What should Obama do for China?

Here’s your chance to tell him.

I arrived in one piece. Was hoping maybe winter would be late this year. But no. It’s brutal out there.

______________

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: 88 Comments

Oh sure, China has been able to make all these things it makes (both civilian and military) because it went back to square one and reinvented them all. Or are you suggesting that China reverse engineered/stole every single piece of technology it used today.

They paid for it, either in labor or cash.

As for aid, even low interest loans are damn useful. As for FDI, do you have some evidence for your claims about where investment came from?

It’s still nothing compared to the damage done during WW2- a situation which deteriorated quickly under Mao. The Overseas Chinese send back $22-40 billion every year which trumps the total amount of aid received by China in its entire history.

FDI by Source: http://www.china-profile.com/data/fig_fdi_3.htm

Much of the “Hong Kong” part is actually Chinese nationals in Hong Kong investing back into China.

Breakdown:

45% Hong Kong
9% Japan
7% Taiwan
5% Singapore
5% South Korea

@stuart
No, no! You’re just not getting it, feromerp. Theft doesn’t involve any payment at all. Or are you complaining about robbery planning costs?

So? You didn’t pay them for the compass, gunpowder, cast-iron, blast furnace, salt, paper, inoculation, or the printing press. You owe them trillions upon trillions for that. China pays for almost all of the IP it “receives” from the West with cash or labor (in the case of Russia, uranium and other materials).

Now stop trolling.

Not without suffering a mortal wound itself.

Look again. The US provides only 9% of China’s FDI, is only 2% of its GDP, and employs only 1.2% of the population. Or less. China does not need the US, never did and never will. They just don’t mind them. But if they become too much of a threat, who knows what will happen?

November 21, 2009 @ 1:13 am | Comment

Really Raj, it’s baffling that you seem to ignore the obvious fact that China pretty much bought all of its tech- I know News Corporation tells everyone that they steal everything (which would be true if you were describing the West and their aping of pre-1600s Chinese technology) but in truth they get much of their military tech from Israel and Russia, for $$$$.

Civilian tech they either learn from making it or they pay for the IP.

November 21, 2009 @ 1:15 am | Comment

November 21, 2009.

This day, marks the beginning of the end, of the comfortable zone, where billions of people on this earth, retreat every day, in quiet peace.

Hacked: Sensitive Documents Lifted from Hadley Climate Center

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/11/20/hacked-sensitive-documents-lifted-from-hadley-climate-center/?blog_id=9&post_id=8495

Now think about China, and their reticence to play by the rules of the West. They might be not as stupid as they are portrayed in the Western news.

The lies, the F**king lies. All over the place, everywhere. A culture of lies and deception, on a global scale. When will it end? When, will, it end?

Enough, is enough.

They might well be on “something” here.

November 21, 2009 @ 4:26 am | Comment

Where’s the headline on CNN????

Oh wait…

Winfrey announces end of ‘Oprah’

November 21, 2009 @ 4:32 am | Comment

Aaah..

The crazies of this world… The crazies…

US Army toyed with telepathic ray gun

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13513-us-army-toyed-with-telepathic-ray-gun.html

Now just ask yourself one simple question: What is the real tech, currently available in this world, and used.

November 21, 2009 @ 5:06 am | Comment

No offense but are you on crack?

and their reticence to play by the rules of the West.

What a joke. I laughed.

November 21, 2009 @ 5:10 am | Comment

Richard, is your site by any chance the homepage for computers at a specialized mental institution for Chinese nationalists, or something along those lines? You might want to check into this. I never cease to be amazed by some of the comments.

November 21, 2009 @ 5:48 am | Comment

Kevin,

How about raving loonies who thinks Mao is some kind of madman?

November 21, 2009 @ 6:04 am | Comment

A mental institution for grievance mongering fenwai (angry foreigners) or crappeyouthes

November 21, 2009 @ 6:17 am | Comment

OK, I have to admit that merpferin is right about one figure. Chinese exports to the US (China’s largest export trading partner) are 17.7% of $1.5 trillion. $250 billion is just 3% of China’s 2008 GDP of around $8.0 trillion. (all of the figures are from the CIA wolrd factbook on China).

