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Hong Kong, Trial Spot
Is Western Democracy Flunking Out?
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Chinese democracy resembles Proctor & Gamble more than Pericles of Athens, and Hong Kong is a typical product testing site, or what China calls a Trial Spot.

The PRC uses the world’s most advanced sampling techniques, questionnaire designs and statistical controls to run gigantic, semi-monthly, national surveys and the results, available online, are a treasure trove of data. Says author Jeff J. Brown, “My Beijing neighborhood committee and town hall are constantly putting up announcements, inviting groups of people–renters, homeowners, over seventies, women under forty, those with or without medical insurance, retirees–to answer surveys. The CPC is the world’s biggest pollster for a reason: China’s democratic ‘dictatorship of the people’ is highly engaged at the day-to-day, citizen-on-the-street level. I know, because I live in a middle class Chinese community and I question them all the time. I find their government much more responsive and democratic than the dog-and-pony shows back home, and I mean that seriously.” Most Chinese agree.

Before any legislative initiative reaches China’s Congress, it is first trialled–like double-blind, randomized clinical trials–in villages, towns and cities. Most fail for the same reason that most scientific experiments fail: they don’t achieve their stated goals. Critics claim that, since most legislation receives ninety-percent support, China’s Congress must be a ‘rubber stamp’ but this misunderstanding arises because policy development, instead of being the subject of rhetoric-heavy, fact-lite public debates, is managed like clinical trials. Venture capitalist Robin Daverman describes the process:

China is a giant trial portfolio with millions of trials going on everywhere. Today, innovations in everything from healthcare to poverty reduction, education, energy, trade and transportation are being trialled in different communities. Every one of China’s 662 cities is experimenting: Shanghai with free trade zones, Guizhou with poverty reduction, twenty-three cities with education reforms, Northeastern provinces with SOE reform, pilot schools, pilot cities, pilot hospitals, pilot markets, pilot everything. Mayors and governors, the Primary Investigators, share their ‘lab results’ at the Central Party School and publish them in State-owned media, their ‘scientific journals.’

Beginning in small towns, major policies undergo ‘clinical trials’ that generate and analyze test data. If the stats look good, they’ll add test sites and do long-term follow-ups. They test and tweak for 10-30 years then ask the 3,000-member People’s Congress to review the data and authorize national trials in three major provinces. If those trials are successful, the State Council [China’s Brains Trust] polishes the plan and takes it back to Congress for a final vote. It’s very transparent and, if your data is better than mine, your bill gets passed and mine doesn’t. Congress’ votes are nearly unanimous because the legislation is backed by reams of data.

By this stage, it is clear which ideas are better ones. Now CCP enters policy formation stage, which consists of drafting policy and commenting period by the public before finalizing and implementation. This allows China to accomplish a great deal in a short time, because your winning solution will be quickly propagated throughout the country, you’ll be a front page hero, invited to high-level meetings in Beijing and promoted. As you can imagine, the competition to solve problems is intense. Local government has a great deal of freedom to try their own things as long as they have the support of the local people. Everything from bare-knuckled liberalism to straight communism has been tried by various villages and small towns.

Since China began conducting Trial Spots thirty years ago, they have developed mature systems to support, manage, evaluate, exploit and follow up on them. Congresspeople visit, inspect and audit major Trials, calculate their budgetary impact and debate their scalability and national impact. It is easy to muster ninety-percent support if the data is sound.

Hong Kong is a classic, fifty-year controlled social experiment, a Trial Spot, and the PRC will not crack down on the protests because that would ruin an experiment before it reaches halfway. If, by 2047, Hong Kong becomes the best city in China with a better living standard than other Chinese cities, Beijing will copy Hong Kong wholesale across China and, if it is found that is the secret of Hong Kong’s success, will require all judges to hold foreign citizenships.

Despite the wailing about ‘interference from Beijing’ Hong Kong’s government has more freedom to try things than any American city, as long as they have the support of the local people. Says Robin Daverman:

So what happened is that you see some cities or provinces that outperform, and others with a boatload of problems. Places with good leadership, like Shanghai, got more power and more autonomy. Places with lousy leadership require more babysitting and, unfortunately, Hong Kong is on the list of places that require more babysitting, because their government is viewed as deeply incompetent.

Beijing’s population went from eight million in 1980 to twenty-five million, Shanghai’s went from 6 million to twenty-five million in 2015, Shenzhen’s went from nothing to twelve million with infrastructure, housing, markets, schools, hospitals, parks– no problem and the people are more civilized, polite, and productive today than in 1980.

But Hong Kong’s population went from five million to seven million and all hell broke loose! Yet Hong Kong controls its own territory, its own population, its own businesses, its own laws, and doesn’t even pay taxes, not a cent, while Shanghai pays enough taxes to support forty percent of China! That’s why Shanghai is the “Lady of the House” and Hong Kong is the “High-Maintenance Girlfriend.” After twenty-two years of marriage, she still acts superior, complains about everything, expects you to pay for everything, and keeps talking about her previous boyfriend…”

Approaching the Trial Spot’s halfway point, Hong Kong’s stats resembles America’s and Britain’s: her GINI is 0.539 (zero indicates equality), the US is 0.415, and Singapore 0.4579. Hong Kong’s top ten percent have median incomes forty-four times the bottom ten percent and her lowest earners work three years and eight months to earn what the richest make in a month. Child poverty is twenty-three percent[1]US child poverty is twenty-one percent and home ownership is sixty-two percent. China’s child poverty is two percent and home ownership is seventy-eight percent. and home ownership is forty-nine percent while, on the mainland, everyone will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, free health- and old age care by 2021[2]By 2021 500,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of American kids and live longer, healthier lives and there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China..

If it weren’t for multiparty democracy, Hongkongers would all have homes. In 1997, Former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa wanted to build 85,000 flats per year but popular opinion–especially in the Legislative Council–made it impossible. “It was the same over the past few years: we tried to increase the land supply, but we could not get it passed because the opposition parties control whether the budget gets approved,” says Author Chris Wat Wing-yin. “Society generally believed the policy of supplying 85,000 flats per year made the property market plummet, and therefore the government cancelled the target under the pressure of public opinion, especially the opposition bloc in the Legislative Council, we couldn’t continue our push.”

Beijing’s completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the high-speed rail link (delayed by Hong Kong’s corruption and incompetence) are major setbacks for Washington and London in this ongoing battle for influence and explain the current political and media backlash from the US and the UK.

Footnotes

[1] US child poverty is twenty-one percent and home ownership is sixty-two percent. China’s child poverty is two percent and home ownership is seventy-eight percent.

[2] By 2021 500,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of American kids and live longer, healthier lives and there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Hong Kong 
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  1. Jason Liu says:

    So what do you think is causing the riots then?

    My take is that it’s mostly two things:

    1. General fear of the mainland, the “locusts” swallowing HK, and exaggerated perception of oppression, and an overall sense of intra-Chinese regional/linguistic tribalism that’s conveniently ignored by western press.

    2. A genuine belief in liberal western values over Chinese autocracy/nationalism. Especially common among the young, who are generally more idealistic and not impressed by the mainland’s economic rise.

    Both reasons are idiotic and indicate much more paranoia in HK than most mainlanders predicted. The city is more or less the same as it was before the handoff, barring a small number of persecutions that did not affect most HKers in any way. Even if the extradition bill had been passed, and loosely interpreted to extradite dissidents, the number would’ve probably remained insignificant.

    And that’s assuming that pro-liberal dissidents are automatically good people and should be left alone, which I completely disagree with. People who are pro-independence or pro-western style democracy should be crushed.

    Some people will bring up HK’s decline relative to the mainland, both in terms of prestige and economy. That and their housing problems probably do contribute to the riots, but I don’t think it’s enough to account for this amount of rage. Interpreting public sentiment based primarily on money/materialism is how mainlanders look at things, not how HKers look at things, because they are a more developed society whose younger members do not remember poverty. So there might be a perceptual disconnect between Beijing and HK that Xi and his advisors will have to bridge.

  2. At this point, the mainland should just send in the tanks and put a bullet in the head of every globo-homo traitor.

  3. Yee says:

    The Brits and the Americans really display their power in HK… They have the opposition leaders, judges, media, education institutes in their control.

    However, the more power they display, the more mainland Chinese people understand the danger of Western-styled politics. Most people don’t want flags of foreign countries being waved in their own country. Such a humiliation.

    It’s bad enough that a handful of real estate tycoons own your city, but to add foreign control into politics, you have nowhere to go but to rot. What do foreign powers care about your people? You think the US government care about the Ukrainians, Iraqis, Syrians when they prop up the oppositions?

    It’s shocking such foreign interference can be openly displayed and accepted. The US itself certainly does not allow such interference in their politics, see Russiangate.

  4. Jason Liu says:
    @Yee

    It’s possible that the US is secretly supporting the riots, but this event is far too large to chalk up to foreign agitators alone. There is an actual, homegrown problem inside HK.

    HK is what happens when a populace experiences prosperity for a few generations, they start demanding things other than economic growth. In our modern age, that’s typically western-style freedoms/democracy. The foreign flags being waved in HK are probably just liberal youths who hate and fear the CCP so much they’d rather side with another country. A truly astroturfed campaign would not make it so obvious.

    Other Asian autocracies like South Korea and Taiwan all eventually caved to the democratic demands and embraced western-style democracy, at least on paper. If the CCP wants to remain in power, then it has to handle or accommodate the upcoming generation of middle-class youths in new, creative ways that other Asian autocracies never thought of.

  5. Other Asian autocracies like South Korea and Taiwan all eventually caved to the democratic demands and embraced western-style democracy, at least on paper. If the CCP wants to remain in power, then it has to handle or accommodate the upcoming generation of middle-class youths in new, creative ways that other Asian autocracies never thought of.

    South Korean and Taiwan are country and region that have populations of only 1 to 2 Chinese megacities. They had only capitalism. The young people in these places were completely indoctrinated by Western ideology. That’s why they “democratized”. China is different. It has socialism and a mixed economy. It has a huge population. It’s relatively difficult to radicalize so many people, which gives the Chinese government the opportunity to prevent most of its young people from being brainwashed by Western propaganda.

    It seems some people in Hong Kong is determined to hamper the integration of the Greater Bay Area

  6. RW says:

    HK property prices are astronomically high because rich Chinese are buying property there. Why? Money rushes out of China at any opportunity because those most familiar with the system. i.e. the rich, do not trust their government in the long term. (Remember Bo Xilai.) Less sophisticated folks fall for the omnipresent government propaganda. And the suggestion that China would accept foreign judges demonstrates an ignorance of basic Chinese government nationalistic policy that opposes foreign participation in domestic affairs. When any Chinese points out these problems, China jails journalists such as Huang Qi , who called out corrupt local government officials, and Beijing’s shocking human rights record, and who was tortured and now will probably die in prison.

    Good going Godfree.

  7. Willem says:

    ‘[1] US child poverty is twenty-one percent and home ownership is sixty-two percent. China’s child poverty is two percent and home ownership is seventy-eight percent.’

    How does that povertynumber relate in absolute (PPP) dollars? And how does the average home in China compare with the average home in the US?

    There are lies, damned lies, and statistics…

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  8. @Jason Liu

    This is pure bullshit. This is the exact shit peddled about being inevitable.

    Good thing you revealed yourself to be one of the retarded universal truth kind.

    You got brain washed.

  9. @Jason Liu

    “It’s possible that the US is secretly supporting the riots, but this event is far too large to chalk up to foreign agitators alone. There is an actual, homegrown problem inside HK.”
    Agreed. But —
    Foreign interference may not be a first cause (although I wouldn’t rule it out completely) but I’m 99% sure that the continuing & intensifying “demonstrations” are, to a strong degree, influenced & funded by something like the
    N. E. D.
    Its worth recalling that the so- called troubles in the eastern, Muslim parts of China (terrorist attacks, etc both internal & external to China, were also funded & agitated by the NED & other related organisations.

  10. @last straw

    You can reply with quotes, it would be easier for you to have the conversation that way. If you don’t hit the reply button, he might not reply. Or is that what you intended?

    • Replies: @last straw
  11. @RW

    Holy. Using a corrupt official n his murderous wife as examples for your point was really stupid.

    • Replies: @RW
  12. Alfred says:
    @RW

    Personally, I would prefer to be imprisoned in China than in the USA.

    à chacun son goût

    • Replies: @TKK
  13. Good to see at last the UK and US governments supporting an anti-immigrant protest, even one against internal immigrants from the mainland. Now if they would only only support such movements against external immigration elsewhere, even in their own countries. How come that wouldn’t be in the interest of their own countries and people? Unless those governments have betrayed their own countries and peoples.

  14. Yee says:

    Jason Liu,

    “Other Asian autocracies like South Korea and Taiwan all eventually caved to the democratic demands and embraced western-style democracy, at least on paper.”

    South Korea, Taiwan and Japan are US colonies and worse oligarchy than the US itself. There’s little surprise they let the US shape their nations. (There’re articles on Chinese Internets explaining in details how the US castrated Japan and Germany. Quite enlightening.)

    However, being ruled by foreign power coordinating with a few powerful families isn’t what I want for the future of my country. I also fail to see why an independent nation like China should voluntarily humiliate ourselves like that. Everybody should have some self-respect.

    I don’t think China would have to cave in to Western styled politics. You might not believe it, but “western-style democracy” sells because they’re rich, not because it’s such a wonderful system. I doubt India and Philippines could get HongKongers to wave their national flags, despite the fact that India and Philippines have the same political systems as Britain and the United States.

    What happen in HongKong only shows powerful indoctrination of the West can remove people’s ability to objective analyze, which I already know. It’s the same thing as “Political Correct” in Europe and the US. Same method, just different substance.

  15. mike k says:

    Bashing China is so much easier for Americans than admitting their spectacular successes. They make us look bad, and we hate that.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  16. Laowai234 says:

    “Hong Kong is a classic, fifty-year controlled social experiment, a Trial Spot”

    Hong Kong’s entire system is the result of having been a British colony for over one hundred years. The fifty years from 1997 to 2047 is due to the agreement with Britain to leave HK alone for that amount of time, not because the mainland is doing a science experiment. You can call Shenzhen or any of the other Special Economic Zones a “Trial Spot” and give Beijing the credit for it, but Hong Kong is a very different case. And it’s also true that the Special Economic Zones were set up as imitations of Hong Kong, which is why the very first one was built right across the border from it.

    The reason Hong Kong has “lousy leadership” is because they are not beholden to (or elected by) the people but rather the billionaire class that owns and controls the city. They control the real estate market, the food market, the utilities market. Read “The Myth of a Free Hong Kong Economy” by Pepe Escobar in his book Empire of Chaos, it’s an excellent overview of this. Since the 1997 handover, the Hong Kong government is also beholden to Beijing. Fortunately for them, the billionaires and the communists get along just fine, as they always have throughout world history. If I have a bone to pick with the protesters, it’s that they seem to place all the blame on Beijing and none on their native oligarchs. If I have a bone to pick with Beijing, it’s that they side with the billionaires and not with the people of Hong Kong.

    “If it weren’t for multiparty democracy, Hongkongers would all have homes.”

    No, more Hongkongers would have homes if it weren’t for billionaire oligarchy exacerbated by the influx of mainland cash (all of which, I’m sure you will tell us, was earned through completely legitimate means by hardworking public servants who now want to benefit Hong Kong with their largesse).

    The problem with all of your articles on China is that you take Chinese stats and proclamations at face value. You seem to have zero understanding of their culture of mianzi – “face” – and the lying that necessarily goes with it.

  17. @RW

    The last time I checked the UN Declaration, China led the US in 26 of the 30 enumerated human rights.

    Calling people like Huang Qi ‘journalists who called out corrupt local government officials’ is just dumb.

    There’s a direct line for anyone who wants to call out corrupt officials and, in any case, corruption in China is minuscule compared to our own as results clearly demonstrate.

    If you want to see torture of people who call out corruption, read the report of the UN Special Envoy on Torture. See what he says about Julian Assange.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @RW
    , @anonymous
  18. @Willem

    Poverty in this case is defined as less than half the median income of the population in question.

    PPP values are relative, by definition, not absolute.

    Average Chinese homes are smaller than American. They’re also mortgage-free. The point–for the bottom quartile–is ownership, not size.

  19. @Astuteobservor II

    Astutely observed, astutely expressed. Thank you for enlightening this conversation.

  20. Escher says:

    If China is so prosperous and on the verge of becoming an Asian Wakanda, then why are so many Chinese desperate to move themselves and their money out?
    America, Canada, Australia, Singapore continue to be favored destinations, with many Chinese desperate to give western education to their children.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @TT
  21. onebornfree says: • Website

    “There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.” (Communist Manifesto, Chapter 2)

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

    “If one understands that Socialism is not a ‘share the wealth’ program but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super rich men promoting Socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism, or more accurately Socialism, is not a movement of the down-trodden masses but of the economic elite.” From: “None Dare Call It Conspiracy” -Gary Allen

    “The state is the most destructive institution human beings have ever devised—a fire that, at best, can be controlled for only a short time before it o’erleaps its improvised confinements and spreads its flames far and wide………..States, by their very nature, are perpetually at war—not always against foreign foes, of course, but always against their own subjects. The state’s most fundamental purpose, the activity without which it cannot even exist, is robbery. The state gains its very sustenance from robbery, which it pretties up ideologically by giving it a different name (taxation) and by striving to sanctify its intrinsic crime as permissible and socially necessary. State propaganda, statist ideologies, and long-established routine combine to convince many people that they have a legitimate obligation, even a moral duty to pay taxes to the state that rules their society…….”: Robert Higgs “The Siren Song of the State” https://mises.org/library/siren-song-state

    “A key takeaway, and I emphasize that because I expect it to otherwise bounce off the programmed psyches of most people, is that the very idea of the State itself is poisonous, evil, and intrinsically destructive. But, like so many bad ideas, people have come to assume it’s part of the cosmic firmament, when it’s really just a monstrous scam. It’s a fraud…”: Doug Casey: https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-the-deep-state-is-the-source-of-our-economic-problems/

    ” We seem to be in the midst of what may be a dangerous return to the worst political ideas and policies of the 20th century. We must first understand that philosophically they all originate from a common root. The group, the tribe, the nation, the race, the social class are declared to be superior to and all-controlling over the individual members of society.

