difficulty in bridging the gap between what I learned in Chinese elemetary school and what’s being reported in the West. In fact, I’ve asked my history teacher. He told me that I must seek out the truth myself. I frankly didn’t know how that could be when two source of information paints diametrically opposing views.

Then I discovered American Sinologists such as Fairbank. I beginning to believe that most of the perception gap results from misunderstanding.

Throughout high school, I delivered newspapers esp. New York Times. It was my primary window to understand the world. I noticed that China coverage is a usually a little off, not exactly the life in China as I had known. I chalked it off as Westerners don’t really get China. I gobbled up everything else including reporting on Bosnia and first Chechen war.

I came out of high school thoroughly identified with the liberal cause with a left leaning. There are increasingly more coverage of China in the papers, and I read more books on China written by Western Sinologists. I come to appreciate that Western scholarships and reporting on China allow me to look at China in fresh perspectives.

My hope was for China to develop along the same liberal vein as the West and become a happy utopia of a diverse multi-ethnic democracy.

My first personal experience with the perception gap was a meeting with a white South African editor of school’s yearbook during my freshmen year. Somehow, he starts talking about how China is an aggressive power. At the time, I had always thought China is a mostly a peaceful passive country with no aggressive past.

He brought up Tibet. I countered that Tibet has always been part of China. He postulate that since China did not hesistate in using force against its own people in Tiananmen, it can’t not be trusted to be a member of international community and must be prone to use oversea military ventures to divert domestic tension. I challenge him when was the last time China invaded another country. It didn’t help my cause when my Vietnamese friend present promptly informed me 1979.

I thought it is totally ridiculous how could a person who never been to China, whose entire knowledge of China came from news media claim to know more about nature of China than me, a native speaker who grew up there and understand its cultural history.

I couldn’t follow his leap of logic but that lead me to internet forums to read about debates on democracy, Tibet and human rights in China. Most of the time, the internet forums are just bunch of people talking right past each other.

I came away convinced as ever of China’s historic claim to Tibet. But being brought up in China under an anti-colonial and pro-self determination discourse, I wondered how I could justify my support of Palestinian cause but deny Tibetans the same rights and whether Tibetan resistance can be compared to Chinese resistance of the Japanese.

What surprised me was comments from some Westerners who live in China who I would have thought know better to echo the same views that I read in New York time editorial.

Then Kosovo war came along and started my total disillussionment with Western Media, particularly New York Times.

In the begining, I totally supported the NATO intervention in Kosovo as I didn’t want a repeat of Bosnia.

What changed my view was how Western media cavalierly handled the Belgrade Chinese Embassy Bombing.

Up to the bombing, I felt Chinese government were wrong in support Serbian dictator Milosevic.

I also believed at the time that the bombing must’ve been an accident. But I was shocked at the fact Clinton didn’t make an immediate and public apology for this grave error in which lives were taken.

When students took to the streets in Beijing. I sympathized with them. Most Western media including CNN and New York Times seemed to imply that these student protest were orchestrated by Beijing Government. That, I felt was at once disingenuous and robbed those young people of their voice by implying that they were simple government stooges. By the way the most recent New York Times article is implying the same about the current situation.

I was forced to confront the quality of media reporting. I had always relied on Main Stream Media up to this point to know my world. I had always known their China coverage is a little off, but I had always chalked it off to Chinese exceptionalism that foreigners don’t really understand China. But how do I know that these journalists really get Serbia, Russia or Sudan?

I started to do research on the internet. I learned about the Serbian side of the story, what two historic Battles of Kosovo against Ottomans had mean to Serbian nationalism. Also some of the tactics employed by KLA(Kosovo Liberation Army) in the insurgency against Serbia. The ethnic cleansing and counter-ethnic cleansing.

I became less certain of the wisdom of NATO intervention in Kosovo. It seemed that it was more of a reaction of Western moral outrage and quilt about Bosnia and Rwanda than Kosovo itself

I think the biggest disillusionment was the realization that people worked in media and government are equally if not more clueless than I am.

I feared that demonization of China will pave the way for Sino-American confrontation over Taiwan and by extension Tibet/Xinjiang.

I rambled on quite a bit. Do I have a point. Maybe. The biggest problem that I have with many of the activists is that few bothered to really do their homework when a quick google search would have brought a wealth of information. People like Mia Farrow go to length to organize and protest, but does she really understand what is going in Darfur? My guess is no.

I am not religious but I believe it’s a moral duty to seek truth and wisdom.

thanks for reading my rambling.

Cheers

April 23, 2008 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Cao,

The CCP are laying low and jotting down names right now. I don’t know what they’ll do when they make their retaliatory moves, but my bet is that they’ll do so for the greater benefits of China.

I suspect they’re not gonna let this humiliation go quietly. They’ll have to let the West know that we’re not Japan, we don’t roll over and play dead.