November 21, 2009 @ 9:20 am | Comment

@merp

“China could bring the US to its knees, but to no benefit to itself (unless the US is overly hostile).”

Perhaps it is time for that hostility. The so-caled PLA has never been tested in battle. All they seem to be able to do is kill their own people. Perhaps we should put it to the test. Marching like robots in Tiananmen Square isn’t exactly a prelude for combat.

November 21, 2009 @ 9:25 am | Comment

That’s the second time you’ve “threatened” war between America and China, Not_a_Sinophile. I remember you saying something like “putting China in its place”. Talk about small man syndrome…

I don’t need to elaborate but that’s not going to happen, unless you want America to turn into a nuclear wasteland.

Not going to go any further than that because as usual Richard will ban me for responding to you and stuart’s troll posts.

November 21, 2009 @ 11:14 am | Comment

I think NaS has invented time travel….

http://www.pekingduck.org/2008/10/george-soros-china-rising-us-declining/

October 2008: Not_a_Sinophile said

It’s a shame that Soros uttered his prediction. On the other hand it could act as a “wake up” call to the US. If there ever was a time to engage with the rest of the world it is now. Developing a real alternative energy resource industry, freeing ourselves from the yoke of petroleum, rededicating ourselves to excellence in education, expanding scientific research (including real space exploration….not space shuttle BS), developing the most sophisticated communication systems, rebuilding our infrastructure would keep the Chinese in their place (a third rate nation of subsistence farmers) for decades to come….. maybe even forever. We wouldn’t even have to fire a shot militarily. By maintaining leadership (and in many ways regaining leadership) the US would defeat the Chinese (the government AND the people) through sheer superiority.

I laughed then, I laugh again now. What’s funny is that in that same thread I brought up stats on how very very little the US contributes to China’s GDP

By who? The most convincing reports I’m getting is that it’s 10% of GDP, 6% of employment.

NPLs considered I’m not convinced that the Chinese financial sector is doing as poorly as America would like.

But it was buried and ignored. Turns out I’m right about the second line too, this is fun 🙂 So what’s the score now, merp vs NaS 100 to 0?

November 21, 2009 @ 11:20 am | Comment

I forgot this gem:

If the US doesn’t have the collective political will to do that then all, less desirable alternative to keeping the Chinese in their should be explored….no matter what the human cost.

November 21, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Comment

How do you feel Not_a_Sinophile?

I meant the nail on your head, hurt?

Hehe, you need chicken’s help then.

How does it feel travelling back to 2008 October.

That made my day.

Bravo again merp.

November 21, 2009 @ 4:29 pm | Comment

I know this isn’t an open thread, but I’m going to treat it like one:

Richard, a while back you and a hell of a lot of other China blogs which had previously been largely unblocked got blocked, at the time you all acted like it wasn’t anything and anyway would end after the 60th anniversary. It’s now 40 days since the anniversary with no movement. Do you still believe your opinion as previously stated after I vented on the CCP:

“to point to the “Communist Party” and foam at the mouth and associate anyone involved with the blocking is a bit extreme, like my blasting the US Defense Department news department for the evil behavior at Abu Ghraib. The Communist Party is made up of tectonic plates rubbing against one another and you can’t definite it as a monolith. Meanwhile, its citizens don’t seem too hysterical about it, and it is their country. A hefty percentage of this blog is about censorship in China and I have never stopped for an instant, as with this post. But you have to keep it in perspective. Chinese people who see comments like yours are going to laugh and say, “Look at how these white foreign guys get bent out of shape and rend their garments as we, the people of China, go about our business.” Now, that’s not an entirely fair argument either, and that’s why I keep complaining and posting. But there are limits, you can’t just take a shotgun approach and scream Fuck the CCP. Well, you can and you did, but that tone and that extreme attitude will look like more irrational hysteria to the people here on the ground for whom this is chiefly a nuisance they can easily get around if they so choose.