    The words “freedom” and “liberation” are widely used by all the proponents of these variations on the collectivist theme, but their use, in fact, has nothing to do with either freedom or liberation….”:
    From : “All Socialisms Are Antisocial” : http://econintersect.com/pages/opinion/opinion.php?post=201905150037

    “Over time, socialized behavior makes a person passive. In the core of his consciousness, he falls asleep. He goes into a coma. He still walks and talks, but the dynamic quality is gone.
    What does all this add up to? It adds up to Collectivism emblazoned in the sky, like a giant billboard:The individual is not really an individual. He is a Group, composed of “all the people that made him what he is today.” And that, my friends, is the myth, story, and legend of the 20th and 21st centuries. ” Jon Rappoport

    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth” Albert Einstein

    “To simplify, there are only two ways to do things. Either voluntarily, by win-win deals… or involuntarily, by telling others what to do. Capitalism only makes sense as a voluntary, win-win system.

    Socialism is different. An elite decides who gets what, by imposing win-lose deals – price-fixing, involuntary employment, tariffs, taxes, regulations – at the point of a gun.” Bill Bonner

    “The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that–however bloody–can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.” Lysander Spooner

    “Regards” onebornfree

  22. bjondo says:

    Moscow and Hong Kong.
    Both part of West’s color revol.

    Let the baton’s swing and crack…

    5ds

  23. klcTan says:
    @RW

    Many judges in HK are white guys from the Commonwealth countries like Brit, Australia.

    • Replies: @Republic
    , @RW
  24. TKK says:
    @Alfred

    Perhaps so.

    The presence of blacks and their unrelenting pathology in the US correctional system is the primary source of misery for my white clients in prison.

    To make it worse, guards now look the other way regarding black predatory and thieving behavior , or are afraid of them. PC rot has even affected the prisons.

    Mexicans will not accept whites nor blacks in their social structure , but they are the only group that toe up to the blacks, and will beat the brakes off them.

    Oddly, most of the trannies are black. And many black men “ fight “ for these he- she’s. They live like couples, with it’s attendant drama and dynamics.

    Two black men, one in fake lipstick and tricked out like a prostitute, playing house in a cell.

    Revolting.

  25. Jason Liu says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Why are you always so defensive? The country is not a substitute for your ego. We need to talk about potential problems to avoid making mistakes. If you only want to hear good things about China, China will lose the cold war.

  26. Jason Liu says:
    @last straw

    That is true, I’m not saying China’s situation is exactly the same as smaller countries. Also, liberal democracy seems to be in decline even in the west, without China doing anything.

    Still, it’s good to be vigilant. The best way to secure China’s geopolitical future is to establish an alliance of like-minded countries, or at least get democratic countries to sit on the fence so they don’t go running to America. This is quite doable, since most Asian countries are not really committed to democracy as an ideology.

  27. Jason Liu says:
    @Yee

    Sure, but the question is how do we prevent Western ideals from infecting China, especially when it’s already spread to many of China’s neighbors?

    Censorship and patriotic education alone isn’t going to do it, people will feel like something is being hidden from them and climb the wall. And there’s a “grass is greener” phenomenon that makes people seek alternatives when times are bad, even if the alternative is no good.

    What China needs is its own moral and philosophical vision of the world — an ideological offensive to compete with the West’s liberal world order. It will give people at home a solid grounding in our own values, and can be used to influence other countries to turn them away from western values.

  28. Anon[400] • Disclaimer says:

    Sounds like parts of America. Chinese, and not American Chinese, own vast swaths of San Francisco and the Bay Area especially eastern San Mateo county. Queens and parts of Manhattan NYC the same.

    And for all America, our foreign policy is run by a tiny little freckle of a foreign country, Israel
    America meddles in Chinese foreign policy. Israel rules American domestic and foreign policy
    China’s a global power and global powers always meddle around in each other’s countries.

  29. RW says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Christ, you are an idiot. When even high-level officials do not trust the government, you know that nobody else does either, therefore money leaves China. I’m sorry that this went over your head.

  30. onebornfree says: • Website

    “Regards” onebornfree

  31. At great expense pregnant Chinese women fly to the states to give birth to an American child because China is Aces and is the future

    Even in the face of a crackdown on this practice Chinese women continue flying in for childbirth

    I am old enough to remember when everything was turning Japanese…

    • Replies: @last straw
  32. Anonymous[272] • Disclaimer says:
    @mike k

    I think it’s happening less and less. Bottom line is that the lives of the Chinese people have been improving (on average) for many decades while the Western goyim are experiencing the opposite. It takes a lot of ridiculous mental gymnastics to be blind to that fact or to pretend it’s not a big deal.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  33. Republic says:
    @klcTan

    About 6% of the judges are non Chinese from the UK or Australia, down from 50% in 1997.

    • Replies: @TT
  34. Bigbeef says:

    HK kids are more like the muslim kids in the banlieues of France than freedom fighters. One, if they are real heroes why aren’t their enemy no. 1 is not the Jockey Club, or the oligarchs and tycoons so famous in HK? They are the ones immiserating the HK kids. So heroic to attack people that don’t actually live there. Two, everyone thinks China is capitalist, but you know who is super-capitalist? Japan, Taiwan, SK, USA, Germany. How strange people think China is more capitalist than these perfect corporate states. You know what they have in common? Democracy. Democracy from the beginning, from the French Revolution, has always been about the merchant class over the old boring aristocracy. It’s so much easier and efficient for capitalism if there’s no state, a confusion of all the people. It’s why the muslim kids and the HK kids are confused as to what they want: they don’t really like capitalism, as they are the losers, but want it more efficient under democracy. The more efficient capitalism is, the more they lose. It’s obvious to everyone only the creaking old state kind of protects you from everyone eat everyone. But nothing except confusion in HK and Taiwan, they are nicely brainwashed, got to sew clothing and got rich before the mainlanders now butthurt to live with competition. Even the young are probably dumber.

  35. Republic says:

    China’s democratic ‘dictatorship of the people’ is highly engaged at the day-to-day, citizen-on-the-street level.

    Communist regimes need to know where everyone lives and what they think.

    In 1949, the first thing the Communists did was to conduct a house to house survey
    In order to have a reverse non medical triage count: 1. Whom to shoot first, 2, whom to put on probation,and 3, whom to trust

  36. MEFOBILLS says:

    I am old enough to remember when everything was turning Japanese…

    Japan ran an industrial capitalism economy using credit guidance windows. This method of economy was demolished by BOJ’s actions. Everything was turning Japanese because of the tremendous efficiency of this sort of economy, where Japan was becoming the workshop of the world.

    China runs a similar sort of economy where state credit is channeled into sectors. China is becoming the workshop of the world.

    Economy is more accurately called political economy. Political economy as a term was widely used in the past, but morphed when economists pretended to themselves they were part of the hard sciences.

    If there is any country on the earth that practices actual political economy it is China, who uses scientific polling methods, and also injects state credit into inelastic sectors.

    The Visegrad group and Russia are more similar to China than the West (in my opinion) by using illiberal democracy to prevent democratic excesses. These democratic excesses are due to Oligarchy manipulating the duped electorate.

    One way to think about economy is that people are like ants, converting the earth. Human labor and machine energy convert the earth to make goods and services. This flux energy can be directed to make houses, or war, or whatever. If China has a large ownership of their own homes, that can only be a net positive, as Chinese labor can then buy their output from each other.

    Leakage of Yuans toward the West to buy up foreign land and assets is not proof of Chinese failure, but is a way for Chinese money capital to make gains in the west (say by pushing housing prices in Vancouver), or for Chinese criminal elements to hide their gains.

    There is no doubt that U.S. is being abused like a rented mule with its beyond stupid immigration policy. Chinese women especially flood into Hawaii to have children, as it is nearby and can become part of a vacation.

  37. Yee says:

    Republic,

    “About 6% of the judges are non Chinese ”

    It hardly matters… Just like there’re more than enough pro-Israel Whites in the US. You don’t have to be a Jew to serve the interests of Israel. Same for the HK judges.

  38. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Jason Liu

    And that’s assuming that pro-liberal dissidents are automatically good people and should be left alone, which I completely disagree with. People who are pro-independence or pro-western style democracy should be crushed.

    Yep.

  39. @Jason Liu

    Why are you always so defensive? The country is not a substitute for your ego. We need to talk about potential problems to avoid making mistakes. If you only want to hear good things about China, China will lose the cold war.

    Exactly the point I am trying to make about the USA, except that it will lose a good deal more than the cold war if it does not follow your above advice.

    Counterinsurgency

  40. @Jason Liu

    What China needs is its own moral and philosophical vision of the world — an ideological offensive to compete with the West’s liberal world order. It will give people at home a solid grounding in our own values, and can be used to influence other countries to turn them away from western values.

    I strongly agree.

    However, I caution that moral and philosophical visions of the world, while not that hard to read, are very hard to think up. Further, if you accept the wrong one, very bad things happen.

    I’d suggest Bloom’s _Closing of the American Mind_ and Rieff’s works, especially _
    The Triumph of the Therapeutic_, before proceeding. All of the dysfunction that you can see so plainly in contemporary Western society has a solid ground in philosophy and morals. There is plainly an error somewhere, but it’s not so obvious how to fix that error, or even exactly what the error is.

    In Western societies, philosophy has sometimes followed action. That is, the old philosophy has been followed until it became obviously unfit for application. At that point, a new philosophical school was improvised. This is the HAL cure: re-install the module, let it fail, and then do the obvious (Kubrick _2001_ reference). Trouble is, that’s very hard on the people doing it.

    But don’t just pick one and rush ahead. That’s where the Great Leap Forward came from, and the current Western failures as well.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
  41. I don’t trust Chinese polls.

    What would happen to the social credit of someone who says on poll, “Chinee Government no good”?
    So, out of fear, I suspect most Chinese say “Government do good job. Me no complain.”

  42. @Jason Liu

    Other Asian autocracies like South Korea and Taiwan all eventually caved to the democratic demands and embraced western-style democracy, at least on paper. If the CCP wants to remain in power, then it has to handle or accommodate the upcoming generation of middle-class youths in new, creative ways that other Asian autocracies never thought of.

    Are the youth in mainland China rioting for “democracy” too? Hong Kong was a western colonial outpost until 1997 and the current “one country, two systems” policy puts in a unique position vis a vis the mainland. If the Chinese system is flexible enough to adjust and evolve as the country develops it should be able to deal with and ride out incidents of social friction as they arise.

    The west’s influence is in decline and America’s still formidable cultural propaganda network won’t be around forever. Taiwan and South Korea were absolutely saturated by US propaganda post-1945 and their situation was a lot different than China’s. For one thing, they were completely subservient to American power and South Korea was, and still is, essentially an occupied country.

    China, on the other hand, has real power and a real culture. The west, led by America, has traded its cultural heritage for the hyper-consumerism and fake multikulti of a United Colors of Benneton advertising campaign. It seems to think that what the world needs right now is a Madison Avenue multiculturalism plus a permanent freak show of decadent deviants and weirdos to “guide” other cultures into normalizing all their taboos and joining the dying west in an orgy of nihilistic consumption, er, I mean democracy and freedom of course.

    The west made global capitalism and a decadent culture of selfish desire and consumption into its Leitkultur. It’s a sad joke. You seem to think that the only way the CPC can respond to social tension, if/when it arise on the mainland, is by throwing in the towel on the Chinese project and adapting “western democracy”. Considering that the west is currently tearing itself apart in real time on the world stage they would have to be extremely foolish or creatively challenged to do that. An eventual transition to a democracy “with Chinese characteristics” seems a more likely scenario.

  43. Che Guava says:

    I know of what you speak, Mr. Roberts,

    Trial-spot? It does not seem that HK is such, it is an attempted trap by the British, which allowed no representative government there until the cusp of the expiry of their forced lease, when an assembly with some legislative power was abruptly set up. Funny how that was just before the end of the lease.

    It is not really meant as what you call a ‘trial spot’, the main politiial intention is to demonstrate to the people of Taiwan (RoC) that reunion will guarantee the continuation of their system within the island. External powers will have am interest in disrupting any such solution.

    Taiwan, or more correctly, the Republic of China. is very complex, there was an existing native population, Same as the inland populations of malaya, the Phillipine islaods, and in ancient times, the soutth of what is now Japan. Then there were the waves of Chinese immigration, the first waves from China were informal and then a liittle more under the Manchu, with trade contributions by Porttugal, the second as part of lapamese empire, and the third, the unwanted arrival of the Kuomintang the Cantonesee roman alphabet rendering of 国民党.

    These factors are still at work in Republic of China (still the formal name of the state in politics, diplomacy., passports, etc.

    It is very cute (in the evil sense of the word) for Western news and other information outllets to pretend otherwise, but the formal name of Taiwan remains the Republic of China.

    La

     

  44. Jason Liu says:
    @Squarebeard

    Read my first post:

    People who are pro-independence or pro-western style democracy should be crushed.

    I’m worried that the CCP isn’t flexible and tries to deal with every problem by censoring critics or throwing money at it. That kind of thing will lead to discontent over time, which will lead to people demanding change. And change usually means the first alternative: Liberal democracy.

    I know China’s circumstances are not exactly like HK or Taiwan, but all societies grow more liberal as they get wealthy. Mainland youth may not want liberalism today, but what about their children? And grandchildren?

    • Replies: @Bigbeef
    , @Anonymous
  45. onebornfree says: • Website
    @Priss Factor

    Priss Factor says: “I don’t trust Chinese polls. What would happen to the social credit of someone who says on poll, “Chinee Government no good”? So, out of fear, I suspect most Chinese say “Government do good job. Me no complain.”

    Exactly! Which means that all that the authors pretty little chart that heads this article proves is either that:

    1] the Chinese people as a whole are bunch of government worshiping/trusting, naive fools [ just like this articles author], or….

    2] the Chinese people as a whole are intelligent enough to lie when given the question when they know their life and freedom are on the line with the wrong answer.

    Regards, onebornfree

  46. @Yee

    South Korea, Taiwan and Japan are US colonies and worse oligarchy than the US itself. There’s little surprise they let the US shape their nations. (There’re articles on Chinese Internets explaining in details how the US castrated Japan and Germany. Quite enlightening.)

    Quite correct. Japan’s foreign policy, for instance, is generally at the mercy of US whims. It would have been among the earliest nations to recognize the PRC had doing so not incurred the US’ threat to permanently annex Okinawa Prefecture. The same threat scuttled Japan’s permanent peace treaty with the former USSR, resulting in the effective surrendering of its Northern Territories forever.

    In many respects, the PRC’s model of a “dictatorship of the people” arguably most closely resembles that of the Empire of Japan’s, especially during its Taishō and early Shōwa eras. In fact, the parallels between today’s China and yesteryear’s Japan are often quite startling. This is a detail that I am certain many in the CCP and the PLA must be aware of, especially as they must be on the alert for any Anglo-American Pearl Harbor-style contrivances.

    What happen in HongKong only shows powerful indoctrination of the West can remove people’s ability to objective analyze, which I already know. It’s the same thing as “Political Correct” in Europe and the US. Same method, just different substance.

    Absolutely. People in American coloni… excuse me, I meant in “US-allied nations” often jabber incessantly about “democracy” as if it were a mantra. Yet the reality of their situations either reveals a general effective lack of “democracy” (e.g. Japan, RoK, Singapore) or, worse, a completely ineffectual democracy (e.g. India, Malaysia, the Philippines, or indeed the US itself). Why would such a transparently fraudulent system be so widely beloved if not because of propaganda?

    In the case of Hong Kong, the issues fanning the flames of its present protests—scarcity of housing, high cost of living, etc.—have nothing to do with “democracy”. If anything, imposing a US-style democratic model upon Hong Kong would only aggravate those issues further.

  47. Jason Liu says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    Ideally, China should have a philosophy that provides a friendly, positive image, plus most of the comforts of western democracies, but without any of the drawbacks caused by excess liberalism. Otherwise it will always been seen as meaner and less attractive than democracy.

    I’m imagining a nationalistic technocracy, but a fairly relaxed one with a healthy amount of meritocracy, well-meaning criticism and disagreement. This isn’t hard, insincere critics are easily identifiable by their bitterness and generally resentment of society. Authoritarian control should be surgical and pinpointed at the most dangerous elements: Mostly domestic liberal ideologues living in urban centers, plus some western NGOs.

  48. @Squarebeard

    The west’s influence is in decline and America’s still formidable cultural propaganda network won’t be around forever.

    I hope that you are right about that. While the West’s political influence is on the decline, I find that the magnetism of its corrosive contemporary pop culture remains stubbornly alluring to many. Which is why that my hopes for a contrary outcome notwithstanding, I am pessimistic about China’s ability to lead the world as a sole superpower. Despite the dwindling of its political and military power, the US will remain a formidable thorn in its side for decades to come thanks to its still influential pop culture. I am hoping that the PRC is able to eventually become a “soft superpower”, but I am not holding my breath.

  49. @Jason Liu

    Sure, but the question is how do we prevent Western ideals from infecting China, especially when it’s already spread to many of China’s neighbors?
    Censorship and patriotic education alone isn’t going to do it, people will feel like something is being hidden from them and climb the wall. And there’s a “grass is greener” phenomenon that makes people seek alternatives when times are bad, even if the alternative is no good.