April 23, 2008 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

@Cao
Good post, old chap. I’ll think on it for awhile. I appreciate the intellectual honesty.

@Middle Finger
You are aware that Japan fought one of the bloodiest, if not the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind against the ‘west’, and did not surrender until two of its cities were nuked, even after millions of their own people were dead and defeat was all but inevitable? Or do you consider anything less than perpetual hostility against anybody with any differences from you ‘rolling over and playing dead’?

April 23, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

@Middle Finger Kingdom

We don’t need to let the West know that we’re not Japan. Your average Western political elite today is pretty stupid, a far cry from Latin-educated philosophers that made up America’s founding fathers or cold-blooded but intelligient and brutally efficient British Imperialist of the yore. Yet they are not so retarded to confuse China with Japan.

One reason that they piling on us now, from human rights to Darfur to Burma to Tibet to environment to Zimbabwe, is because deep down they fear us. They fear what we would become.

The West is no longer the self-confident block that treated the world as their own exclusive oyster. They can feel the change in the wind, and they are afraid, afraid of a future where a non-Western superpower looms over the horizon.

They look upon China and see where they once were, full of dynamism and optimistic about the future.

At this point, We are literally younger than them. I will still be around long after many of the posters here are gone.

We are the future and they know it.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:02 pm | Comment

“So, what’s going on here? What did Beijing do wrong?”

Yeah, right, CCT, the government had absolutely nothing to do with it. In China, arms sales are a perfectly private business. Come on, don’t play dumb, you can do better than that.
What’s wrong with selling weapons to a murderer? Nothing at all, but waving banners or having tea with the DL, that’s a serious crime.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

Cao,

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Comment

@Cao Meng De
But here’s the trick; what separates ‘you’ from ‘us’? What makes you so different? The rather dopey comment by Mr. Finger brings up a rather good comparison. With the ‘west’ and ‘Japan’ we were convinced that we were diametrically opposed societies, but once we got done killing each other, it gradually became apparent that what the Japanese wanted and what the ‘west’ wanted were not actually that different, and the kind of worlds we wanted to live weren’t so different either.
I think that if the PRC continues along the path its going down now, especially if we can avoid the whole slaughtering each other part, the Chinese will eventually discover that they too have become nothing less than westerners.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Still @Cao
By the way, I haven’t written any nightmare prophecies about how China is likely to collapse, and be humiliated again, even though I do think it’s far from a total impossibility, mostly because it’s just unprovable speculation and will only annoy you and others. So in the interest of keeping the discussion friendly and constructive, could I ask that you pay me the same courtesy and stop announcing predictions of *my* civilisation’s collapse?

April 23, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

@Lime

My experience living in both China and United States inform me that there is indeed very little that separates ‘you’ from ‘us’?

Unfortunately most people don’t understand that, and they won’t.

Equally relevant is that modern nation-states are animals with incredible staying power. As long as people are banding together in different groups, there will be jostling for power.

I am not talking about cultural conflicts or clash of civilization. In fact I think Samuel Huntington is rather daft. My Mom thinks I am totally “Westernized” whatever that means.

The existence of Thermo-nuclear weapons will probably means there won’t be any whole sale slaughtering.

Many Chinese have great admiration for United States. What is usually unspoken is that they want their country to be become, indeed to replace United States as the pre-eminent power.

What do I want? Twofish in his blog mentioned that 10,000 people exerts a vast amount of influence over the rest of 6 billion. I aspire to be among the 10,000.

But at the end of the day, I am probably just as happy to surf everyday, dance every night, travel the world and hang out with my girl.

April 23, 2008 @ 2:55 pm | Comment

@Lime

“So in the interest of keeping the discussion friendly and constructive, could I ask that you pay me the same courtesy and stop announcing predictions of *my* civilisation’s collapse?”

I don’t really think in terms of civilization but rather relative power of nation-states.

If you must know, I am still bullish on United States and most Western countries over long term. Warren Buffett is right that in the long run, people of the United State (North America, if you like) will live better and richer than they are now.

Just the relative power of North America, as measure against the rest of the world will decline as the other parts of the world catch up in technology and standards of living.

Just as British today live better and richer lives today even though they lost their empire.

Okay I will stop now.

Deal, I will try to control my cultural hegemonist urges.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:09 pm | Comment

Cao,

don’t get soft on me now, this is a once in a liftime opportunity for China to get back on its feet and reclaim what is rightfully ours.

You’ve still been influenced by American liberal democratic theology, in a few years, you’ll wise up and see my points.

April 23, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

Middle Finger Kingdom,

Hahaha, don’t worry what’s ours will still be ours, there is no running away from it.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:01 pm | Comment

hahaha, yup. I think what’s not really mentioned is that most non-western nations by and large have stood by China. I think they understand their ultimate interests lie with China.