As far as I can see, nobody has owned up to or explained this decision, nor will they, and blocking has gone beyond the point where proxies are much use, nor do any free VPN services work – and it’s probably just a matter of time before the others get blocked too.

November 21, 2009 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

Amazing how you quote my criticism of the US position and condition as a response to a little goading. I notice that my comment about the PLA’s “achievements” was ignored. Also, I actually helped to confirm your GDP figures and for that I am attacked. By the way, you keep talking about this great powerhouse: using the same source of information (CIA world factbook) although China’s GDP is no. 3 in the world, on a per capita basis it is only $6,000 (133rd in the world) vs $47,000 in the US(10th in the world).

So, we’re really shaking in our boots about the 800 million subsistence farmers throughout the Chinese countryside who have no access to decent (or any) education or decent (or any) health care. When the majority of Chinese citizens (maybe I should say, industrial slaves and agricultural serfs) attain a standard of living beyond third world status, you will actually have a leg upon which to stand.

Before you jump down my throat, credit must be given to the 300 million Chinese who have risen to a new properity through hard work and perseverance under tough conditions. Daily living is tough, but when your government tries to destroy you (cultural revolution and great leap forward) the obstacles can be overwhelming. The accomplishments of the Chinese middle class are therefore particularly impressive.

November 21, 2009 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

“I laughed then, I laugh again now. What’s funny is that in that same thread I brought up stats on how very very little the US contributes to China’s GDP”

Ferin, you are fully aware of the economical power of the US and its global extent right (hint: Think US dollar and the SDF and the CFR)? When one is referring to the US, you might want to think about all the economies controlled by it, instead of narrowly focusing on the US itself. You might then start to understand what’s going on.

November 22, 2009 @ 12:17 am | Comment

(hint: Think US dollar and the SDR and the CFR)? – Typo…

November 22, 2009 @ 12:21 am | Comment

‘You might then start to understand what’s going on’

-Boo, I strongly recommend you go utube Peter Schiff, read/watch how he talk about the melting down of the US economy since 2006…

Everyone who loves the web (it is quite different from the mainstream media isn’t it?)knows what’s going on.

And my beloved deadmalls.com which has a feature of ‘click’ on every state for the US dead malls.

It tells the story dude,even your name is Bao.Hehe.

November 22, 2009 @ 2:42 am | Comment

“Bravo again merp.”

A self supporting troll. Interesting

November 22, 2009 @ 2:59 am | Comment

@Not_a_Sinophile

I agree.

300 millions did raise above poverty levels not because of the CCP but in spite of the CCP.

Actually if the CCP had stepped to the side just a little bit sooner, there would be either more above poverty or the same 300 would be farther away from it.

Of course CCP and its princelings gets the better part of the produce so far.

November 22, 2009 @ 3:04 am | Comment

I notice that my comment about the PLA’s “achievements

The PLA kicked your ass with crappy weaponry several times. They defeated your CIA-funded uprising of Tibetan nobles and landlords, they helped kick you out of Vietnam, and they helped kick you out of Korea.

So far the PLA has won every battle against America… let me quote the old thread

Tibetan Monk Riot of 59: US supported Dalai: Dalai driven out of China.

89 Political Incident: US supported the “activsts”: activists driven out of China.

Hong Kong negotiation with CCP: US supported the UK: UK driven out of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Financial Battle: US intervened in Hong Kong: US lost big in its investments.

Bush started Anti-Communist campaign, started anti-Terror war: US national power declines, CCP uses this period to clean up its Urgher activists and Tiebtan activists.

From your friend, HongXing

So, we’re really shaking in our boots about the 800 million subsistence farmers throughout the Chinese countryside who have no access to decent (or any) education or decent (or any) health care.