    Unlike the USSR, the CCP has not prevented its citizens from going abroad. It’s true that most of those that do, go merely on holiday which is not a very good way of judging what it is like to live in those countries, but there is a small percentage and a large absolute number of Chinese that do go and live in foreign countries and presumably, most of them still have relatives in China and many of them will go back to China permanently or to visit. This should insure that despite western propaganda the Chinese have a better idea of what “Western Democracy” is like than the poor benighted Soviets did before the end of the USSR.
    If, in future, life in China is better than it is in the West (which looks highly probable) why would Chinese embrace “Western ideals”?

  50. RW says:
    @klcTan

    Would China accept “many judges” from the Commonwealth? No more than the token that already exist, if that.

  51. Bigbeef says:
    @Jason Liu

    “I’m worried that the CCP isn’t flexible and tries to deal with every problem by censoring critics or throwing money at it. That kind of thing will lead to discontent over time, which will lead to people demanding change. And change usually means the first alternative: Liberal democracy.”

    That’s not true. It’s just a sign that maybe you’re brainwashed, ‘whitewashed’.

    Ok, so what happened to 5000 years of history before liberal democracy? Everyone was stupid before the white guy came along huh? All the muslims, the Chinese, everyone lived in some cave? They didn’t think of the golden virtue of liberalism, “don’t to harm to others, unless…” that didn’t cross their minds. Saudis are freaking wealthy and did they grow liberal? Chinese are wealthy as fuck, I know Chinese are not liberal, or Russians. You need to rethink and not repeat matras like a brain dead american.

  52. jim jones says:

    If Chinese culture is equal to Western culture why did Xi Jinping send his daughter to Harvard?

  53. peterAUS says:
    @Priss Factor

    I don’t trust Chinese polls.

    What would happen to the social credit of someone who says on poll, “Chinee Government no good”?
    So, out of fear, I suspect most Chinese say “Government do good job. Me no complain.”

    Of course.

    Polls in Communist China.
    Funny.

    • Replies: @onebornfree
  54. RW says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    A warning to those who are considering taking Godfree’s poorly researched analyses on China at face value. Do some reading first. Over and over, the people I know in China have contradicted what Godfree is saying about the cost of housing and corruption in their government. (Perhaps corruption is improving under recent government initiatives, but it remains to be seen whether a single party system can police a society where dishonesty and deceit are widespread.)

    From the Council on Foreign Relations:

    [MORE]

    “China has also pressured other members, especially those economically dependent on its Belt and Road Initiative. During its universal periodic review—a process in which the Human Rights Council examines countries’ human rights records every five years—last year, China warned countries to submit positive reviews and threatened consequences for any that criticized Beijing, according to Human Rights Watch.

    “Additionally, the watchdog says, China has blocked critical nongovernmental organizations and activists from attending UN forums while letting representatives of government-sponsored groups participate in them and speak widely.” https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/china-undermining-human-rights-united-nations.”

    From AmnestyUSA:

    “Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. The government continued to draft and enact new laws under the guise of “national security” that presented serious threats to human rights. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo died in custody in July 2017. Activists and human rights defenders were detained, prosecuted and sentenced on the basis of vague and over broad charges such as “subverting state power” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Police detained human rights defenders outside formal detention facilities, sometimes incommunicado, for long periods, which posed additional risk of torture and other ill-treatment to the detainees. Controls on the internet were strengthened. Repression of religious activities outside state-sanctioned churches increased. Repression conducted under “anti-separatism” or “counter-terrorism” campaigns remained particularly severe in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Tibetan-populated areas. Freedom of expression in Hong Kong came under attack as the government used vague and over broad charges to prosecute pro-democracy activists.” https://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/china/

    From Human Rights Watch:

    “Authorities dramatically stepped up repression and systematic abuses against the 13 million Turkic Muslims, including Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. Authorities have carried out mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of some of them in various detention facilities, and increasingly imposed pervasive controls on daily life. New regulations in Tibet now criminalize even traditional forms of social action, including community mediation by religious figures. In Hong Kong, a region promised “a high degree of autonomy” under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the Chinese and Hong Kong governments hastened their efforts in 2018 to undermine people’s rights to free speech and political participation.

    “Human rights defenders continue to endure arbitrary detention, imprisonment, and enforced disappearance. The government maintains tight control over the internet, mass media, and academia. Authorities stepped up their persecution of religious communities, including prohibitions on Islam in Xinjiang, suppression of Christians in Henan province, and increasing scrutiny of Hui Muslims in Ningxia.

    “Authorities increasingly deploy mass surveillance systems to tighten control over society. In 2018, the government continued to collect, on a mass scale, biometrics including DNA and voice samples; use such biometrics for automated surveillance purposes….

    “China’s growing global power makes it an exporter of human rights violations, including at the United Nations, where in 2018 it sought to block participation of its critics. China again ranked among countries singled out for reprisals against human rights defenders, and in March successfully advanced a Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on a retrograde approach that it calls “win-win” or “mutually beneficial” cooperation. In this view, states do not pursue accountability for serious human rights violations but engage merely in “dialogue”; moreover, there is no role for independent civil society, only governments, and a narrow role for the UN itself.

    “In 2018, animated by the global #MeToo movement, a number of Chinese women stepped forward exposing people who they said had sexually harassed them. Government censorship dampened subsequent public outrage.” https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/china-and-tibet

  55. @Yee

    “The US itself certainly does not allow such interference in their politics, see Russiangate”

    That god you’ve set my mind at ease about that.

    I’ve always had an obviously irrational fear that the Israeli’s meddled in the US.

  56. Bigbeef says:
    @jim jones

    It’s because his daughter couldn’t pass the Gaokao, National Exams. Chinese morons usually go to the West, but whatever man, hype yourself however you want. The rich kids in China are usually not the hungriest, that should be obvious. So America pretends the greatest come to America, I am afraid the lazy rich kids come to America. So…it’s not that bad.

  57. ” I am pessimistic about China’s ability to lead the world as a sole superpower.”

    Why the fuck does “The World” need leading?

  58. peterAUS says:
    @RW

    A warning to those who are considering taking Godfree’s poorly researched analyses on China at face value. Do some reading first. Over and over, the people I know in China have contradicted what Godfree is saying about the cost of housing and corruption in their government.

    Don’t you worry about that.

    The man is simply doing his job. Sales and marketing department. Good gig.
    Those who buy the product deserve it. Free will and “Darwin reward”.

    I’d actually wish that more people buy his stuff. Chinese in my neighboorhood in particular. So they can go back to that paradise of his.
    Fat chance.

  59. @Bill Jones

    Because, unfortunately, we have yet to achieve the sort of enlightenment that would preclude the need for leadership, much less “superpowers”. The new PRC is, despite any claims to the contrary, an empire. Just like the US, despite all claims to the contrary, is also an empire. And we have yet to see a benevolent, altruistic empire that does not at least crave being the regional hegemon. So if “leadership” we must have, I would vastly prefer the Chinese over the Americans anyday.

  60. Chinaman says:

    I am born and bred in Hong Kong and lived on this small island most of the life. It is only when I have lived and worked overseas ( China, America, Australia) that I learn to appreciate my city. I have the means to move anywhere I want but I never want to live elsewhere. I love HK.

    My alias tells you where I stand in this conflict.I knew there was a lot of pent up discontent but the riots came as a shock to me. The riots are 10 minutes from my home. These kids are desecrating the grave of their political opponents like red guards during the cultural revolution, beating and intimidating people on the street like SS Brownshirts. The violence have put at least a dozen police in the ICU and one had his finger beaten off. For the first time in my life, I am scared to walk around my city.

    The whole thing is stupid. It started because a HK guy killed his girlfriend In Taiwan and because there was no extradition agreement, he was allowed to walk free! What the fuck is wrong with a perfectly legit extradition agreement???

    My original assumption was that the nefarious Americans and CIA are at it again. Victoria” F the EU” Nuland style color revolution but it have become much bigger than that. The CIA might have provided the money and whip up the passions of the crowd but this have become a form of mass hysteria. It pits young vs old, rich vs poor, people against the police. I tried to understand what these are thinking and what made them so desperate. For those who can read Chinese and want to understand what these kids are thinking. You should go the public forum below.

    https://lihkg.com/category/1?order=now

    All the rioters are here. They vent their anger and discuss the next riot on the forum. The real planning happens on telegram groups amongst the organisers but there is really no central figure to speak of.

    All I can say is that these kids don’t see a future after a decade of economic discontent and income disparity. All they see their economic position decline relative to China. Democracy is born of the same sin as communism. The sin of ENVY. Godfrey is partially right that democracy have obstructed progress but the true culprit is the vestige that the British left behind in the form of intransigent policies and colonial bureaucracy which led to this stagnation. I can write another 1000 words on that it is all about land and the dogma of fiscal neutrality at the end.

    • Replies: @Laowai234
    , @Rollmop
  61. “Western Democracy” oxymoron? cryptozoology?
    Never existed.

    The same families that ruled through bloodlines, rule through phony elections.
    The Hidden Hand. The hand in the vest meme appears in many images of historic national leaders.

    Russian meddling, fake news, are distractions from the Truth.

  62. alan2102 says:
    @RW

    http://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/amnesty-international-botches-blame-for-north-korea%e2%80%99s-crumbling-healthcare/
    Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare
    “A Western-based organization, Amnesty has proven itself time and again to be incapable of operating outside the propaganda system of Western governments, and at times has acted to justify the imperialism of dominant powers or turned a blind eye to it.”

    http://www.greanvillepost.com/2012/06/07/mercenaries-for-empire-amnesty-international-and-human-rights-watch/
    Mercenaries for Empire: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/7186.html
    Human Rights Watch as a Political Instrument of Liberal Cosmopolitan Elite of the United States Of America

    https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Human_Rights_Watch
    Critical articles
    Edward S. Herman, “The Human Rights Charade”, Zmag, January 1998.
    Ralph McGehee, “CIA’s War against China”, Friends of Tibet, December 1999.
    Jim Lobe, “Human Rights Watch Scores U.S. ‘Hypocrisy’ on ‘War on Terrorism”, Znet, January 17, 2002. (Inter Press Service)
    Sara Flounders, Massacre in Jenin, Human Rights Watch and the Stage-Management of Imperialism, CAQ, Fall 2002.
    Paul Treanor, “Who is behind Human Rights Watch?”, 8 May 2004.
    Al Giordano, “Human Rights Botch: Vivanco & Venezuela”, Narcosphere, June 17, 2004.
    […snip…]

  63. onebornfree says: • Website
    @Jason Liu

    Jason Liu says: “People who are pro-independence or pro-western style democracy should be crushed. “

    Nah, I say “crush” all the commies, and the sooner, the better! 🙂

    No regards, onebornfree

  64. “Does my government work for me?”

    Ask that question of the ultra wealthy and the responses will run near 100% positive.

  65. Anonymous[272] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jason Liu

    …all societies grow more liberal as they get wealthy.

    Not necessarily. That’s certainly not an immutable law. You might be mistakenly extrapolating the strength of past Western influences on the global zeitgeist into infinity.

    People across the world – including the West – are not buying the more recent, globalist versions, of “wealth” and “liberalism” as much as they used to. For many, the Western (((system))) is not looking very healthy now so they’ll be attracted to other options. Believe it or not, most people hate emulating losers.

    Mainland youth may not want liberalism today, but what about their children? And grandchildren?

    Who knows what’s gonna be considered “liberalism” at that time. I don’t even know what you mean by it now.

  66. @onebornfree

    Yeah, crush those commies that somehow have outdone the capitalists at their own game! Long live globo-homo, boy-boinking, drug-addled, porn-soaked Jewish… er, “Western” liberal democracy!

    Deus vult!

  67. @Jason Liu

    I am an American you retard :p. Let’s end this, I don’t want to talk to some brain washed anon.

  68. @jim jones

    “Why did Xi Jinping send his daughter to Harvard?”
    For the connections to American Elite.
    Elite ruling families run every nation.

  69. mike k says:

    When the last bomb drops, there will still be defenders of “Western Democracy”. What a pitiful farce!

  70. Ber says:

    British scholar Martin Jacques talks about the development dilemma of Hong Kong

  71. @Laowai234

    If you can demonstrate that any of the statistics I reference are incorrect or misleading, feel free.

    I personally visit China regularly to in/validate their stats, but neither I nor anyone I am aware of, has ever succeeded in doing so. They are, if anything, conservative rather than overstated.

    The Western scholar who is generally regarded as the authority on Chinese stats is HKU’s Carsten Holz. He says that, in 25 years of scrutinizing them, he has been unable to fault them.

    Here’s a good intro: The quality of China’s GDP statistics☆ Carsten A. HOLZ ⁎ Stanford Center for International Development, Stanford

