West Kowloon Cultural Centre Promenade
This stunning modern concept was designed by Andrew Bromberg of international architecture studio Aedas and its completion is programmed for 2015. In three years time, the huge 4,628,481 square feet (430,000 square meters) contemporary terminal in central Hong Kong will be prepared with 15 tracks for high-speed trains reaching maximum speeds of 124 mph.
This dazzling terminal is an example of how far technology and architecture have come together, forming part of the greater Pearl River Delta greater development of super infrastructure of high-speed trains, super highways & freeways, one megametropolis of nine major regional cities with ease & speed of communting – a feat that none the world will ever see.
Starting with the first impression, this undulating building will change the city’s face – promising to proudly display Hong Kong’s bold and vanguard character. Rising 148 feet high above the surroundings, the structure’s roof line acts as dynamic-shaped pedestrian trails alongside green spaces. This park/terminal hybrid fabricates a promised view of the future – we can’t wait to see it finished and on-line.
Above ground, the terminal’s exterior architecture is quite exquisite. The outside ground plane bends down to the hall and the roof structure above gestures toward the harbour. The result is a 148 ft high volume which focuses all attention to the south façade with views of the Hong Kong Central skyline, Victoria Peak and beyond. Much of the station’s roof is actually green so pedestrian can cross over the top, making it seem more like a park than a train station.
When the West Kowloon Cultural precinct was reclaimed & development, there was much speculation. Now pieces of puzzle are in place & this is truly going to be something spectacular.
West Kowloon Express Rail Terminus:
20 – 27 October 2011
By P Chong 1 November 2011
I first visited Beijing in May/June 1989 when I led a tour party of 10 there. The most memorable thing about that trip was the infamous Tiananmen Square demonstration which disrupted our sightseeing of the place. Tiananmen which means “Peaceful Heaven Gate” & which demonstration if not cracked down by the then Paramount Ruler, Deng Xiaoping would have spelt a different China we see today. It would be reminiscent of the last days of the weak Qing Dynasty which saw some eight foreign countries or more carving out Chinese motherland for themselves & looting away China’s precious treasures & heritage.
Now what a difference 22 years made? I saw then a city of millions of bicycles transformed to a city of millions of vehicles. Everywhere high rise buildings tower the sky, multiple lane thoroughfares, highways, express ways, traffic jams and as one of my Aussie friends said, “I have never seen so many Chinese.” Then in 1989, any significant modern structure was that of modern 5-star hotel, such as Kunlun Hotel where we stayed.
With increasing affluence & growth of capitalism, tourism is a great revenue source from foreign tourists as well as the locals. Wherever we went in our recent October 2011 tour, be it the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall, Shopping Malls or Centrers, Summer Palace . . . there were jostling crowds & seas of heads. In a way, I was kind of disappointed as I was really looking to a more leisurely holiday.
The tour covering Beijing, Chengde & Tianjin, sponsored by the Chinese government, is designed to encourage the overseas Chinese to return to motherland China to see for themselves the phenomenal leap of progress that China has made in the last 3 decades. China may be Communist in name, but capitalism with Chinese characteristics is evident everywhere. The popularity of the tour is evident by some 34 luxurious coaches averaging 45 – 50 passengers.
When Deng Xiaoping coined the words “Xiang Qian Zou” (basically meaning Forward March), he changed the same sounding word “Qian” to mean money. The “Road to Riches” has since taken on with frenzy pace. Never has the world seen such rapid changes & progress anywhere in the last 30 years or so!
Presumably, the Chinese government has the ancillary support of some of the major corporations & manufacturers like the Chinese Tea industry, silk manufacturers, jade & pearl industry . . . in offering such cheap & good valued tours initially at AUD99 per head and then increasing to AUD198 excluding the AUD10 tip per day for the tour guide. The tour period is 7/8 days.
The tour would have been par excellent if more time was accorded to sight-seeing rather than taken to all those named factories where we spent unlimited time listening to sales presentations & demonstrations. As a matter of fact, in a previous similar tour of Shanghai, I found the tour guides were real professionals & skillful in their sales pitch. By the time you got to the jade or silk factory you were already succumbed to buying!
The food provided was good & the 5-star hotel accommodation at Radisson (Blue) Hotel excellent. One night accommodation plus the breakfast is worth every cent paid for. The day began at 6.00AM and so packed with activities that we didn’t get to bed till 10 or 11PM.
Parting is such sweet sorrow. All too soon, the tour came to an end, as with the mountain resort in Chengde & the ultra modern Tianjin with its impressive high rise. Friendships were made & though we parted, memories would linger on from the hundreds of digital snap shots we took.
By P Chong Saturday, 17 September 2011
In our travelling, we get to see places & meet faces
To taste their local cuisine, speak their language or learn their culture
All add to the greater dimension of your life’s experiences.