Oh yes and I’m sure the CCP is really shaking in their boots about your redneck underclass that is 100 pounds overweight and has the equivalent of a 6 year education in China.

Ferin, you are fully aware of the economical power of the US and its global extent right (hint: Think US dollar and the SDF and the CFR)?

US Bankers do not control East Asian banks. Their influence is limited to Europe, Latin America, etc.

November 22, 2009 @ 3:21 am | Comment

@ecodelta

300 millions did raise above poverty levels not because of the CCP but in spite of the CCP.

Definitely for the first several decades. They’ve been doing OK in the last 10, 20 years.

November 22, 2009 @ 3:22 am | Comment

SHOCKING NEWS! ‘No better time to be a communist in US’

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-better-time-to-be-a-communist-in-US/articleshow/5253066.cms

NEW DELHI: The three-day international conference of communist and workers’ parties began on Friday amidst a call to intensify popular struggles
and expand solidarities in the wake of the current world capitalist crisis.

So confident are communist leaders of the solution they can offer to current crisis in capitalism that even the leader of Communist Party of USA, Scott Marshall, said, “There could not have been a better time to be a communist in USA than this.”

While the Chinese delegation, monitored by one embassy official in Delhi, kept away from media, leaders from other parties said the ideology had a bright future. Kerala CM VS Achuthanandan said communism was not only facing threat from outside but even within as there is an attempt to dilute the ideology.

Inaugurating the conference, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said irrespective of the crisis, capitalism does not automatically collapse. “It needs to be overthrown. This requires that all of us need to constantly sharpen and strengthen the revolutionary ideological struggle of the working class and its decisive intervention under the leadership of a party wedded to Marxism-Leninism — the subjective factor without which no revolutionary transformation is possible,” he said.

In the delegate session, leaders from Latin American countries underlined that for progressive forces in their region, coming to power of Barack Obama in USA did not indicate any favorable change. It represented only a new tactic to stall march of progressive forces in the region. They underlined various steps taken by US under Obama to strengthen forces of reaction in the region.

November 22, 2009 @ 4:34 am | Comment

“It represented only a new tactic to stall march of progressive forces in the region.”

Setting up the people to hate Communism? Reviving the flame for a future confrontation, on a global scale of ideology, against the Red Nation?

Black, white, black, white. Cold, warm, cold warm. Republicans, democrats, republicans, democrats.

Predictive programming…

November 22, 2009 @ 4:38 am | Comment

“They underlined various steps taken by US under Obama to strengthen forces of reaction in the region.”

Isn’t he and his policies hated now? I wonder why.

“strengthen forces of reaction”

Brilliant.

November 22, 2009 @ 4:45 am | Comment

First, apologies for my long silence. I’ve been working and traveling this trip and have not been looking much at my own blog.

Whether the US accounts for 2 percent or 18 percent of China’s GDP isn’t the point. The two nations are joined at the hip, and they both know it. It may be only 2 or 3 percent, but that seemingly small number can carry huge leverage. And it’s deeper and more complex than just a figure from the often questionable CIA Fact Book, which I used to work with back when I worked for a software company on global statistics. It is not the Bible. Domestic consumption is important, but a hefty percentage of those factories in Guangdong making shoes and bicycles and ball bearings designer eyeglass frames are not making them for sale in China. Domestic consumption may have picked up among the urban middle class (which has far less purchasing power than what we in the West would define as the middle class) but the Chinese are still forced to save most of their income for education and healthcare. As a country built on manufacturing for export, independence from the West in general and the US in particular is a long ways off. Merp makes some fair points, but his conclusions are false. He makes it sounds as though China can simply shrug the US off, forgetting how much US debt it owns and continues to purchase.

FOARP, I stand by my outlook of censorship here: It is vile and detestable and it’s gotten worse. I have never had as much trouble with the Chinese Internet as I have this trip, with so much being inaccessible, and even many of the proxy sites blocked, so getting around the GFW is harder than ever if you don’t dish out money for Witopia and the like.