    • Replies: @Ber
  72. @Escher

    This is the main reason:
    The Evangelical Christians I have met in the United States often talk about how reading the Bible changed their lives. They talk about being born again.
    I am not an Evangelical Christian. I am a Chinese atheist who came to the West to study at the world’s best universities and, later, to work at one of capitalism’s greatest companies, Goldman Sachs.
    But, like the Evangelical Christians, my life was changed by a book. Specifically, Robert Rubin’s autobiography In an Uncertain World (Random House, 2003). Robert Rubin was Goldman Sachs’s senior partner and subsequently secretary of the Treasury. Only later did I learn that certain people in the United States revere him as something of a god.
    I first bought the book because I was puzzled by the title, especially coming from a man who had achieved so much. I had always thought that things happen for reasons. My parents taught me that good people get rewarded while evil gets punished. My teachers at school taught me that if you work hard, you will succeed, and if you never try, you will surely fail. When I picked up the book, I was studying math at Cambridge University and, as I looked back at the standardized tests and intense study that had defined my life until then, I could see no uncertainty.
    But since reading Rubin’s book, I have come to see the world differently. Robert Rubin never intended to become the senior partner of Goldman Sachs: a few years into his career, he even handed in his resignation. Just as in Rubin’s career, I find that maybe randomness is not merely the noise but the dominant factor. And those reasons we assign to historical events are often just ex post rationalizations. As rising generations are taught the rationalizations, they conclude that things always happen for a reason. Meanwhile, I keep wondering: is there someone, sitting in a comfortable chair somewhere, flipping a coin from time to time, deciding what happens in the world?
    Most Americans that I have met seem confused about this question. Perhaps it is understandable since most of them are not in finance and have not read Rubin’s book. Their goal is always to change something—Stanford business school’s motto is “change lives, change organizations, change the world”—though they rarely seem to know what or how. Or what the role of chance and circumstance is. But if the goal is to change something, they must have the ability to determine the future, mustn’t they? The great American dream itself is a determination to take control of one’s own destiny and live an extraordinary life from an ordinary background. Yet how is this possible in Rubin’s uncertain world?
    I don’t claim to be a modern-day Alexis de Tocqueville, nor do I have much in common with this famous observer of American life. He grew up in Paris, a city renowned for its culture and architecture. I grew up in Shijiazhuang, a city renowned for being the headquarters of the company that produced toxic infant formula. He was a child of aristocrats; I am the child of modest workers.
    Nevertheless, I hope my candid observations can provide some insights into the elite institutions of the West. Certain beliefs are as ubiquitous among the people I went to school with as smog was in Shijiazhuang. The doctrines that shape the worldviews and cultural assumptions at elite Western institutions like Cambridge, Stanford, and Goldman Sachs have become almost religious. Nevertheless, I hope that the perspective of a candid Chinese atheist can be of some instruction to them.
    From Shijiazhuang to Cambridge
    It was the summer of 2000. I was 15, and I had just finished my high school entrance exam in China. I had made considerable improvements from where I started in first grade, when I had the second- worst grades in the class and had to sit at a desk perpendicular to the blackboard so that the teacher could keep a close eye on me. I had managed to become an average student in an average school. My parents by then had reached the conclusion that I was not going anywhere promising in China and were ready to send me abroad for high school. Contrary to all expectations, however, I got the best mark in my class and my school. The exam scores were so good that I ranked within the top ten among more than 100,000 students in the whole city. My teacher and I both assumed the score was wrong when we first heard it.
    As a consequence, I got into the best class in the best school in my city, and thus began the most painful year of my life. My newfound confidence was quickly crushed when I saw how talented my new classmates were. In the first class, our math teacher announced that she would start from chapter four of the textbook, as she assumed, correctly, that most of us were familiar with the first three chapters and would find it boring to go through them again. Most of the class had been participating in various competitions in middle school and had become familiar with a large part of the high school syllabus already. Furthermore, they had also grown to know each other from those years of competitions together. And here I was, someone who didn’t know anything or anyone, surrounded by people who knew more to begin with, who were much smarter, and who worked just as hard as I did. What chance did I have?
    During that year, I tried very hard to catch up: I gave up everything else and even moved somewhere close to the school to save time on the commute, but to no avail. Over time, going to school and competing while knowing I was sure to lose became torture. Yet I had to do it every day. At the end-of-year exam, I scored second from the bottom of the class—the same place where I began in first grade. But this time it was much harder to accept, after the glory I had enjoyed just one year earlier and the huge amount of effort I had put into studying this year. Finally, I threw in the towel, and asked my parents to send me abroad. Anywhere else on this earth would surely be better.
    So I came to the UK in 2001, when I was 16 years old. Much to my surprise, I found the UK’s exam-focused educational system very similar to the one in China. What is more, in both countries, going to the “right schools” and getting the “right job” are seen as very important by a large group of eager parents. As a result, scoring well on exams and doing well in school interviews—or even the play session for the nursery or pre-prep school—become the most important things in the world. Even at the university level, the undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge depends on nothing else but an exam at the end of the last year.
    On the other hand, although the UK’s university system is considered superior to China’s, with a population that is only one-twentieth the size of my native country, competition, while tough, is less intimidating. For example, about one in ten applicants gets into Oxbridge in the UK, and Stanford and Harvard accept about one in twenty-five applicants. But in Hebei province in China, where I am from, only one in fifteen hundred applicants gets into Peking or Qinghua University.
    Still, I found it hard to believe how much easier everything became. I scored first nationwide in the GCSE (high school) math exam, and my photo was printed in a national newspaper. I was admitted into Trinity College, University of Cambridge, once the home of Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, and Prince Charles.
    I studied economics at Cambridge, a field which has become more and more mathematical since the 1970s. The goal is always to use a mathematical model to find a closed-form solution to a real-world problem. Looking back, I’m not sure why my professors were so focused on these models. I have since found that the mistake of blindly relying on models is quite widespread in both trading and investing—often with disastrous results, such as the infamous collapse of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. Years later, I discovered the teaching of Warren Buffett: it is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. But our professors taught us to think of the real world as a math problem.
    The culture of Cambridge followed the dogmas of the classroom: a fervent adherence to rules and models established by tradition. For example, at Cambridge, students are forbidden to walk on grass. This right is reserved for professors only. The only exception is for those who achieve first class honors in exams; they are allowed to walk on one area of grass on one day of the year.
    The behavior of my British classmates demonstrated an even greater herd mentality than what is often mocked in American MBAs. For example, out of the thirteen economists in my year at Trinity, twelve would go on to join investment banks, and five of us went to work for Goldman Sachs.
    Goldman Sachs and My Brilliant Inflation Trade
    Three years later, I graduated with first class honors and got a job offer from Goldman’s Fixed Income, Currency and Commodity division, the division founded by my hero Rubin. It seemed like whatever I wished would simply come true. But inside, I feared that one day these glories would pass. After all, not long ago, I was at the bottom of my class in China. And if I could not even catch up with my classmates in a city few people have even heard of, how am I now qualified to go to Cambridge University or Goldman? Have I gotten smarter? Or is it just that British people are stupider than the Chinese?
    With these mixed thoughts, I began working as a trader at Goldman in 2007. Goldman’s unofficial motto is “be long-term greedy.” I found that my Goldman colleagues were very smart and competitive. However, I actually didn’t see much of the “long-term” part of the “long-term greedy” culture. Goldman Sachs, even with its reputation as the top investment bank, has been involved in scandals in mortgage products, trades with the Greek government, its links with Malaysia’s corrupt 1MDB, and so on. Maybe this is due to the fact that Goldman is now a public company with a quarterly earnings call. Maybe it is because the position of the trading desk where I worked was marked to market in real time. When you see the number change in front of you from second to second—and especially when that number is not going in the right direction—even one day can feel like eternity. That tells you how long-term oriented traders are in general.
    My job at Goldman was a mixture of making markets to facilitate client trades and finding trades for the bank’s own book. In early 2009, I believed it was an excellent trade to go long UK inflation. In fact, I thought it was such a good trade that my biggest worry was that there wouldn’t be anyone who would want to be on the other side of it. Yet we managed to put this trade on versus a British bank. In the following year, the trade worked wonders, with UK inflation steadily rising, making the bank tens of millions in profits.
    I thought I was an amazing trader. But there was a slight problem: I wanted to do the trade because I thought the market was pricing UK interest rates to go up. And when interest rates go up, UK inflation would rise mechanically due to the way it is defined and calculated. But in that year, the Bank of England didn’t raise interest rates at all. Rather, the increase in inflation was due to things like tax increases, exchange rate fluctuations, oil price moves, etc.—things I didn’t anticipate at all. It was pure luck that I made money, and I made it for the wrong reason.
    When I was an intern, in one of the training presentations, a senior banker told us to distinguish between the process and the results. He said that we should focus on the process, which we can control, rather than the result, which is subject to luck. And here at Goldman, he said, we don’t punish people for losing money for the right reason. I have always loved asking questions, so I asked him, was anyone ever punished for making money for the wrong reason? After giving it some thought, he said that he had not heard of any such thing. And he was right. In fact, no one seemed to remember the reason I did the inflation trade at all. They only remembered that I did this trade and that it worked well.
    When I met with my manager for a performance review after this, I was expecting to be berated for my poor judgment. Instead, I got promoted! I told my manager that it was a mistake, but he merely said, “Puzhong, tell no one.” He too was promoted on the basis of managing my “brilliant” trade. In fact, my manager was so proud of my work he recommended me to Stanford’s prestigious Graduate School of Business (GSB), and I soon set off for America.
    One thing that I learned at Goldman was that, to rise through the ranks, it was not enough to just be a good trader. It was also essential to be able to manage one’s boss, other colleagues, and those who report to them. I never paid any attention to those things. I hoped to learn about them in business school.
    Coming to America
    To me, Costco represents the best of American capitalism. It is a corporation known for having its customers and employees in mind, while at the same time it has compensated its shareholders handsomely over the years. To the customers, it offers the best combination of quality and low cost. Whenever it manages to reduce costs, it passes the savings on to customers immediately. Achieving a 10 percent gross margin with prices below Amazon’s is truly incredible. After I had been there once, I found it hard to shop elsewhere.
    Meanwhile, its salaries are much higher than similar retail jobs. When the recession hit in 2008, the company increased salaries to help employees cope with the difficult environment. From the name tags the staff wear, I have seen that frontline employees work there for decades, something hard to imagine elsewhere.
    Stanford was for me a distant second to Costco in terms of the American capitalist experience. Overall, I enjoyed the curriculum at the GSB. Inevitably I found some classes less interesting, but the professors all seemed to be quite understanding, even when they saw me reading my kindle during class.
    One class was about strategy. It focused on how corporate mottos and logos could inspire employees. Many of the students had worked for nonprofits or health care or tech companies, all of which had mottos about changing the world, saving lives, saving the planet, etc. The professor seemed to like these mottos. I told him that at Goldman our motto was “be long-term greedy.” The professor couldn’t understand this motto or why it was inspiring. I explained to him that everyone else in the market was short-term greedy and, as a result, we took all their money. Since traders like money, this was inspiring. He asked if perhaps there was another motto or logo that my other classmates might connect with. I told him about the black swan I kept on my desk as a reminder that low probability events happen with high frequency. He didn’t like that motto either and decided to call on another student, who had worked at Pfizer. Their motto was “all people deserve to live healthy lives.” The professor thought this was much better. I didn’t understand how it would motivate employees, but this was exactly why I had come to Stanford: to learn the key lessons of interpersonal communication and leadership.
    On the communication and leadership front, I came to the GSB knowing I was not good and hoped to get better. My favorite class was called “Interpersonal Dynamics” or, as students referred to it, “Touchy Feely.” In “Touchy Feely,” students get very candid feedback on how their words and actions affect others in a small group that meets several hours per week for a whole quarter.
    We talked about microaggressions and feelings and empathy and listening. Sometimes in class the professor would say things to me like “Puzhong, when Mary said that, I could see you were really feeling something,” or “Puzhong, I could see in your eyes that Peter’s story affected you.” And I would tell them I didn’t feel anything. I was quite confused.
    One of the papers we studied mentioned that subjects are often not conscious of their own feelings when fully immersed in a situation. But body indicators such as heart rate would show whether the person is experiencing strong emotions. I thought that I generally didn’t have a lot of emotions and decided that this might be a good way for me to discover my hidden emotions that the professor kept asking about.
    So I bought a heart rate monitor and checked my resting heart rate. Right around 78. And when the professor said to me in class “Puzhong, I can see that story brought up some emotions in you,” I rolled up my sleeve and checked my heart rate. It was about 77. And so I said, “nope, no emotion.” The experiment seemed to confirm my prior belief: my heart rate hardly moved, even when I was criticized, though it did jump when I became excited or laughed.
    This didn’t land well on some of my classmates. They felt I was not treating these matters with the seriousness that they deserved. The professor was very angry. My takeaway was that my interpersonal skills were so bad that I could easily offend people unintentionally, so I concluded that after graduation I should do something that involved as little human interaction as possible.
    Therefore, I decided I needed to return to work in financial markets rather than attempting something else. I went to the career service office and told them that my primary goal after the MBA was to make money. I told them that $500,000 sounded like a good number. They were very confused, though, as they said their goal was to help me find my passion and my calling. I told them that my calling was to make money for my family. They were trying to be helpful, but in my case, their advice didn’t turn out to be very helpful.
    Eventually I was able to meet the chief financial officer of my favorite company, Costco. He told me that they don’t hire any MBAs. Everyone starts by pushing trolleys. (I have seriously thought about doing just that. But my wife is strongly against it.) Maybe, I thought, that is why the company is so successful—no MBAs!
    An Uncertain World
    In Communism, the future is certain; it is only the past that might not be. A few years ago, I was reading an autobiography of a Chinese girl named Nian, who went to study in the UK when she was young. (Someone once said that it is necessary to know English in order to learn about China. Important perspectives on China are only available in English and are generally not accessible on the mainland.) She studied at the London School of Economics and met her husband. After graduation, Nian, her husband, and all their friends went back to China.
    Her life, up to that point, was very similar to the life that I have been living. And I am sure that, at the time, she was as optimistic about her life as we are today about ours. But she went to the UK in 1935, and she went back to China around the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Her education abroad, in a capitalist country, and her belief in individual rights and freedom often placed her on the wrong side of various political campaigns and the Cultural Revolution. She lost numerous friends and family members, including her husband and daughter during these years. She barely survived a long period of imprisonment herself. It was not until the 1980s when she managed to get a passport and could move to live with her relatives abroad. On the ship to Hong Kong, she kept thinking about her decision to return to China all those years ago.
    As I finished her story, I kept thinking about the similarities and differences between Nian’s life and my own. What would have happened to her if she was living in the present time, or what would happen to me if I had been born seventy years earlier? What I realized is that if we look at one individual’s life in isolation, it is very tempting to come to the conclusion that one’s particular actions lead to whatever happens next. But if we look at the society as a whole or look across generations, we can see that people with very similar backgrounds can take similar actions and end up with vastly different results.
    Warren Buffett has said that the moment one was born in the United States or another Western country, that person has essentially won a lottery. If someone is born a U.S. citizen, he or she enjoys a huge advantage in almost every aspect of life, including expected wealth, education, health care, environment, safety, etc., when compared to someone born in developing countries. For someone foreign to “purchase” these privileges, the price tag at the moment is $1 million dollars (the rough value of the EB-5 investment visa). Even at this price level, the demand from certain countries routinely exceeds the annual allocated quota, resulting in long waiting times. In that sense, American citizens were born millionaires!
    Yet one wonders how long such luck will last. This brings me back to the title of Rubin’s book, his “uncertain world.” In such a world, the vast majority things are outside our control, determined by God or luck. After we have given our best and once the final card is drawn, we should neither become too excited by what we have achieved nor too depressed by what we failed to achieve. We should simply acknowledge the result and move on. Maybe this is the key to a happy life.
    On the other hand, it seems odd that this should be the principal lesson of a Western education. In Communist China, I was taught that hard work would bring success. In the land of the American dream, I learned that success comes through good luck, the right slogans, and monitoring your own—and others’—emotions.

    The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective
    By Puzhong Yao. American Affairs.
    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/11/western-elite-chinese-perspective/
    This article originally appeared in American Affairs Volume I, Number 4 (Winter 2017): 77–86.

    • Replies: @Chinaman
    , @JNDillard
  73. @Priss Factor

    I addressed that issue, above, citing Carsten Holz. You can address it yourself by chatting with some of the 150,000,000 Chinese tourists who will roam the globe this year.

    • Replies: @RW
  74. Laowai234 says:
    @Chinaman

    Very informative comment, thank you. I’ve visited your city often and it’s one of my favorite places on earth. So sad to see what is happening to it now.

    I think your analysis of the cause of the protests is right, though you would know better than I. A kind of existential angst on the part of young people, who were born into a society in decline. They are looking for someone to blame, but more than that, they just want to vent their anger at not having a viable future.

    Hong Kong is incredibly materialistic, and so signs of wealth like Rolex watches (I’ve never seen so many luxury watch and jewelry stores in one place) are highly prized. I read that one quarter of HK lives under the poverty line, but another one quarter are US dollar millionaires. Of course there’s going to be envy and discontent in that situation. Some people lived in cramped little boxes while others own multiple properties that they leave empty as an “investment.”

    • Replies: @Chinaman
  75. @jim jones

    Chinese officials are paid the average prevailing wages in their region. Last time I checked, Xi’s salary was US$60,000.

    One of the perks as you move up the ladder is education for your child: if she cannot get into a Chinese university, she can go abroad on the government’s dime.

    See my long reply, above, about how hard it is to get into a university there, and you’ll understand why Harvard–which would have welcomed her–was a good option.

    • Replies: @TT
  76. Ber says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Yes we desperately need facts so as to be able to analyze,to improve and correct mistakes. From what one can see, Godfree Roberts is consistently doing just that, very valuable, and I commend him for that.

    The interest in fact-based China news is important because as Edwin Dingle’s book first published in 1911 “Across China on foot” wrote (page 296):

    “And the West, too, must learn that the peace of Europe depends upon the integrity of China. For the time is coming – not in the lives of any who read these lines, but coming, inevitably- when China will, by her might, by the immense numbers of trained men, by her developed naval and military strength, be able to say to the nations of the earth, “There must be no more war” And she will be strong enough to be able to enforce it.

    As with individuals, so with nations, and a people who are marked by such rare physical vitality, such remarkable powers of endurance against great odds, are surely designed for some nobler purpose than merely to bear with fortitude the ills of life and the misery of starvation. It is the easiest thing to the world to criticise – the West criticises the Chinese because he is a heathen, because they do not understand him. Hundreds of millions of the Chinese race hate and fear the man of the West for exactly the same reason as would cause us to hate the Chinese were the situation reversed”

    Dingle’s prophecy?

  77. @Astuteobservor II

    You can reply with quotes, it would be easier for you to have the conversation that way. If you don’t hit the reply button, he might not reply. Or is that what you intended?

    I forgot to hit the reply button.

  78. @Laowai234

    The reason Hong Kong has “lousy leadership” is because they are not beholden to (or elected by) the people but rather the billionaire class that owns and controls the city. They control the real estate market, the food market, the utilities market.

    Every Western government is in the pocket of the 1%, without exception. So does the Hong Kong government.

  79. @Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque

    Millions of Chinese also go to Africa to seek out new opportunities. As for comparing with Japan, China has 10 times more population, 3 times bigger GDP in nominal terms, and 4.7 times bigger GDP in PPP terms. Also, China’s GDP is 28% bigger than America’s in PPP terms, a level that the Japanese economy has never been able to reach and will never reach.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
  80. @RW

    The thing is that the vast majority of the very wealthy hide their wealth outside their home jurisdiction. The practice is better characterised as a too-much-money problem rather than as a purely Chinese problem.

  81. @Astuteobservor II

    Thank you for sharing your insulting and inarticulate rage with us. Most astute!

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  82. anon19 says:

    My general impression of Chinese is that they would take peace order and good government over civil rights, democracy etc. They seem more interested in making money then anything else.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  83. @Marshal Marlow

    Yes, Western elites transfer their money to overseas tax haven, or “invest” in low tax countries and regions whenever they can – so every country has capital flight, not only China.

  84. Joe Wong says:
    @Jason Liu

    The extradition bill expressly states that political offences, death sentences, fugitives who do not meet the principle of double criminality, and any crime carries less the 7 years in prison sentence are not subject to the extradition.

    Of course, the pan-democracy activists in HK, the United States, UK, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, CIA, NED and MI6 are not interested in the content of the bill and the protection provided for the suspects by the bill. They are only interested in creating chaos in Hong Kong to humiliate China, and to frame China in the image of Orwellian police state which is a caricature of repression, lack of freedoms, and evil. The American led anti-China alliance wants to manufacture a public consent that any means to destroy China’s peaceful society and prosperity is righteousness, just like the bombing and killing in Iraq on the fabricated phantom WMD allegation was humanitarian intervention.

    The elites in Hong Kong such as the Bar Association, the bureaucratic, teachers’ associations, medical professions, churches, universities and schools, and so on are deeply poisoned by the Western Utopian democracy opium. They identify themselves with portrayed Western values, they also recognize the Western Cold War demonizing China’s paradox, and they are actually closet separatists. The elites of HK deeply resent that the CCP abolished the colonial system that they enjoyed social status and privilege awarded to them by the British master for their loyal lackey services. Deep ih heart, they want to drive the CCP and mainlanders out of Hong Kong to restore the British colonial feudal system and privileges during the British colonial rule era.

    It is puzzling why the HKers and Taiwanese want to be the lackeys of war criminals instead of joining China to become the world leader who leads the world to break free from the inhuman yoke imposed on them by the ‘God-fearing’ barbaric morally defunct ‘xtians’. It must be something to do with their taste. they enjoy licking the qweilo’s behind.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Troll: jim jones
    • Replies: @Chinaman
    , @TT
  85. Chinaman says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Yes, We are all “fooled” by randomness. Nassim Taleb should be the hero in the story. I run a quant fund so our success is predicated on that there are patterns and information in historical datasets. I have done this for 20 years and there are 2 problems with drawing inference from the past. The first problem is curve fitting and finding random patterns where there is none. The 2nd one is Regime change( or “paradigm change” as Ray Dalio puts it). The market no longer exhibit the same patterns. The only guard against both is to start with sound investment principles and to know when a trade is getting too crowded.

  86. RW says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    The Priss Factor is absolutely right. When I spoke with a journalist in China, this was exactly her criticism of surveys and polls in China. They are completely manipulated. And how could they not be? It’s a authoritarian state, what else could one expect? The Chinese ALL understand this. But Godfree has not gotten that far in his understanding of his field of expertise yet.