Such bias attacks from the West can easily fall upon any Asian and middle eastern nations. And in that sense, you’re right, the West is panicking.

April 23, 2008 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

> I think they understand their ultimate interests lie with China.

Yeah, just ask anyone from Zim, hey?

http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/robert_mugabe.html

April 24, 2008 @ 6:29 am | Comment

@Cao Meng De

“My Mom thinks I am totally “Westernized” whatever that means.”

It means: you are living in the good old US of A, enjoying all the privileges, freedoms and civil rights that you think for some reason are not for the average Chinese people. You actually don’t give a sh+t about the people of China, because you never shared their hardships.

April 24, 2008 @ 8:45 am | Comment

mor,

Exactly, if you’ve shared the hardships with the average Chinese, and even vicariously from your parents, then you know what’s happening in China is nothing short of a miracle. And that’s why what is the West is doing is perceived by the Chinese as the West is deliberately fucking with them. So, fuck off

April 24, 2008 @ 10:33 am | Comment

enjoying all the privileges, freedoms and civil rights

Which Chinese person here has said China doesn’t deserve the wealth and standard of living that America has? Who said they don’t deserve civil rights? They just oppose slimeballs like you trying to leverage these things for their own benefit.

April 24, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Comment

@ Ferin:

And if you think many Chinese people are disgusted at Westerners “trying to leverage these things for their own benefit” imagine how many of us feel when we see princeling brats in the West “demonstrating” against CNN when we all know they would never have the cojones to protest against any genuinely menevolant Government that would actually respond in any serious way.

Personally, I don’t do demonstrations: I find them unseemly. But for God’s sake, even I can spot a group of phonies when I see them. Paris ’68. Soweto ’76. Tehran ’78. Beijing ’89. No matter what you thought of each movement, they were students fighting the Establishment, facing up to the government despite the possibility of suffering real consequences.

They werent a group of Princeling brats bussed in and given lunch money by their Embassy, and taking photos they can proudly show to their apparatchik Mummies and Daddies.

April 24, 2008 @ 11:14 am | Comment

@CCT,

China has had an extremely loose monetary policy for a number of years, and as a consequence, a very rapid rise in consumption. At some point, say 2007+, that translates into inflation. Throw in a supply shock (pork, rice) and there are more than enough domestic factors to account for the increase in prices.

Consumer goods imports are not significant enough to have a meaningful impact of total inflation. In Hong Kong or Singapore, where imports are vastly larger than domestic production, imported inflation/deflation is quite common. Not in China, though.

April 24, 2008 @ 11:38 am | Comment

princeling brats in the West “demonstrating” against CNN

They’re free to criticize CNN in China too ;)

A lot of the protesters aren’t even Chinese. Many of them are from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

April 24, 2008 @ 11:52 am | Comment

>They’re free to criticize CNN in China too ;)

Reminds me of a Soviet joke. An American is in the USSR chatting to his minder outside his hotel in Moscow. The American says to the Russian, “You know why America is a better country than the Soviet Union?” “Back in America, I’m free to stand up in public and shout ‘President Reagan is a fascist dictator!’ and I won’t be sent to jail by the police. Can you say the same thing for the Soviet Union?”

The Russian looks at the American, and says, “But Mr. ___, here in Soviet Union, we also can criticise Mr. Reagan without any trouble from the police, so you see we also have same freedom!”

April 24, 2008 @ 12:04 pm | Comment

lol I was thinking of that

April 24, 2008 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

Peanut butter,

so what u saying, America is better than China? no way.

April 24, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

@Stinky Finger

“Exactly, if you’ve shared the hardships with the average Chinese, and even vicariously from your parents, then you know what’s happening in China is nothing short of a miracle. And that’s why what is the West is doing is perceived by the Chinese as the West is deliberately fucking with them. So, fuck off”

We will, and we’ll take all our money and technology with us. And then we’ll see what kind of miracle China is able to create without foreign aid.
Where are you posting from? Let me guess! USA, Canada, Australia?

April 24, 2008 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

We will, and we’ll take all our money and technology with us.

Sure, fuck off. 60-75% of the money and tech comes from Asia anyway.

April 25, 2008 @ 6:13 am | Comment

and we’ll see what kind of recovery Americans will pull with the dollar at 1:10 to the Euro and petrodollars switched to petroeuros.

enjoy your $1,000 tank of gas.

April 25, 2008 @ 6:14 am | Comment

“Sure, fuck off. 60-75% of the money and tech comes from Asia anyway.”

That’s a good one. You really are a joker.

“and we’ll see what kind of recovery Americans will pull with the dollar at 1:10 to the Euro and petrodollars switched to petroeuros.

enjoy your $1,000 tank of gas.”

That’s your problem, because you are American. I’m from Europe.

April 25, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

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