Travelling is not meant for shopping
It’s wasting precious time looking for bargain
You’d shop in vain for lost time cannot be regained.
Most times you’d get to meet some of the nicest people
Even among the native or the minority
As may well be evidenced from these pictures:
Some young & pretty
Others old but strong
Not just the scenic landscap
Human landscape provides cultural aspects
Overall, it’s the composite picture of life, places & faces, tradition & culture
that attract people to the place.
History lingers on while time progresses ahead . . .
By P Chong
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Beijing is building another Great Wall – this time it’s made of cars.
the largest of this or the tallest of that, nothing seems to amaze anyone more than its nightmare with traffic jam.
Super block buster movie? Unreal!
No! It’s real!!
Massive traffic snarl
Traffic jam beyond your wildest imagination!!!
If you are one of those drivers confronted with road rage in traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Jakarta, forget about driving in Beijing or be caught in one of their traffic jams . . . they could stretch for days on end.
showing how China’s economic growth and booming car numbers are still outstripping the billions being spent on infrastructure.
Baffled by the world’s longest traffic jam, the Chinese government has mobilised hundreds of policemen to clear the 100-km long stretch of the Beijing-Tibet highway, riddled with vehicles for 13 days, with the pile-up almost reaching the outskirts of the capital. Surprisingly, there have been no reports of road rage, and the main complaint has been about villagers on bicycles selling food and water at 10 times the normal price.
“Insufficient traffic capacity on National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion,” a publicity officer with the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau told the Global Times this week.
The snarl up on the highway, on a section that links the capital to the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia was triggered by road construction and repair. While all sorts of vehicles appeared to have been caught up in the jam, it was mostly caused by lengthy coal carrying trucks, which brings fuel for the industries around the capital.
Traffic arrangements built up over generations in the U.S. are lacking in much of China, said Bob Honea, director of the University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, who has visited China. “We’ll see this problem more and more often. It’s true of every developing country,” he said.
“Beijing’s already a big parking lot!” complained a taxi driver Gan during a traffic jam on the East Third Ring Road. “We’re making another Great Wall, it’s just that this one is made of cars,” he said.
In the worst-hit stretches of the road in northern China, drivers pass the time sitting in the shade of their immobilized trucks, playing cards, sleeping on the asphalt or bargaining with price-gouging food vendors. Many of the trucks that carry fruit and vegetables are unrefrigerated, and the cargoes are assumed to be rotting.
No portable toilets were set up along the highway, leaving only two apparent options — hike to a service area or into the fields. At several places, drivers, sick and tired of the snarl up, were bitter and angry as temperatures soared during the day and dipped in the nights. Many complained that local vendors were fleecing them for food and water, charging heavy rates, by selling water for 10 yuan as against 1 yuan.
The jam which some in Beijing say was not new in that particular section has also brought the spotlight back on China’s soaring auto sales. The congestion is set to peak in five years, when the total number of cars is expected to nearly double, the Beijing Transportation Research Centre said in its new report.
If people continue to purchase vehicles at the current rate of 1,900 new cars a day, the total will reach seven million in 2015 in Beijing alone, reducing average speeds in the city to below 15 km an hour, the report said.
By the end of 2009, Beijing had four million cars, a growth of 17 per cent over 2008. Experts say the urban layout forces people to buy cars and the city planning leaves people no choice but to travel.
In recent years, vehicle buying in the world’s most populous nation has gathered pace. China last year passed the US for the first time as the world’s biggest buyer of automobiles.
Car ownership is soaring fastest in China’s biggest and richest cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. About 650,000 new cars are estimated to be put on the road every year in the capital alone.
And construction of 15km of rail track is planned for Beijing’s Mentougou district this year, with a further 170km if it is successful.
Source: CCTV, The Australian, Global Times, The Wall Street Journal
Westerners have always been seeking for Shangri-La, the utopian lifestyle. Search no more. There is in reality a place such as this in China. Talk no more of Hangzhou or Suzhou. It’s a miracle wonder of a place!
It’s called Huaxi, a booming market town of 36,000, first set up in 1961 in the affluent eastern province of Jiangsu. Everyone here has all the luxury that life can offer such as a huge house, a car (Benzs, BMW etc.), even free cooking oil, clothes, healthcare, education etc. Huaxi has fixed assets of 3 billion Yuan (US$362 million). All they have to do is work 7 days a week for the village industrial operations, milling steel or some such industry. Only one condition is that you can never leave. If you do, you lose everything. But just to make it easier to stay, the city has built replicas of the Eiffel Tour, the Sydney Opera House, and the Arc de Triumf to bring the world to its doorstep.
People are not leaving. In fact, it’s attracting lots of migrant workers who hope to be accepted for work permit & in time enjoy such privileges like the permanent residents of Huaxi where each household has been assigned a car & a single-family home of 400 square metres, earn around US$6,000 per head per year. Compared with migrant workers who toil for an average monthly wage of 500 yean (US$60), the prosperity enjoyed by Huaxi villagers is an undeniable miracle
Like the song Hotel California – “You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave”.