    • Agree: onebornfree
    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @Joe Wong
  87. Joe Wong says:
    @RW

    Isn’t Human Right Watch a NED Proxy and a war criminal? Isn’t it the Human Right Watch and other Western NGOs together with Western media outlets fabricated fake news about genocides and human right violations in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Egypt, … to pave the way for the American ant their lackeys to bomb and kill those nations into pieces on the moral high ground as humanitarian intervention?

    • Agree: Biff
  88. Chinaman says:
    @Laowai234

    I understand both perspectives. The Chinese influence in our daily life is real. Most HKer don’t like mainlander for the usual reasons they are hated around the world. It is only magnified 10 times here since we share a border. I shared some of their sentiments and understand why they are acting this way. HKer thinks have a sense of superiority and think they are more cultured (disproven from the recent riots). However, I believe in Chinese unity and regardless of how bad it is, I am Chinese and I should not side with the foreign devils against my blood brothers. The nozzle should be pointing out to the west. 槍頭往外.

    Materialistic may be a bit harsh but I guess it depends on your perspective. Sorry, but Rolexes are for ordinary people. More like Richard Mille or PP. I know many billionaires and a guy who owns the most ferrari in the world (150)who works for Li Ka Shing. This guy also own USD 4 million in watches. You will never know when you meet them. They are the most frugal people I know and I buy dinner most of the time. May be this is why I am not anywhere as rich.

    I also meet with a lot of the poor. It is hard to survive in HK. The lack of a social safety net and pride are big issues. A proper night out in HK will be several month of their salary. The income disparity is really bad. There is no way to fix this since everyone can move to HK. Unlike the west, We get not only the rich but also the cognitive elite immigranting to HK which exacerbate the situation.

    This is blowback in a way.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  89. Joe Wong says:
    @anon19

    Chinese are practical people, they are not easily fooled by the BS like the Western fabricated Utopian Democracy, a kind of spiritual opium, deadly and addictive. That’s why the West does not practice themselves, they only peddle it to somebody else like the rioting fools in HK.

  90. Chinaman says:
    @Joe Wong

    All the riots will stop once we pay all these kids for a holiday to Detroit or NY bronx to learn what these empty word, democracy and freedom really means In the west. Democracy means socialism. Freedom means violence. It was definitely a eye opener for me. They will learn to appreciate how precious HK is.

    the government should kick all gweilo out of HK, the biggest problem is that anyone can move here. It is a immigration problem at the end.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    , @Laowai234
  91. Erebus says:

    … policy development, instead of being the subject of rhetoric-heavy, fact-lite public debates, is managed like clinical trials.

    Here is Xi JinPing on the wider view of how the Chinese system works:
    http://english.qstheory.cn/2019-07/09/c_1124508999.htm

    … we must refine our work through constant trials and adhere to the criteria of “three favorables”(namely determining whether what we do is favorable to growing the productive forces in a socialist society, increasing the overall strength of the socialist state, and raising people’s living standards); and that we must lay equal emphasis on material progress and cultural and ethical progress, “cross the river by feeling for the stones,” and balance the relationships between economic planning and the market and between allowing a few people to prosper first and ensuring that everyone prospers.

    It’s worth one’s time to read the whole thing.

  92. Rollmop says:
    @Chinaman

    “Mass hysteria”. That is exactly right. I’ve never seen anything like it. There’s this widespread belief that China has been persecuting HK instead of just standing back and leaving HK alone. Plus now everyone is a “martyr” fighting for Hong Kong … I mean, chucking things at the police at practically no risk to yourself is not what a “martyr” is.

    The city has become hysterical. I find it distressing. How can HK people be so stupid? When will this madness play itself out?

    • Replies: @jim jones
    , @Ber
  93. JNDillard says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Dear Mr. Roberts, I am a fan of your essays here at Unz. Through them I have learned a great deal about China I did not know. I am also a believer in what you write here about randomness, which I see as the foundation not only of chaos, but creativity. I believe it is absolutely necessary for evolution and that life doesn’t care who or what gets ground up in the process. I also believe that our devotion to self control and the various dogmas and beliefs that are used to validate it is a defense against a recognition of our fundamental lack of control. The black swan on the desk, as a reminder that unlikely events happen with an unpredictable frequency reminded me of Fukushima and how it changed Angela Merkel’s stance on nuclear power, even though her background in physics was in predicting probabilities. I have read some of what your wrote above under the name “Pushong Yao” in another comment by you in another essay, making me wonder if you are the same, using a synonym of “Godfree Roberts.” It is confusing, because your picture looks anglo. While this is not really important, I can imagine that an anglo pseudo-identity might generate less automatic cultural stereotypic rejection among your intended audience. But then, Pushong Yao may be an entirely different person and I am simply confused. At any rate, I want to thank you for shifting your focus from making money to enlightening a general audience regarding China. It is a form of cultural wealth that is powerful and stands the tests of time.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  94. @mark green

    What, when you see bullshit being spew forth you stay silent?

    The spewer deserves more but who cares enough?

    And thank you, I am astute enough 😎

  95. @RW

    When the official got his fucking money through murder, bribes and pilfering public funds, he would have to be as stupid as you to not try to get his money out of the country.

    Understand yet why your comment was stupid? Like, really really stupid?

    • Replies: @RW
  96. @Chinaman

    I am Chinese and I should not side with the foreign devils against my blood brothers.

    You got that right. Now if only those white devils would feel the same.

    I know many billionaires and a guy who owns the most ferrari in the world (150)who works for Li Ka Shing. This guy also own USD 4 million in watches. You will never know when you meet them. They are the most frugal people I know and I buy dinner most of the time. May be this is why I am not anywhere as rich

    I know the feeling. Been drinking with many millionaires but when it comes to paying they make themselves scarce and I have to foot the bill. You know their money is all invested so they never have any cash. Hell some are even in debt with massive credit to fund those investments. And their business and personal upkeep bills are huge. So hardly ever enough to treat you to a meal or pay for your drink.

  97. jim jones says:
    @Rollmop

    China and the UK made a legal agreement in 1994 about the future of HK, the communists have broken that agreement. The West can be trusted, China cannot:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-British_Joint_Declaration

  98. @Marshal Marlow

    That’s simply not true. Beijing is the world’s most popular city for the world’s billionaires and few Chinese keep money offshore. It’s much safer at home and investment opportunities are abundant in an economy that doubles in size every ten years or so.

  99. @Jason Liu

    It’s a reasonable endpoint, something to be worked towards.

    I’m a systems designer (in addition to system analyst), concerned with the rules needed for a coherent system, and especially in how these rules can produce unintended consequences. Makes me a bit of pessimist, but perhaps that’s not such a bad thing in a country that has seen its major institutions hijacked by groups beating their breasts and saying “I’ve been wronged, so everything here belongs to me now!”

    Let’s take a nice, stable system: Locke’s.
    His idea was that a wealthy society would obviously be composed of those who produced wealth. Societies composed of warriors (or even soldiers) [1] aren’t going to produce much wealth, and will have trouble taking it from other societies composed of warriors or soldiers. Same problem with societies composed of thieves, or welfare recipients.
    Therefore, to avoid death, poverty, or both, the productive should band together, suppress the non-productive warriors, soldiers, thieves, welfare recipients, and pretty much everybody else.
    And it worked. We got, eventually, the Industrial Revolution, skyrocketing populations, previously unimagined material prosperity.
    Then it failed. Not everybody _can_ be productive (e.g. IQ 83 and below) in an industrialized society, not everybody can work in industry (e.g. women with children) and the unproductive can be organized to do just about anything by a group that spends full time in politics. Bingo, we get today’s Western society.

    The idea sounded good, but it had a weak point.

    Hofstadter, in _Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid_ in his lead-up to Gödel’s work, spends several pages (the “unplayable record” section) showing that every system has its weak point.

    Yet another weak point in formal systems is the long term, actually the “third generation” problem. The first generation sets up a system, the second generatoin keeps works out the bugs, and the third generation can’t stand the system. For a good _fictional_ description of how this can take out the strongest seeming society, see: Stross, _Toast_, “Big Brother Iron” about the decline the _1984_ society. Entertaining story, too.

    Social systems and why they fail or don’t is an interesting field. You really want to read the books I mentioned in my previous post – they’ll give you some idea of what you (and the PRC) are up against.

    And I’m _not_ saying “give up, it’s hopeless”. I’m saying “You can’t put together a system and then ignore it, because it will then fail. Humans and human oversight is essential. ” Ignoring government because the US Anglo Saxons thought they have a perfect system (widespread during the 1950s) was in large part a cause of the US’s current problems.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Here, “warriors” means fighters on their own authority, “soldiers” means those who are paid by the state (From the Latin “Solidus”, a solid replacement coin for the previous inflated currency, which was close to being a lead sling projectile washed in silver. ).

    • Replies: @Erebus
  100. @RW

    Well, we can take the word of ‘a journalist in China,’ can’t we?

    We should certainly disregard folks like Gallup, Edelman, Harvard, World Values Survey and the CIA, all of which conduct regular surveys in China and have done for decades.

    Kindly choose an official Chinese stat that you feel does not match observed reality and explain why.

    • Replies: @RW
  101. @JNDillard

    I’m afraid I don’t know Pushong Yao, or anything about him. I wrote my books under my own name and have never used a pseudonym online unless it was a requirement.

  102. @RW

    Restricting the polled set to those in their right minds, who believes _any_ NGO about _anything_ except their desire for contributions? They’re like a stopped clock — right twice a day, but no information to be gained from it.

    Counterinsurgency

  103. Ber says:
    @Rollmop

    The hysteria, can it be from subliminal mind control?.

    It is a known fact that in the ’60’s, Coca-cola as well as Walmart did subliminal messaging through movies as well as through music, telling customers to drink coke and not to pilfer from Walmart. It was a success.

    Then there is the famous concept of “Manchurian candidate” progressing to MK ULTRA mind control and what else…? There are stories of the Tutsi and Hutus going wild with killings…Sadam’s soldiers laying down their arms in the face of the US’s assault??

    50 years on, the science of mind control would be much more refined, presumably.

  104. denk says:

    Nancy Pelosi gloating on the CIA orchestrated mayhem in HK,
    ‘What a wonderful sight’ !
    The bitch would do that wouldnt she ?

    Pompeo, Pelosi, Pence, openly fete their HK compradors in Washington, pleading total support to the ‘democratic movement’ in HK.

    The [[[five liars]]] led ENA even have the gall to demand HK to release all detained rioters and drop all the charges.

    The ENA must be hallucinating on the good ole days…Yuan MIng Yuan, Opium war…

    Imagine…
    All this while, they are bleating on and on about ‘Chinese embassy controlled fifth columns ‘ in [[[anglo land,.]]]….
    ROBBER CRYING ROBBERY sobs !

    [[[HR CRUSADORS]]] ???

    Wait a min,
    I seem to remember when the OKinawans sent a delegation to Washington to plead their case,
    they met a stone wall, suddenly, CON-gress, senates, potus all unavailable.

    UN officials wanna talk about indigenous
    American plights, were told that CON-gress were vacationing in the Rockies.

    What happen to the few activists who took up
    the cudgel for the Chagosians, ugh…thrown into jails.
    [moral of the story, HEY all you murikkan posters, its safer to diss CCP over Tibet.,Xinjiang, HK here….no consequences !]
    hehehhe

    And where’r these [[[five liars]]] ‘human rights crusaders’ when Kashmir youths were shot point blank by Indian jawans ?
    Dalits lynched and burned by Brahmins ?

    Where’r these [[[‘HR crusaders’]]] during the
    GUjarag pogrom ?

    MIne, gawd forbid, could it be that these [[[five liars]]] have a special affinity for the Chinese, nice to know that eh ?

    Perish the thought, !

    Where’r these [[[HR champions]]] when almost the entire Chinese communities in INdon were wiped out in the CIA orchestrated genocide in 1965 ?

    Where’r these [[[HR champions]]] , when thousands of Chinese were massacred in the CIA orchestrated pogrom in Malaysia, 1963 ?

    And where the fuck were these [[[HR crusaders]]] when CIA orchestrated another pogrom in INdon 1998, where hundreds of Chinese were killed, gang raped, mutilated by drug crazed mobs ?

    Moral of the story,…….

    As if we need further confirmation, …
    These [[[HR champions]]] and its Euros cousins are the world’s worst human rights violators AND the world champion hypocrites.

    Martin Lee and co need professional help, if he still think the [[[five liars]]] give a rat ass about HR, Chinese in particular.

    On second thought, perhaps they do,
    The [[[five liars]]] like China so much, one China isnt enuff for them , that’s why they’ve been trying to break up China into many more pieces !!!

    heheheheheh

    • Replies: @denk
  105. Anon1024 says:

    Godfree should offer more external links for his statistics and charts. This article makes all kinds of factual claims but has just one external link and it is some obscure persons unsourced claim. Godfree’s charts usually have a very vague sourcing in small print at the bottom but one is left to flounder on google if you want to find it

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  106. Joe Wong says:
    @Chinaman

    It is wishful thinking. Live tragic samples caused by the American instigated colour revolution are plenty around the world, such as Ukraine, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yugoslavia, … The rioter of the HK colour revolution are Utopian Democracy Opium cult members, they are fanatics and fundamentalists who cannot be reasoned. Even they see the misery in Detroit or NY bronx they will say if they don’t push harder they will face such miserable consequence.

    • Replies: @Chinaman
  107. Joe Wong says:
    @RW

    You keep on using Ad Hominem fallacy to attack the author is simply silly. Are you saying if you can prove the author’s data are not valid then China’s achievements do not exist?

    No one needs you to believe anything, you can keep on living in the toxic orientalism world fabricated by the ‘god-fearing’ morally defunct evil ‘Xtian’ like Human Right Watch, NED, CIA, MI6, churches, and millions of other Western NGOs and governments organizations.

  108. Real democracy is dead. Fake democracy is flunking out.

  109. @jim jones

    So, there are still brain-dead who trust the West after all its exposed lies and hypocrisy? They are hopeless, then.

  110. denk says:

    iM really tired of those dreary Chinese spokesmen s whining’…..when interrogated by those gawd damn ENA journos,


    HK is our sacred territoryh,We strongly oppose and condemn any interference from foreign power,
    we plead the [[[five liars]]] to desist from action that jeopardise our bilateral relation’

    FFS,
    This is how to deal with those pesky, arrogant, sobs !

  111. Chinaman says:
    @jim jones

    That must be most stupid comment I have seen on Unz. It is a “special kind of stupid.” Did you establish that warm fuzzy trusting feeling with the West based on reading the other thousand articles on this website ? May be I am on the wrong website and this is the WSJ.

  112. Chinaman says:
    @Joe Wong

    You might have noticed the demand for Democracy is on the back burner for now. It is old vs young, police vs people now. They want a “reset” like the the prole rebellions that have topple dynasties in the past. These hysterical behaviours are probably a genetic disposition that is triggered when income disparity reach a certain threshold.

  113. onebornfree says: • Website

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  114. onebornfree says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    “Polls in Communist China.Funny.”

    What’s even funnier is the number of gullible, brainwashed young fools who believe those polls and the “official economic statistics” etc.

    But don’t think this author will ever awaken from his blind stupor- and, even if he did, as HP Barnum said : “There’s a sucker born every minute”, so there’s always plenty more where he comes from. 🙁 .

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @bikeanarkist
  115. peterAUS says:
    @onebornfree

    ..don’t think this author will ever awaken from his blind stupor…

    I am not sure it’s blind stupor. More likely a profitable gig.

    Propagandists, if able to deliver, do get compensated for their effort.

  116. Che Guava says:

    That is a basic reality. I hope. Priss, that you know of the older version of sncial credit. There are always various ways to trannslate words.

    The o

  117. @Yee

    Most people don’t want flags of foreign countries being waved in their own country. Such a humiliation.

    Tell me about it . . .

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  118. Joe Wong says:
    @onebornfree

    I have to stop watching just within one minute. Right from the beginning, the guy was wrong about how the British obtained HK from China. British was an illicit drug Opium warlord. In the 19th century, the Brits had a huge trade deficit against China. Like the American, the Brits had nothing to balance the trade deficit, so they used HK as a transit point to smuggle Opium into China in order to slow down silver flowing out Britain.

    British waged war against China after China confiscated Opium from British chartered drug smugglers. HK and unrestricted right to sell Opium in China were part of the illegitimate indemnity the sea bandit and Opium warlord, the British, extorted from China after the war.

    Within the beginning one minute of the video, ever the other words the guy uttered either was not true, distortion of facts or simply fabrication thru the thin air. It is typical trash vomited by a ‘god-fearing’ morally defunct evil ‘Xtian’.

  119. Joe Wong says:
    @peterAUS

    China needs to help the indigenous people of “Australia”, Indonesians, Filipinos Malays, etc. to wake up to take Australia back as they are the rightful owners of Australia.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  120. onebornfree says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    peterAUS says: “I am not sure it’s blind stupor. More likely a profitable gig.Propagandists, if able to deliver, do get compensated for their effort.”

    You could be right. Which means that [as far as I can see] that all of these delusional commie twerps are actually, in reality, capitalists in denial! Which makes it all even funnier 🙂 .

    The alternative is that theyr’e just a bunch of liars willing to say anything to get paid.

    And so it goes….

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  121. peterAUS says:
    @onebornfree

    ….theyr’e just a bunch of liars willing to say anything to get paid…

    I’d go for this.

    Don’t blame them. That’s, obviously, how almost all of the media works today.
    Or, worse/better, any public figure.
    What that makes of the public is obvious.