That said, US outrage about this censorship plays into the government hands as an example of outsiders trashing China over something that is its own business, and something that most of its own people care little or nothing about. All of my Chinese friends deal with it as just another government nuisance and one they all know how to overcome.

I could scream about my site being blocked, but I don’t see what good it will do. Fool’s Mountain, Danwei, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, all the wordpress and blogspot blogs – all suffer the same frustration. But what do you propose doing about it? Cursing Hu Jintao? Serious question. If I am going to slam the CCP and get emotional, it’s going to be about something I perceive to be an act of inhumanity, such as an avaricious official stealing a child’s identity so his own daughter can get into college, thus ruining the victim’s life, or putting students in jail for ten years for discussion democracy.

Let’s go back to thethread you linked to above; here’s my other comment on the topic:

…I think when foreigners go nuts over Chinese censorship, it often appears odd to Chinese people who on the whole are more than delighted with all the new doors the Internet has opened for them. They tend to see the glass as half full, since China never had so much available information before. They laugh about the censorship and say yeah, you get used to it. I feel much more passionately about it than they do, or at least than most, and I post about it ad nauseum, if you go through this site. But I’ve learned that to come out with both fists swinging at “The CCP” when some sites get shut is not very useful, especially on my site where I try to bring Chinese and Western readers together. I just don’t see that kind of language furthering the conversation, especially when it bundles anyone in Chinese media as somehow responsible, even if they are doing all they can to make things better and fight against censorship 24 hours a day. This is not Nazi Germany. There really are improvements. There really are crimes like wiping out Ai Wewei’s blog and so many others. It’s still in some ways a police state, but there is undeniably a lot more choices people now have for expression. So again, keep this in perspective, and also see it as something that all Chinese dynasties have sought to do, to control the flow of information and keep the little people on the ground in a like mind. The blocking of twitter is just one more example of Chinese rulers doing what they’ve done since time immemorial – creating “harmony.”

I stand by every word. Nothing bother me as much as morons on twitter who repeatedly post “Fuck the GFW!” with lots of exclamation points. Maybe it makes them feel good. I see it as juvenile.

November 22, 2009 @ 9:52 am | Comment

Whether the US accounts for 2 percent or 18 percent of China’s GDP isn’t the point. The two nations are joined at the hip, and they both know it.

I wouldn’t put it that way. China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, many oil exporting nations and Russia are linked to America. America is largely supported by them- but no one really wants to be responsible for causing a new financial crisis by dumping America.

but a hefty percentage of those factories in Guangdong making shoes and bicycles and ball bearings designer eyeglass frames are not making them for sale in China

China serves many more markets other than the US. Their sales to the developing world yield a much higher profit margin.

Domestic consumption may have picked up among the urban middle class (which has far less purchasing power than what we in the West would define as the middle class) but the Chinese are still forced to save most of their income for education and healthcare.

Much of China’s “domestic consumption” is the state making investments, or private citizens making investments. The average person in rural China simply cannot afford very much at all- they’re in serious need of help and the Overseas Chinese need to step up to the plate. It’s sad how they let Western nonsense propaganda get in the way of their duty.

In terms of net worth per capita the average Chinese has around $3000-4000, vs. Hong Kong’s $200,000. I don’t think people are taking that into account when they suggest the average Chinese should stop saving money (which I know is not what you’re saying).

As a country built on manufacturing for export, independence from the West in general and the US in particular is a long ways off.

China is not built on manufacturing for export anymore. It was in the first 10-15 years, but now investment largely drives the economy. China is very much independent of the West and Europe- indirectly at least, they are reliant on energy exporters (Russia, ME, Africa, Latin America) as well as other East Asians (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Overseas Chinese). The West is a nice bonus to income but that’s about it.

I see it as juvenile.

They think it makes them sexy :eyeroll:

November 22, 2009 @ 11:14 am | Comment

And interesting book about how far Chinese dynasties can go to control and ‘harmonize’ information.