    But, there is actually a value in all that writing. It gives certain types a way to cater to their psychological needs. Beats (pun intended) bashing a family member. Or worse.
    Keeps them in line.

    Like, Chinese working in Australia/New Zealand, for example. They can have that feeling of “we good/strong/smart—locals bad/weak/stupid” and then work, for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with a smile, for their local masters.
    Better than opium I guess.

    So…hehe…makes you think, sometimes.
    For whom, exactly, the characters as the author really work for?

  122. RW says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Loads of super rich have been like that in China. Perhaps it’s getting better, but have a look at this 2011 summary. Point is, Bo Xilai was representative of the elite rich in China around that time. https://www.forbes.com/sites/raykwong/2011/07/25/friends-dont-let-friends-become-chinese-billionaires/#525372f42dda

    “I’m no statistics whiz, but it seems to me that a Chinese billionaire dies every 40 days.

    China Daily reported Friday that unnatural deaths have taken the lives of 72 mainland billionaires over the past eight years. (Do the math.)

    Which means that if you’re one of China’s 115 current billionaires, as listed on the 2011 Forbes Billionaires List, you should be more than a little nervous.

    Mortality rate notwithstanding, what’s more disturbing is how these mega wealthy souls met their demise. According to China Daily, 15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died from accidents and 19 died from illness. Oh, yes, and 14 were executed. (Welcome to China.)

    I don’t know about you but I find it somewhat improbable that among such a small population there could be so many “suicides,” “accidents” and “death by disease” (the average age of those who died from illness was only 48). I’m only speculating but the homicide toll could really be much higher.

    Any way you look at it, of course, the life expectancy for the current crop of Chinese billionaires isn’t pretty.

  123. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    If India’s government is second most trusted in the world, then your polls are pure garbage. India’s government is corrupt at every level, engaging in everything from illegal sand mining to gang rape to false flag terror attacks.

    It seems your graph says very little about how trustworthy these governments are and everything about how ignorant and naive the people are!

  124. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Well, yes, but that’s because they came from a very low starting point. They’re not ahead of the West, they’re just playing catch up at unprecedented speed.

    I’m not at all convinced that they can maintain this inertia into the future once they’ve already caught up with the event horizon of technological progress. At that point, things will slow down because there’s no one to copy, and the system risks a slow implosion. It’s rather like a ponzi scheme in that the people will sacrifice their traditional way of live, their clean environment and their peace of mind as long as the material comforts keep accruing at a rate high enough to keep them off balance. Once the rate of material advancement slows down, a whole raft of forgotten desires will begin to resurface and demand solutions that the current mode of thinking will struggle to provide.

    Can the Chinese mentally evolve to stay one step ahead of their own self created problems, or will they run out of ideas and be steamrollered by the inertia of their own advances? Will China evolve a higher level of consciousness and lead the world into a bright future, or will it once again implode and throw off the seeds of its own diaspora like a subcontinental supernova? I’d give both outcomes an equal probability.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  125. Yee says:

    anonymous[376],

    “… once they’ve already caught up with the event horizon of technological progress. At that point, things will slow down because there’s no one to copy, and the system risks a slow implosion. ”

    Countries that had been called copying in not too distant history: Germany, United States, Japan.

    We will be fine, thanks. Actually, I think countries aren’t being called copying should worry…

    • Replies: @anonymous
  126. Yee says:

    RW,

    “When I spoke with a journalist in China, this was exactly her criticism of surveys and polls in China. They are completely manipulated. ”

    What’s China’s motive to fake surveys and polls? The government has no election pressure. The surveys are only good for policy assessments.

    “unnatural deaths have taken the lives of 72 mainland billionaires over the past eight years. ”

    Street gangs are dying left and right too. Why do you only worry about the ultra rich?

    Luckily Bo Xilai didn’t become the president! Just imagine the kind of leverage Britain would have had on him. There’s no way in hell MI6 didn’t know Bo’s wife had a Brit killed. Britain could have demanded anything for this secret.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  127. Yee says:

    peterAUS,

    “For whom, exactly, the characters as the author really work for?”

    Peter you dumb, where have you been all this time? Everyone knows only anti-China makes money.

    • Replies: @denk
  128. @onebornfree

    “There’s a sucker born every minute”

    Thank you for your self-admission.

  129. Erebus says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    Good comment.

    The upshot is that any socio-political-economic system necessarily behaves like other self-referent, non-linear systems. Its complexity means that the inputs cannot be adequately accounted for, and the missing data eventually catches up to it. The system begins to break down and goes “chaotic”.

    I’m saying “You can’t put together a system and then ignore it, because it will then fail. Humans and human oversight is essential. ”

    In the paper I cited at #92 above, Xi lays out how China’s gonna do it. He is quite aware that constant vigilance and active management is required. By creating a multitude of feedback circuits and by constantly monitoring & tuning the system accordingly, a socio-political-economic system can work indefinitely.

    Careful management, of course ain’t something that can be counted on forever. It is ever dependent on the good will of the managers, especially in the top layers, and is also subject to the quality of the data it’s working with.

    Then there’s the unforeseen. As Mike Tyson once observed: “Yeah, everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face”.

  130. denk says:
    @denk

    Where the fuck were those [[[HR champions]]], when almost the entire Chinese communities were wiped out in the CIA orchestrated genocide in Indon, 1965,
    you ask ?? ?

    Well…
    [[[They]]] are here, having an orgasm over the ‘West best news come out of Asia’
    ——————–

    Marshall Green, US ambassador

    The US is generally sympathetic with and admiring of what the army is doing.”

    Robert J Martens, political officer in the US embassy

    ‘It was a big help to the army,’. ‘They probably killed a lot of people and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.

    Time

    ‘The West’s Best News in Asia

    US News and World Report

    ‘Indonesia: Hope . . . where there was once none’.

    New York Times columnist James Reston

    ‘A gleam of light in Asia

    Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt,

    ‘With 500,000 to a million communist sympathisers knocked off,’ ‘I think it’s safe to assume a reorientation has taken place.’

    What might that ‘reorientation‘ be to warrant rubbing off three millions souls and getting the whole [[[family]]] in ecstasy ?

    James Reston

    ‘ The savage transformation of Indonesia from a pro-Chinese policy under Sukarno to a defiantly anti-Communist policy under General Suharto is, of course, the most important of these developments’

    Oh I see, another panda hugger bumped off, time for a cuppa eh ?

    No doubt the three millions ‘collateral damage’ are worth it, Albright would approve.

    hehehhehe

    P.S.
    Dont get mixed up, [[[the family ]]] is not (((the tribe ))) !

    LIke I say, its always a [[[family]]] biz,
    The Brits even offer their warship,
    HMS humanity to ferry the death squads to the killing ground.

    • Replies: @denk
  131. Erebus says:
    @anonymous

    They’re not ahead of the West, they’re just playing catch up at unprecedented speed.

    They’re far ahead in the area that matters most… infrastructure.

    If it was a race, China’s civil and industrial infrastructure has disappeared over the horizon, in no small part because the West’s has been stagnant or stuck in reverse. Physical infrastructure, of course, is what provides the foundation for all manner of other civilizational development.

    Can the Chinese mentally evolve to stay one step ahead of their own self created problems, or will they run out of ideas and be steamrollered by the inertia of their own advances?

    Read the paper I cited at #92. If they can keep their eye on the ball, yes. If not, no. Xi’s “Thought” is all about a conceptual framework and culture that forces the government to keep their eye on the ball.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  132. denk says:
    @denk

    WTF were those [[[HR champions]]] when hundreds of ethnic Chinese were massacred, gang raped, mutilated in the CIA orchestrated pogrom in Indon, 1998
    you ask ???

    I heard Martin Lee , good for him, rang up his buddies in DC, figuring [[[they]]] are the ones with the leverage to stop the carnage, cuz we all know Suharto was just a lapdog which’d jump to uncle sham’s command.

    The sweet voice at the other end intoned,

    ‘The CON-gress are in urgent session, discussing the Tibet issue’

    What about the potus, ?

    ‘The prez is having lunch with HMDL, not to be disturbed come what may’
    click

    [1]

    ……………..
    and Yet, even today, Martin is still holding on to the coattails of his [[[mentors]]] , thinking [[[they]]] are his hope for deliverance.

    hehehehe

    [1]
    For the uninitiated,
    [[[they]]] have this unofficial ritual, whereby every potus, when assuming duty, the first thing to do is to fete HMDL in the WH, to show murikkan solidarity to the holy man.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20081120221311/http://www.exodusnews.com/worldnews/world012.htm

  133. denk says:
    @Yee

    Peteraus and onebornstupid are known as leeches, they’r all over the alternate media.

    Walks like a pro, quacks like a pro, looks like a pro.

    hehehheh

  134. @RW

    Be bold, do some research and show/explain how each of them died.

    Speculation =/= truths.

    I suspect you are a moron. Does my suspicion = you are a real moron?

    Get it yet?

  135. @jim jones

    What are you talking about? China kept the agreement.

  136. @Anon1024

    The charts all show their sources. I tried putting the links on the charts but that looked too weird.

    If you have questions about a stat, or suggestions about how to display them, let me know.

  137. @peterAUS

    Have you guys ever seen China?

    Take a look for yourselves.

    It matches the stats and more.

    Or look at how the world has begun to revolve around it. Do you think that’s because it has fake stats?

    Gallup* says that, despite our domination of world media, China edged ahead of America’s 31% approval in 2018 with its leadership earning a median rating of 34% adding, “As the global balance of soft power continues to shift, it may prove even more difficult for the US to counter this influence”. Without threats or coercion, China has created the SCO, the largest security alliance on earth, the AIIB, the largest international finance agency and the BRI, the most ambitious trading program and the upcoming RCEP will dwarf all trading alliances. China is the largest trading partner for most countries and its imports and exports are in balance. A study** shows the majority of Germans are in favor of distancing themselves from the United States. Nearly half of Germans consider China to be a more reliable partner for Germany than the United States. Our media’s efforts to diminish China’s soft power are failing. Britain’s decision to retain Huawei indicates the growing heft of Chinese diplomacy and technology.

    * https://news.gallup.com/poll/247037/image-leadership-poorer-china.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication

    ** https://www.dw.com/en/germans-trust-china-more-than-the-us-survey-finds/a-47435595

    • Replies: @Erebus
  138. @RW

    The author is certainly no statistics whiz. There are 819 Chinese billionaires in China (compared with 571 in the US), all in the latter fourth of their expected life spans.

    Over their remaining 25 years of life there will be periods during which their deaths are closely spaced and periods in which few if any die.

    Teasing out silly (and poorly researched) stats like this to discredit China is well-paid journalistic niche. As is making dire predictions about China:
    1990. China’s economy has come to a halt. The Economist
    1996. China’s economy will face a hard landing. The Economist
    1998. China’s economy’s dangerous period of sluggish growth. The Economist
    1999. Likelihood of a hard landing for the Chinese economy. Bank of Canada
    2000. China currency move nails hard landing risk coffin. Chicago Tribune
    2001. A hard landing in China. Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas
    2002. China Seeks a Soft Economic Landing. Westchester University
    2003. Banking crisis imperils China. New York Times
    2004. The great fall of China? The Economist
    2005. The Risk of a Hard Landing in China. Nouriel Roubini
    2006. Can China Achieve a Soft Landing? International Economy
    2007. Can China avoid a hard landing? TIME
    2008. Hard Landing In China? Forbes
    2009. China’s hard landing. China must find a way to recover. Fortune
    2010: Hard landing coming in China. Nouriel Roubini
    2011: Chinese Hard Landing Closer Than You Think. Business Insider
    2012: Economic News from China: Hard Landing. American Interest 
    2013: A Hard Landing In China. Zero Hedge 
    2014. A hard landing in China. CNBC
    2015. Congratulations, You Got Yourself A Chinese Hard Landing. Forbes 
    2016. Hard landing looms for China. The Economist
    2017. Is China’s Economy Going To Crash? National Interest
    2018. China’s Coming Financial Meltdown. The Daily Reckoning.

  139. @anonymous

    India’s stats are indeed useless. Even the Governor of the Bank of India said so before he resigned in disgust.

    China’s stats, on the other hand, have been scrutinized by almost every authority on earth–from Thomas Piketty and the Petersen Institute to the US Federal Reserve–and found to be rock solid erring, if anything, towards conservative. They also match observed reality, as you will see when you visit China today.

  140. @anonymous

    This looks more realistic to me:

    • Replies: @anonymous
  141. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yee

    Countries that had been called copying in not too distant history: Germany, United States, Japan

    So, today…. Germany is bending over and taking it from hoards of Muslim invaders, USA seems to be on the cusp of civil war, while Japan is largely stagnant and slightly radioactive.

    This comparison does not bode well for China :-/

  142. RW says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Fair enough, it’s a PEW survey. But during my many years living in China, pre Xi Jinping, it certainly seemed like common knowledge among Chinese, and not only the journalist I spoke with, that Chinese surveys were not to be trusted because they were always tweaked by the government to make the government look good. I wonder how PEW conducted this survey.

    By the way, I wonder what you make of the mysterious deaths of so many Chinese billionaires, as reported earlier this decade in Forbes:

    China Daily reported Friday that unnatural deaths have taken the lives of 72 mainland billionaires over the past eight years. (Do the math.)

    Which means that if you’re one of China’s 115 current billionaires, as listed on the 2011 Forbes Billionaires List, you should be more than a little nervous.

    Mortality rate notwithstanding, what’s more disturbing is how these mega wealthy souls met their demise. According to China Daily, 15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died from accidents and 19 died from illness. Oh, yes, and 14 were executed. (Welcome to China.)

    I don’t know about you but I find it somewhat improbable that among such a small population there could be so many “suicides,” “accidents” and “death by disease” (the average age of those who died from illness was only 48). I’m only speculating but the homicide toll could really be much higher.

    Any way you look at it, of course, the life expectancy for the current crop of Chinese billionaires isn’t pretty.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/raykwong/2011/07/25/friends-dont-let-friends-become-chinese-billionaires/#525372f42dda

  143. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Erebus

    They’re far ahead in the area that matters most… infrastructure.

    If it was a race, China’s civil and industrial infrastructure has disappeared over the horizon, in no small part because the West’s has been stagnant or stuck in reverse. Physical infrastructure, of course, is what provides the foundation for all manner of other civilizational development

    Yes and no. China’s infrastructure was all built at the same time within the same technological paradigm, whereas other countries developed theirs over many eras. China’s homogenous approach gives excellent results in the immediate present, but may be an impediment to the sort of organic evolution that allows a nation to move seamlessly into the future.

    Do you understand what I’m getting at or should I flesh it out with examples?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  144. Laowai234 says:
    @Chinaman

    Hong Kong is 92% Han Chinese. That’s better demographics than America in the 1950s when it was 90% white. Gweilo are not your problem, at least not anymore. As far as I can see, you don’t have an immigration problem, except perhaps from the mainland. You have a class problem. The financial elite don’t seem to understand that a city needs all sorts of people to do all sorts of different jobs, and those people need homes to live in and a decent quality of life. If you’re so into solidarity with your fellow Han, you might consider the plight of all those old people pushing carts of old cardboard on the streets as your friend drives past in one of his 150 Ferraris, on the way to you buying him dinner.

  145. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Thank you for the graph. The police / political party ratings gave me a good chuckle.

    I visit China semi-regularly and I’ve seen a lot of the country, but I’m still not sure which future to bank on. Shanghai is amazing, of course, but lesser cities not always so much so. Even Shenzhen has a crappy airport (bao’an) and the feeling of quality is missing everywhere. China feels a bit cheap and two dimensional sometimes, like a prefab house. Going further inland, I remember visiting lanzhou earlier this decade. The city center was passable, but the trip in involved bad quality and dusty roads passing endless industrial yards with burning industrial waste adding it’s special scent to the air. I’d say that, for most Chinese, life in China is pretty rough and they accept health risks and conditions that most westerners would find abhorrent.

    Also, with regards to interpreting the statistics I’d point out that Chinese and Indians are diametrically opposed in their political outlook. Indians are extremely diversely opinionated, whereas Chinese are extremely uniform. These are such innate characteristics that we may as well call them genetic. The upshot is that, even if the facts on the ground are the same, the Chinese will be a lot more trusting of authority and do a lot more to toe the party line. As such, opinion polls measure the subject as much as they do the object.

  146. Che Guava says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    I had a drink with on my PRC neighbour after work tonight, he made the obvious point that the ‘demonstrators’ logically should be waving the British Union flag, and not the U.S.A. flag

    Funny, that.

  147. Bigbeef says:
    @anonymous

    What is there to chuckle about? Don’t you know as a man you have to follow a certain program to grow and become a man.

    Indians “extremely diverse opinionated”, nice try Indian, if you are not stupid in India, everyone has the same opinion. To have really great diversity of opinions you need to get out of poverty. And what is this great opinion coming from India? The world is waiting. Absolutely nothing. That we should divide ourselves into castes, have people cleaning shit for generations? That we should dance in every damn film, even if it’s insulting to call it a film? I am guessing Indians, like the Muslims, decided to stay in the medieval times while rest of the world are scrambling for new ideas. Indians like to make fun of Muslims, but how are they different?

    The religion thing is a killer. Every Muslim and Hindu pretends to know the whole universe but has not read a single book except their religious texts. Also in China, Taiwan and HK are so old style they would bring back foot-binding if they were allowed. Taiwanese pretend they are authentic Chinese but that’s why you are living on a fucking island.

    • Replies: @anon
  148. denk says:

    IN any COLOR rev, only may be 1% are ‘insiders‘, the rest , the swarming adolecents, are just brainwashed zombies, cannon folders slated for martydom , they’r the WMDemonisation.