Treason by the book.
By Jonathan D. Spence.

November 22, 2009 @ 3:37 pm | Comment

Anything Spence writes is good (if not always easy). Some people seem to think the CCP initiated censorship here. They continued it. There were lots of ups and downs when censorship was eased or tightened, even under the CCP, but it’s always been here. When we look at it from our perspective, the censorship is monstrous. From theirs, it’s business as usual. Anthropology 101.

November 22, 2009 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

The problem with information control is that provides a distorted perspective of reality. That may be dangerous.

In any complex system, and a society is a complex system, when your readings and dials report false or incomplete information you may notice you are in deep problem until it is too late. Remember Chernobyl or K19?

It may very well be that the worst ravages of the great jump forward were not due to an inherent evilness in the system, but to the lack of correct information of how wrong things were really going… on until too late

Beyond any rights or moral issues it is just a question of efficiency, and China with its mismatch on needs and resources need the most efficient system it can get. The current censorship system is not only a consumption of resources but also prevents development of a more efficient society.

These inefficiencies are paid with lives that are either destroyed or ruined. In the past, present and still in the future.

Things have improve lately, I dont deny it, but not enough yet. It really prevents the country to gets closer to develop its full development potential.

But as you say, information control has been performed since long time in CH, now it simply under a new management. The effects are still as pernicious as before, and its real reason of existence is to protect the ruling elite du jour, not to serve/protect/harmonize the country or its people.

November 22, 2009 @ 5:11 pm | Comment

K19 example.

“According to retired rear-admiral Nikolai Mormul, when the reactor was first started ashore, no pressure gauge had been connected to the first cooling circuit. By the time somebody realized what was happening, the pipes had been submitted to a pressure of 400 atmospheres; that was double the acceptable limit. Checking the pipes would have been costly and reporting the negligence would have hurt the career of Captain Zateyev, who preferred to hide the fact. K-19 returned to the fleet, now having acquired the additional nickname “Hiroshima”.”

November 22, 2009 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

“Treason by the book” is a slow reading but fascinating book. Give a good insight of how information was controlled and processed and the inner government workings in the time of the Qing dynasty.

At the end of the book, the last 4 paragraph, it resumes what had been achieved after so much “to-do”. It applies also not only to that distant past but also to the present.

But if you want to know…. just get to book, ….and don´t read the last paragraphs until you read it all 😉

Another thing. I find interesting how reports where arranged for the emperor to read, how space was provided in those reports for him to reply, use of different colors, etc. Also interesting the difference in how sensitive information and not so sensitive information was distributed within the palace and burocracy.
It could be a good subject to study in a modern business school. Maybe even to use it as a base for a information management in a businesses….

Time system anyone? 😉
http://www.timesystem.us/

November 22, 2009 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

The problem with information control is that provides a distorted perspective of reality. That may be dangerous.

Censorship isn’t the only form of distortion available. Corporations often skew the data to their favor…

How many people does the general public think died in Iraq?
How many people were misled by the tobacco industry?
How many people are deceived by energy corporations into believing that renewables and clean tech are a waste of money?
How many believe trans fats and high fructose corn syrup aren’t bad for you?

Again, foreigners often whine about China’s censorship but they don’t whine when China censors information to make foreigners look good.

All of the hate crimes committed against Chinese are censored by the Chinese media.

November 23, 2009 @ 2:56 am | Comment

“… when China censors information to make foreigners look good.”

We’ll let you know if it happens.

“All of the hate crimes committed against Chinese are censored by the Chinese media.”

Such as?

November 23, 2009 @ 1:36 pm | Comment

A visit to James Fallows’ page is strongly recommended for an insightful take on the Obama visit, including the perspective of a contact who was ‘in the room’.

November 23, 2009 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

Such as?

Killings in Vladivostok, death of Minghui Yu in New York, bombing of Chinese restaurant in Australia, rape and hospitalizations in Moscow. Hundreds more, your ignorance speaks volumes.

November 23, 2009 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

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