    From the horse mouth, ‘
    Cai Ling, ring leader of the CIA TAM caper,

    ‘The situation has become so dangerous. The students asked me what we were going to do next. I wanted to tell them that we were expecting bloodshed, that it would take a massacre, which would spill blood like a river through Tiananmen Square, to awaken the people.

    But how could I tell them this? How could I tell them that their lives would have to be sacrificed in order to win?’

    She wouldnt be one of the sacrificial lamb of course, hightailed to murikka on the first plane out, or was she spirited out by the yellow bird op. ?

    The Tibetan rioters, Uighurs militants, HKers, TAM students, workers were all meant to be sacrificed on the altar of ‘democracy’, they’r the unwitting patsies doing the empire and their ‘leaders’ bidding.
    its their leaders who reaped the prestige and honor and ……..prolly windfalls….

    The insiders…

    Martin Lee , I’d allow he’s an unwitting patsy, on account of his effort to save the ethnic Chinese during the CIA orchestrated pogrom in 1998.

    JImmy Lai, otoh, is the proverbial quisling.
    He actually look the part…

    prior to the 2014 HK umbrella rev., uber neocon Paul Wolferwicz visited Lai on his private yahct in the HK harbor, what do you figure was the genda in that day long confab, horse racing, the weather, or may be the two had a fling ?

    Even when the sob goes to the tea house, his yum cha buddy looks like a CIA/MI6 mofo,.
    In this scene he is shouted down by the other
    patrons, ‘traitor, traitor’

    No country would tolerate such brazen, open
    collaboration bet a traitor and his foreign buddies. least of all the [[[family]]].

    The Brits ostensibly left HK 1997, but in true form, they left behind a booby trap, the one country two system treaty sans any extradition clause.
    HK in effect become fukus largest overea spook centre, a gawd damned CIA/MI6 bridgehead right at China’s doorstep, with the legislator, education, churches, civil services all crawling with spooks or their local compradors, whether witting or the unwitting varieties.
    HK was already fucked on the day it’s ‘returned’ to the motherland.

    Without an extradition clause,
    CCP cant do shit with traitors like Lai and
    the likes of Brien Kern, field commander of the
    swarming adolecents, never mind crooks , murderers who seek sanctuary in the paradise of anarchy.

    This is one reason Lai and his fukus mentors organise this massive op to kill the proposed act, cuz once it goes thru, CIA/MI6 safe house, aka their HK consulates can say bye bye to its hitherto impunity to create havoc right at China doorstep , Lai and his ilks would be marched off to Beijing to receive their just deserts/

    There’s also the TW angle, as raised by poster Mark [?] this is prolly a fukus/tw join op., long in the planning.

    At the end of the day, the extradition clause, the TW factor are just the sideshows.
    The current caper is simply part and parcel of fukus agenda….incessant destabilisation attempts since 1949, in TAM, Tibet, Xinjiang, HK …

    [[[the family]]] are professional arsonists,
    they earn their living by starting fire, then ‘help’ by pouring kerosene on it.
    No hard feeling, its all business folks.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  149. xxxxx says:

    I know that ((( ))) refers to Jews.

    But what about [[[ ]]] ?

  150. onebornfree says: • Website

    The World’s Most Effective Censor

    “Whatever threats from constitutionally challenged politicians the United States faces, it remains a beacon of freedom compared to China, which can claim the dubious honor of most effective internet censor in the world. Social media apps are blocked, political content is restricted, and activists and journalists who document human rights abuses may be arrested and held in lengthy pretrial detention. Anonymity is impeded, with real names required.

    The country’s constitution says that “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” But the reality is that the internet in China is almost entirely subservient to government whims.

    As Freedom House, a nonprofit group advocating for political freedom, reports, “websites and social media accounts are subject to deletion or closure at the request of censorship authorities, and Internet companies are required to proactively monitor and delete problematic content or face punishment.” In addition, “officials systematically instruct Internet outlets to amplify content from state media and downplay news, even from some state-affiliated media, that might generate public criticism of the government.” Hundreds of popular websites are blocked by the country, including Google, Facebook, Whats-App, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, Dropbox, Instagram, SoundCloud, WordPress, and Pinterest.

    In 2017, China reinforced its control of the web with a law that increased censorship rules and, more worryingly, required that user data be stored on the Chinese mainland. “Data localization,” as it’s called, means that sensitive personal records will be easily available to police and intelligence agencies. U.S.-based companies such as Airbnb and Evernote dutifully moved Chinese user data to state-controlled companies. Last year Apple announced, without elaboration, that it was shifting iCloud operations for all its mainland Chinese customers to a government-owned local partner, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry.

    China is not alone in its efforts to control the internet. Instead, it is leading the way among authoritarian nations……”: The End of the Free Internet Is Near
    https://reason.com/2019/07/12/the-end-of-the-free-internet-is-near/

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Godfree Roberts
  151. Erebus says:
    @anonymous

    If anything, I’d say China overbuilt. It looks like the planners made some assumptions about future growth and technological advance that will prove optimistic.

    If that’s what you’re driving at, then yes I understand.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  152. Erebus says:
    @anonymous

    It sounds like you haven’t been in China for a while. Shenzhen’s new airport opened ~6 yrs ago, and the feeling of quality has taken a sharp turn upwards in the last decade, as has environmental protection.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  153. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Have you guys ever seen China?

    No, they haven’t, and they won’t. At least not recently.
    That would cause an unbearable level of cognitive dissonance, and (more dangerously) a dilution of the certainty that underpins their much cherished ignorance.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
    , @RE
  154. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Erebus

    I’m struggling to put words to this. It seems that centrally planned systems are inherently uniform and therefore somehow fragile. Whatever mistakes have been made will have been made a million times over, and there are no alternative approaches to draw on as seed material in times of need.

    For example, many roads crossing mountainous areas are endless bridge-tunnel-bridge-tunnel affairs. The tunnels were impressively long (up to 4 km!) but already leaking water. It made me wonder how much of china’s infrastructure has been badly built, at what point in time the maintenance costs start to ramp up, and whether China will be able to afford the bills if the export market has already died down by then.

    China has also made a big push with electric scooters and smaller 3/4 wheelers. Now they need electricity, and it seems to come largely by building hundreds of new nuclear power plants at essentially the same level of technology that gave us Fukushima and eternally radioactive spent rods.

    Soon they’ll have 5G everywhere. What if there are health effects? There are no NIMBY outposts to provide a reference point.

    And just one anecdote to illustrate my lack of faith in the central planners: in Western China, there are some really impressive new highways stretching for thousands of kilometers all the way from kashgar and urumqi to gansu and beyond. In a bid to keep the highways safe, both sides are hermetically sealed in tall fences and, unfortunately, many sections run through nomadic land where the locals are used to walking around and running livestock. The solution: they carry bolt cutters all the time! One family had to cut their way across the highway to get from house to lake, while others needed to open access holes to get their livestock across. From their perspective, the central planners must seem rather shortsighted!

  155. Erebus says:
    @anonymous

    Ah, ok valid points.

    Well, when you’re building M’s of kms of new highways, 100s of HS railway stations, airports etc etc etc, at a breakneck pace, there’s gonna be slippage whether centrally planned, or not. (BTW, most of China’s building is locally driven)

    Leaking tunnels, BTW, are not something new, or limited to China but I too have noted that what is being built today is head & shoulders above the quality of stuff they built 10-15 yrs ago. Parenthetically, there’s a tunnel in Khobar, Saudi Arabia built by a French(?) group that flooded regularly and sometimes completely. I believe it had to be closed and totally re-built, but I haven’t returned to see what they did about it.

    Those fences beside the highway are obviously there to keep livestock off the road. No doubt the needs of the local nomadic groups has or will come to the attention of the planners and underpasses will be built so they can get their livestock to the other side. I’ve seen such occasionally in the middle of nowhere and when I wondered what they were for, that’s the exact explanation I got.

    Now they need electricity, and it seems to come largely by building hundreds of new nuclear power plants at essentially the same level of technology that gave us Fukushima and eternally radioactive spent rods.

    To be sure, China initially relied on Western nuclear tech to its detriment. They’re switching to Rosatom’s fast breeder reactors, which reduce the waste by more than 90%, and the Russians take even that back to reprocess into new fuel. The new sodium cooled, fast breeders are able to re-use the old waste that the older, Western tech plants created, so there is a solution here for those who permit themselves access to Russian pre-eminence in this field. It is the long-term solution to the world’s need for electricity. Cheap, reliable, and effectively no waste.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  156. @anonymous

    Greed of TEPCO, not the reactor design, caused Fukushima disaster.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @AnonFromTN
  157. anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @Erebus

    No doubt the needs of the local nomadic groups has or will come to the attention of the planners and underpasses will be built so they can get their livestock to the other side. I’ve seen such occasionally in the middle of nowhere and when I wondered what they were for, that’s the exact explanation I got.

    Yes, in some areas they have these. You ever had a look inside? They’re usually full of animal shit, human shit, and soiled toilet paper. Oh, China!

    It is the long-term solution to the world’s need for electricity. Cheap, reliable, and effectively no waste.

    Nuclear fusion was supposed to do this also. Turns out that those fast neutrons turn the steel containment into mechanically embrittled radioactive waste!

    I think solar is the long term solution. We need to figure out how to print acres of organic solar cells and let them cover xinjiang in it.

  158. anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Greed of TEPCO, not the reactor design, caused Fukushima disaster

    Nuclear reactors need active cooling to prevent a meltdown but the diesel generators flooded and the battery bank ran out within a few hours. What has greed got to do with this?

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  159. @anonymous

    Good point.

    My current hypothesis is that the apparent political uniformity (which disappears when you talk one on one with any Chinese!) derives from the fact that everyone is pretty agreed on the country’s two main goals: a xiaokang society by 2021 (everyone without exception has a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care) and a dàtóng society perhaps a century later.

    Both are baked into the culture, having been described by Confucius 2500 years ago and set as explicit goals by Mao. The the 2021 xiaokang deadline was set by Deng as the fruit of Reform and Opening. That also brings Deng’s mandate to a fruitful end and all his sins will be forgiven, no doubt, along with everyone else’s. Fair enough.

    Xi Thought is replacing it: consolidate xiaokang by reaching Finland-level GINI in 2035 and Finland-level prosperity by 2049.

    Given the communal, consensual nature of Chinese society and the amount of collective energy and national pride that these accomplishments will release, it’s not hard to see why everyone is politically uniform in their views.

    India, by contrast, is going nowhere in particular. Like us.

  160. @onebornfree

    The same holds true in the United States if you are an undeclared, paid agent of a foreign power, as most of the censored ‘heroes’ in China are. Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, for example, was very publicly on the USG payroll for thirty years.

    Censorship in the US is tighter and more destructive than in China, in my experience, and not limited to FB, YouTube and Twitter.

    Every comment I make about China in online comment boxes is monitored and either deleted or made invisible to anyone but myself (Financial Times).

    My business mailing list provider blocked my account last month when I linked to an article by Tony Cartalucci, a former CIA agent who writes about US subversion in SE Asia. Now that’s attention to detail!

    What’s worse about our censorship is that it blocks information. So we have no clue about what’s happening in China, for example. There’s no chance we can catch China now. They’ve overtaken us in almost every dimension of human endeavor. The 5G fiasco is the tip of the iceberg.

    Chinese censors block disinformation so the Chinese know in detail what’s happening here and everywhere. That’s why their foreign policy is winning hearts and minds and ours is losing them.

    Our censorship regime has ensured that we will be irrelevant by 2028, when China’s defense budget will be bigger than ours and its economy will be twice as big.

    The moral of the story? Never believe your own PR.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  161. @Erebus

    Glad you pointed that out. I was there last year and was impressed at its style and efficiency. Ditto remote Kunming, where the taxi driver told me they were doubling its capacity, though the terminal was only six years old.

  162. @Erebus

    It’s not really their fault. See my comment on censorship, above. We are sooo screwed.

  163. @anonymous

    We’ve fallen into a semantic trap by calling China ‘centrally planned’. It’s centrally led, towards two consensual, societal goals (xiaokang and dàtóng, see my response above).

    Beijing’s authority stems from its role as head of the National Family and the fact that officials there are the cream of the national crop. The Steering Committee, for example, are China’s smartest (IQ140+), most experienced (30 years spent doubling the incomes of everyone they governed), most honest men. They’re supported by people smarter than them who conduct surveys and create Five Year Plans that advance the whole society towards its shared goals. But they leave it up to the provinces to figure out how to get to them, as you can see from this very revealing chart:

    And, btw, all tunnels leak.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  164. @anonymous

    TEPCO knew of the problem and refused to spend the $ to relocate the generators.

    Not all reactors need active cooling to prevent a meltdown. Newer designs, like China’s Pebble Bed Reactors, have passive meltdown protection.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  165. anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    But they leave it up to the provinces to figure out how to get to them, as you can see from this very revealing chart:

    Presumably this chart doesn’t counter for the relative size of each country? In which case, to make it fair, you’d have to compare China to Europe+USA+a bunch of other countries. Then we’d see a very different picture!

  166. @AnonFromTN

    Even TEPCO itself acknowledged that it was aware of problems but decided not to spend extra money on fixing them (see also #169). If that’s not greed, I don’t know what is.

  167. RE says:
    @Erebus

    “Indians are extremely diversely opinionated, whereas Chinese are extremely uniform.”

    Complete bullshit- you learned nothing from your time in China. China was host to greater intellectual diversity over a long period of time than any other major civilisation – the three belief systems of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism as opposed to the stifling conformity of Monotheism elsewhere.

    Were the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods uniform in their beliefs? Did Taiwan evolve into a natural one party state amidst once it instituted a system of representative democracy?

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Erebus
  168. @Godfree Roberts

    Never believe your own PR

    This is pretty good. Alot of Americans should take this to heart. Would be way more prepared for the future.

  169. anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @RE

    Complete bullshit- you learned nothing from your time in China. China was host to greater intellectual diversity over a long period of time than any other major civilisation

    I’m talking about the present, not the past. I’m no historian, just someone who travels a lot more inquisitively than most folk.

    the three belief systems of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism as opposed to the stifling conformity of Monotheism elsewhere.

    I’m not seeing much evidence of taoist or Buddhist thinking in China. It seems to be staunchly Confucianist.

    Meanwhile, in India…

  170. anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    That’s news to me, i didn’t know they had advance warning.

    Regarding pebble bed reactors, they are still experimental technology and we won’t be in a position to fully appraise their virtues until all the facts are known. Difficulty of fuel reprocessing seems like a major issue, and perhaps it’s also harder to ensure structural integrity of the reactor in such a high temperature high neutron flux environment. ‘Dust’ was also unanticipated and needs to be worked around.

  171. Erebus says:
    @RE

    You quoted anonymous[376] not me, so your response to that is moot for me. However, your claim that:

    … the three belief systems of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism as opposed to the stifling conformity of Monotheism elsewhere.

    … surely does not apply to India. That has to be craziest quilt of belief systems of anywhere on the planet through almost all of its history.

  172. “Why did Xi Jinping send his daughter to Harvard?”

    many reasons:

    1. If you are the king of a weaker country, you send your son/first born(potentially the crowned prince)as a hostage to the stronger country of your own accord to show them that you know you are weak and you accept this fact, so that you can win some trust to get longer peace period for yourself. This is very very very common practice during the ancient China Spring & Autumn Warring States period(our very first emperor of Qin, he is the son of a hostage prince who live in the land of Zhao, another kingdom instead of the prince’s homeland Qin).
    If you still can’t see how this prince as hostage thing works, you don’t fit any politics.

    2. Unlike Trump and Ivanka, Xi have no politic ambition/expectations for his daughter. Since she leave China for such long time to live with fake name in a foreign country when her father is in top power, she is actually exiled. Such exile is really good for her, good for Xi, good for Chinese people.
    She will be safe from Xi’s opponent in China, safe from any trouble maker or local ‘good friends’ that try to corrupt her.
    Xi become a model to lead other CCP leaders in such personal life: as the Boss here, I have exiled my daughter, why are you still requiring so much for your son/daughter? Keep your hands clean!
    Chinese people is free from the risk of royal house thing since Mao, we’d like to keep it this way. The less ‘prince and princesses’ we have here in our own place, the opportunities we have for our own child as common folks.

    3. Xi have good wishes to his beloved only daughter to enjoy a good life as a relatively common person.

    4. It’s Harvard.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  173. anon[776] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bigbeef

    What does average majority American or British read ?

    I am sure you can write those books while watching a game between New England Patriot and Old Alabama Confederate or while watching FOX and wondering about why Muslim are backward .

    There was this patient of severe migraines in a neurology rehab unit He started getting tested on memory and intelligence and general level of information . He was lawyer , knew about Russia gate and , stick going up, good job growth , and real estate still booming . He didn’t like Trump and hated Hilary but loved Israel and adored Indian Hindu and wished they knew Jesus . Then he remarked ; “ what’s wrong with Iran ? Why are they picking up a fight with Trump ? Obama shouldn’t have given them those billions of dollars . Now they are up to some bad things “

    That is what American read , learn , obsess about , and gather knowledge from books written by you and news fished by FOX / CNN or Drudge Report .

    • Replies: @Bigbeef
  174. anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:
    @Erebus

    … surely does not apply to India. That has to be craziest quilt of belief systems of anywhere on the planet through almost all of its history.

    I’d say they carry out at least 90% of worldwide spiritual R&D 🙂

  175. @Erebus

    Before the British raj, how many countries were there on that sub continent? They were never really united before becoming a colony. I know Hinduism and Buddhism is from India, what else? Was Islam introduced by the mongols?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  176. denk says:

    HK ‘independence’ leaders led by JImmy Lai, Martin Lee , were seen meeting a gweilo in a plush restaurant, while HK burns.
    Are they celebrating their handiwork, ?

    Where else in the world could you find such a
    paradise for CIA/MI6 ? no wonder [[[they]]] are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way.

    Agent provocateurs attacking police, damage public properties,ransack police stations, clash with normal citizens, disrupt subway servie….

    But the extradition act is already shelved, why
    are they still going all out to provoke the police , the govn ?
    LIke I say, while the quisling JImmy Lai and his fukus mentors are bent on killing the extradition act., their agenda goes far beyond that, they wanna provoke a crackdown, they want a bloodbath.

    sobs have successfully demonised China with that TAM ‘massacre’ hoax.
    now they want a TAM2, with actual footage of
    police brutality .

    CNN, Reuters, BBc, are on site with camera ready,.
    its up to the agent provocateurs to do their stuff now,
    I heard many frontline cadres are paid top monies.

    The children of independence leaders wont be in the melee, risking injury and arrest ….
    I guess they dont need the dough.

    All their precious sons./dauhters are working/studying in fukus, their preferred motherland.

    Was it Patten who said,
    ‘Let the other sob die for the country’

  177. Erebus says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Was Islam introduced by the mongols?

    Are you referring to the Moghuls, who united (much of) India under Islamic rule in the 16thC? Even they didn’t introduce Islam as it was already practised in India.

    The first Moghul dynasty did have Mongolian heritage, but the Mongol Empire itself never extended into India. Their many attempts to take the subcontinent were in fact fought off by the Islamic Sultanate of Delhi which had been established centuries before.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  178. RW says:

    PEW has to rely on local Chinese to carry out the surveys they design. They cannot ask questions or perform interviews themselves. In an authoritarian state where the flow of information is controlled, this means surveys like the one leading this article should not be trusted. https://www.pewresearch.org/methods/international-survey-research/data-quality-in-international-polling/

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  179. Bigbeef says:
    @anon

    The point of reading and writing and learning in a culture is to create doubt. But doubt is not necessarily good for society or rulers. It’s very good if your shit ain’t working. Some huge civilizations had to change their ways so fast because pride, humility, more importantly dignity. And they were much older and stronger civilizations than most.

    It’s not about comparing like a little girl, it’s about doubt and your capability of change and your damn survival. The red state americans are obviously having a hard time surviving, the Muslims are thriving by being driven from their countries, and the Hindus are well there screaming bloody murder. I wish them the best but without doubt, humility, capability of change hell no they won’t survive in the modern world. It’s just too brutal for aunties and the wall-mart shopper. Even HK feels it.

  180. @last straw

    I dont think its a coincidence that South Korea and Taiwan which teeter back and forth between political parties have been less effective than Singapore – which has been ruled by one party for 40+ years. Yet the young still complain. Thats what youth does… Doesnt mean they are always correct. In fact they usually arent because experienced hasnt taught them enough… They go off ideals. I remember that myself from my own experience.

  181. @RW

    So many false notions get spouted. Money doesnt leave China because of lack of trust. 1) for most people it is simply to diversify. China does not have a mature investment environment. So people plur money into real estate. Once that is saturated they look elsewhere. Nothing complicated at all. 2) people who commit financial crimes – which are dealt with much more severely than happens elsewhere.

    • Replies: @RW
    , @Astuteobservor II
  182. @RW

    Let’s see what happens when a Chinese polling company starts framing questions and brings in Mainland Chinese to put them to thousands of Americans.

    • Replies: @RW
    , @Erebus
  183. RW says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    There would be nothing stopping them. And I imagine some Chinese government controlled polling company must have already done this on some scale. But in China the freedoms do not exist that would allow PEW even to monitor the interviews, much less conduct them. So it is difficult to know what the Chinese are really thinking unless you are there living and directly interacting with lots of people.

    • Replies: @Ber
    , @Godfree Roberts
  184. RW says:
    @Showmethereal

    It’s a lack of trust in the integrity of the system, really, but that goes to the government to a significant extent. Interesting post on just this topic over on Sailer’s blog right now.

  185. @Jason Liu

    “People who are pro-independence or pro-western style democracy” have the legal right to self-determination under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This legitimate right needs to be respected everywhere.

  186. Anonymous[347] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wakey-Wakey

    Haha. Where did you teleport from?

    It’s called “territorial integrity”. Look it up. No nation can afford to let every Tom, Dick or Wakey-Wakey secede and proclaim that their house and garden are actually the brand new People’s Republic of Wakanda – a full-on monarchy with no taxes and unregulated blackjack/hookers. LOL!

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  187. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Godfree, I’m sure you know that that’s hardly an adequate answer to RW’s salient point.

    If what he says in his original and subsequent posts is true, one has to take the results of those polls with a at least a grain of salt. They certainly aren’t “PEW polls” in the ordinary sense in which you suggested they were.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  188. Ber says:
    @RW

    The narrative that people fear to express their true opinions in polls, or government controlled polls, is doubtful when one can see real progress made in China…..can progress be made with guess work statistics?

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @RW
  189. RW says:
    @Ber

    That is not the only obstacle. The bigger problem is probably government manipulation of data.

    • Replies: @Ber
  190. Ber says:
    @RW

    Any government that manipulates data will end up shooting themselves in the foot.

    Actions based on falsified data will bring ruins to the country. Impossible for any country to progress.

    • Replies: @RW
  191. RW says:
    @Ber

    They can progress if intelligent people within China know better than to pay their government any real attention—and if China keeps stealing tech from other countries.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  192. @RW

    You seem to have accepted the Fox News picture of China. It is simply bonkers, and has nothing to do with reality.

    Since 2002 anyone can conduct surveys in China. Harvard University faculty have been among the most enthusiastic pollsters, but all the big firms, like Gallup, Edelman, Pew, Japan’s Public Opinion Research Center, WVS, are all active.

    The Chinese are far less afraid of their government than we are of ours. And for good reason.

    • Replies: @RW
  193. @Erebus

    The polls by themselves are useless unless the correspond to observed reality.

    Why, for example, do so many Chinese trust their government? One easy answer is that their government keeps its promises.

    How do we know it keeps its promises? Because we track them all since, naturally we’d like to be able to jeer when the government doesn’t keep its word. Here’s a recent example:

    You can see all the results here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-year_plans_of_China.

    That’s just one measure of one dimension but there is similarly ample evidence to back up every survey and stat.

    But no survey can undo the decades of misinformation we have endured from our media. Your and my generation are like religious believers: we have no evidence whatever for our assertions but we’ve been impressed with nonsense since we were children and are now convinced.

    Propaganda works but, eventually, it bites you in the ass. China is leaving us in the dust and we’re completely flat footed. Misinformation has disarmed us.

  194. @Erebus

    Ahh, I actually thought the Mongols conquered it all. Just like how China was.

  195. @Showmethereal

    Don’t take emos too seriously. Dude is very, very distraught when it comes to China and anything related. Would believe anything and everything bad being said about China, makes up stuff on the spot too.

    It is better to ignore his comments.

  196. @Wakey-Wakey

    This right here, this is the very best example of stupidity.

    This takes the cake of stupid and ate it.

  197. @RW

    China hasn’t stolen any significant IP from anyone.
    There is no documentation that shows it has.
    Nothing that China has taken has been costly to the US.
    China spends three times more than the US annually on R&D.
    China is ahead of the US in basic STEM research, citations, innovations and in most technologies.

    If we tally up the number of court cases since 1996 charged under the USA Economic Espionage Act (EEA 1831 and EEA 1832) that favor USA and found guilty to ESA (not those phony “unauthorized access to computers” face saving charges) the USA come up top. By guilty I mean at least one of the defendants convicted by the judges or juries, or at least one of the defendants already committed suicide. If you plot the log-log plot of the number of cases against the nominal national GDP you will find a log-log linear relationship, i.e. they are just the normal consequence of competition in free market, even by absolute value or by per trillion nominal GDP the USA data came up top.

    A more interesting metric is how much “value” they got out of economic espionage wrt the amount of their R&D expenditure. The result might be more illuminating, bringing India ahead of China.

    Case Closed and Guilty on Economic Espionage:
    Rank NcasePerTrillionR&D Ncase Country
    1 2614.47 1 Vietnam
    2 749.25 1 Iran
    3 464.52 1 S. Africa
    4 161.61 3 India
    5 156.35 36 China
    6 143.57 73 U.S
    7 76.57 1 Israel
    8 66.08 4 S. Korea
    9 65.49 1 Russia
    10 41.89 1 Italy
    11 40.60 1 Canada
    12 36.03 1 Australia
    13 5.66 1 Japan

    A measure of the spin and victimization is the rate of the main Economic Espionage charges being dropped, not guilty.
    EEA 1831, 1832 dropped
    Rank | NCasePerTrillionGDP | NCase | Benefit Country | status
    1 | 0.4698 | 10 | China | Dropped
    2 | 0.1911 | 1 | Japan | Dropped
    3 | 0.1611 | 3 | U.S | Dropped

    What patent law typically, but not always, precludes is the issuance of a national patent for a foreign invention by somebody other than the original inventor. That would be a violation of the “public domain” clause in most, but not all national patent law. Parenthetically, that’s why the USSR applied for and were granted US patents for certain military technologies. The USM, under no obligation to respect USSR patents, could otherwise copy the technology at will.

    The “stealing technology” dispute is, at bottom a cultural/civilizational gulf. The notion that an idea can be somebody’s property simply doesn’t exist in the Chinese mindset. Their notion of property doesn’t seem to extend beyond physical things, and the Chinese “steal technology” from each other with the same abandon that they “steal” from foreigners.

    If you want a quotable source, http://cardozolawreview.com/prosecuting-chinese-spies-an-empirical-analysis-of-the-economic-espionage-act/

    • Replies: @RW
    , @Erebus
  198. RW says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Godfree, given that PEW cannot operate freely in China to obtain reliable results, obviously no other polling organization is able to do so, as they are all subject to the same law. PEW openly admits this in the link I posted above. Your objection seems mulish.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  199. RW says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    If we tally up the number of court cases since 1996 charged under the USA Economic Espionage Act (EEA 1831 and EEA 1832) that favor USA and found guilty to ESA (not those phony “unauthorized access to computers” face saving charges) the USA come up top. By guilty I mean at least one of the defendants convicted by the judges or juries, or at least one of the defendants already committed suicide.

    Huh?

  200. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    What patent law typically, but not always, precludes is the issuance of a national patent for a foreign invention by somebody other than the original inventor. That would be a violation of the “public domain” clause in most, but not all national patent law. Parenthetically, that’s why the USSR applied for and were granted US patents for certain military technologies. The USM, under no obligation to respect USSR patents, could otherwise copy the technology at will.

    The “stealing technology” dispute is, at bottom a cultural/civilizational gulf. The notion that an idea can be somebody’s property simply doesn’t exist in the Chinese mindset. Their notion of property doesn’t seem to extend beyond physical things, and the Chinese “steal technology” from each other with the same abandon that they “steal” from foreigners.

    Godfree, if you’re quoting somebody, surely good manners and intellectual integrity demands that you give attribution. Shame on you.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  201. @Anonymous

    Yeah you are correct… i chuckle when people make these assertion. If it was always allowed for anyoje to declare independence – there would be 1000 nations in the UN… But then the UN would break up because different regions would want to separate. Then there would be 10,000 ruling tribal governments like centuries ago. People who make such pronouncements dont live in reality.

  202. TT says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Godfree,

    This is largely true. Only the 2nd or 3rd tier of PRC students went to US/UK best universities like Harvard under scholarship. My PRC friends in Top10 China universities all told me that.

    In Quora, you may know one Cambridge PhD -Janus, also can’t get into China Top10 universities. So his high school offered him a scholarship to study in Cambridge Uni.
    https://www.quora.com/profile/Janus-Dongye-Qimeng

    One PRC guy who join my uni under a Spore bank scholarship, got 1st class honors in the most competitive STEM subject. Yet he told me, he was only 3rd tier in his CITY only.

    During my time, due gov very strict quota control, only Top10% cohort will get into (NUS-NTU) local universities, while Top10% undergrad will get to study in STEM. Only Top2% will get 1st Class.

    These 1st class cohort will often snatched up by gov as Top Civil servants, or big MNCs like Shell as management trainee. They usually ended with a MBA/PhD in Harvard under scholarship.

    Those couldn’t get into local Uni, have to study abroad. Yet they often achieved Top20% dean list of UK/Australia good Uni. Some even awarded with Gold medals(No.1 in Uni) and invited by Harvard or Cambridge for fellowship.

    So the rejected lot of Spore will be Top20% of West good universities. And Spore is consistently rank Global No.1 in PISA test, maths Olympiad, ave IQ 107, etc.

    Yet the PRC rejected 3rd rate student, is our 1st Class scholar, good enough to study PhD in Harvard with gov scholarship. It must be damn competitive in China.

  203. TT says:
    @Laowai234

    According to my PRC friends, its indeed a 50yrs trial spot of West-British democracy. Its also for Taiwan 1 country 2 system model study. If HK work, China will port it over to Taiwan when reunion.

    China gave HK a free hand to run their day to day life,except military & Foreign Affair. But seeing the deplorable condition of HK vs stella performing Chinese socialism, I doubt any Chinese still want the dysfunctional flawed West democracy system, that’s good for legitimize the Top1% interest with election.

    On the polling results, from my daily interaction with PRC people, its seem quite true above 90% think China gov is doing the best for them. They have great trust and satisfaction with Prez Xi gov. So I think Godfree is largely correct.

  204. TT says:
    @Escher

    China has 1400M population, approx 1% emigrate or study overseas for all reasons, one of world lowest. Still that’s 14M. So they aren’t desperate as you think so.

    Many went to West are corrupted officials & business men, and criminals who need a heaven like West that CCP can’t extradite. There they can chuck away their loot. In 1997, many HK criminals flee to West, fearing China persecution. So HK instantly changed from a crime infested slum to No.1 safest place.

    Quite a number of PRC also invested $20M house to get instant residency in Spore. These are the wealthy ones who want their children to study in a safe and good educational system like Spore. They worried about US bad culture influence and poor safety for their only child. They will return or proceed to US for further study after complete high school.

    The rest who came Spore are those trying to find a better pay job, not really their highly educated ones. But those corrupted or criminals will have to worry of getting caught & extradited in Spore. So West is still their preference.

    Some PRC went to West ivory Uni to study(if they failed to enter China Top10 Uni) to gain experience. West education & living standard was much better than China 10~15yrs ago. Can’t said for now. It seems more Chinese are heading back to China with better opportunity & living standard awaiting.

    Fresh grads from top uni like Qinghua / Beida are said to fetch $50~200K p.a. pay in companies like Huawei, Alibaba, Xiaomi…that’s quite competitive consider lower living cost.

    In Quora, you can read many Westerners living & working in China heaping all praise of the quality of lifes well ahead of US. Haven’t come across any bad comment yet.

    In fact, when I was doing business in US SV & Jp decades ago, their infrastructure already quite dilapidated compared to Spore. Now compare to China, Spore is already falling behind.

    My brother loved to work in China, and enjoy its 1st class FSR. Our MRT train break down everyday. Millions of India criminals & violent rioters throng our streets, forming 1/3 work force under gov policy. Its like another India slum or West.

    So i might have to migrate to China in a decade with thing going this way.

  205. TT says:
    @Republic

    According to Hongkie, 90~95% high judges are white Brits & Aussie, certainly not 6% so low.

    These white judges then persecuted police with heavier jail terms & dismissal then the rioters in previous rioting In fact most rioters were released free.

    So that might be main reason police hesitate to fight back this time.

  206. TT says:
    @Joe Wong

    These extradition terms are what all West msm conveniently not mentioned.

    In fact, HK already has full extradition treaty with 22 nations, including most notorious US & UK. Also partial extradition with another 20. Its just an extension to cover China, Taiwan, Macao. HK isa criminal heaven now.

    If HKies want to worry, its US that is very notorious to persecute other nation. Some Sporeans get extradited and jailed for US unilateral illegal sanction of Iran. So whoever happen to trade with their shell companies legally in Spore, you are still subjected to US ruling.

    Also, any HK extradition do required the 90% white HK judges approval. Carrie Lam even tried to slot in a discriminating term to jeopardize judicial. Chief governor will has the last say for all China extradition even approve by judges with all conditions met.

    These, you will never read in West msm.

  207. TT says:
    @anonymous

    Which part of the world or India city you come from?

    If China airports are deemed crappy, then which airport is up to standard? More than 15yrs ago they already built 1st class airports that impressed me so much. They even imported exact signs & dustbin from Spore Changi airport for Guangzhou Baiyun.

    Btw, Spore Changi airport is ranked best for decades with hundreds of awards. Our latest airport with Jewel mall is quite nice, but Beijing new airport will simply dwarf us. Crappy China infrastructure? Its first time i have heard. But if you tell me US, UK, Japan, India crappy airports, i fully agreed.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gabrielleigh/2019/05/01/singapores-jewel-the-best-airport-shopping-mall-in-the-world/#24b645803b7c

    Spore new airport

    Beijing new airport

  208. @RW

    I cannot find your link to Pew, can you provide it again?

    Incidentally, if ChinaPoll tried surveying American attitudes, what do you think would happen?

  209. Erebus says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    The Cardozo Law Review link contains no such quote, so I’m guessing that this was just an error on your part.

    FWIW, the quote is found here:
    http://www.unz.com/article/huawei-5g-and-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/?display=showcomments#comment-2793098

  210. ‘…It’s very transparent and, if your data is better than mine, your bill gets passed and mine doesn’t. Congress’ votes are nearly unanimous because the legislation is backed by reams of data…

    … It is easy to muster ninety-percent support if the data is sound….’

    Please. If this were so, we’d always agree on discussion boards. If Congress’ votes are nearly always virtually unanimous, I’ll stick with the theory that it’s because a decision was made elsewhere and in advance.

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