But why would you want to leave when you’re already living in the best place of the world, as one resident said. Leaving is not the option but “living it up” and seeking other higher aspirations is the objective.
And all this started with the dream, hope & aspiration of one man, Wu Renbao (now in his eighties) who combine market economy, socialism with Chinese characteristics.
When Chinese Daily writer Raymond Zhou wrote of Wen Renbao’s retirement, the announcement created aftershocks in the country media similar to what Bill Gates’s retirement about speculation in the software industry. Now Huaxi is headed by Wu Xie’en his fourth son, as elected 100% by the community.
This amazing video will help clear your curiosity.
Before you begin to read this transcript, let me urge you to drop any pre-conceived ideas you may have about China. Have an open mind, otherwise it would be likened to dropping off a plane or cliff with a closed parachute – and it can be dangerous.
To quote the words of Martin Jacques in our preceding presentation of “Understanding the Rise of China” that:
“This is China, a civilization state rather than a nation state”
“China is not like the West, and it will not become like the West as its economy expands over the next decade.”
Here below, Robert Herbold presents a most enlightening concept on the differences that separate China from the United States and how the differences make them grow apart.
(Robert Herbold, a retired chief operating officer of Microsoft Corporation, is the managing director of The Herbold Group, LLC and author of ‘What’s Holding You Back? Ten Bold Steps That Define Gutsy Leaders’ (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2011).
”Recently I flew from Los Angeles to China to attend a corporate board-of directors meeting in Shanghai, as well as customer and government visits there and in Beijing. After the trip was over, in thinking about the United States and China, it was not clear to me which is the developed, and which is the developing country.
Infrastructure: Let’s face it, Los Angeles is decaying. Its airport is cramped and dirty, too small for the volume it tries to handle and in a state of disrepair. In contrast, the airports in Beijing and Shanghai are brand new, clean and incredibly spacious, with friendly, courteous staff galore. They are extremely well-designed to handle the large volume of air traffic needed to. In travelling the highways around Los Angeles to get to the airport, you are struck by the state of disrepair there, too. Of course, everyone knows California is bankrupt and that is probably the reason why. In contrast, the infrastructure in the major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing is absolute state-of-the-art and relatively new. The congestion in the two cities is similar. In China, consumers are buying 18 million cars per year compared to 11 million in the U.S. China is working hard building roads to keep up with the gigantic demand for the automobile. The just-completed Beijing to Shanghai high-speed rail link, which takes less than five hours for the 800-mile trip, is the crown jewel of China’s current 5,000 miles of rail, set to grow to 10,000 miles in 2020. Compare that to decaying Amtrak.
Government Leadership: Here the differences are staggering. In every meeting we attended, with four different customers of our company as well as representatives from four different arms of the Chinese government, our hosts began their presentation with a brief discussion of China’s new five-year-plan. This is the 12th five-year plan and it was announced in March 2011. Each of these groups reminded us that the new five-year plan is primarily focused on three things: 1) improving innovation in the country; 2) making significant improvements in the environmental footprint of China; and 3) continuing to create jobs to employ large numbers of people moving from rural to urban areas. Can you imagine the U.S. Congress and president emerging with a unified five-year plan that they actually achieve (like China typically does)? The specificity of China’s goals in each element of the five-year plan is impressive. For example, China plans to cut carbon emissions by 17% by 2016. In the same time frame, China’s high-tech industries are to grow to 15% of the economy from 3% today.
Government Finances: This topic is, frankly, embarrassing. China manages its economy with incredible care and is sitting on trillions of dollars of reserves. In contrast, the U.S. government has managed its financials very poorly over the years and is flirting with a Greece-like catastrophe.
Human Rights/Free Speech: In this area, our American view is that China has a ton of work to do. Their view is that we are nuts for not blocking pornography and antigovernment points-of-view from our youth and citizens.
Technology and Innovation: To give you a feel for China’s determination to become globally competitive in technology innovation, let me cite some statistics from two facilities we visited. Over the last 10 years, the Institute of Biophysics, an arm of the Chinese Academy of Science, has received very significant investment by the Chinese government. Today it consists of more than 3,000 talented scientists focused on doing world-class research in areas such as protein science, and brain and cognitive sciences. We also visited the new Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, another arm of the Chinese Academy of Science. This gigantic science and technology park is under construction and today consists of four buildings, but it will grow to over 60 buildings on a large piece of land equivalent to about a third of a square mile. It is being staffed by Ph.D.-caliber researchers. Their goal statement is fairly straightforward: ‘To be a pioneer in the development of new technologies relevant to business.’ All of the various institutes being run by the Chinese Academy of Science are going to be significantly increased in size, and staffing will be aided by a new recruiting program called ‘Ten Thousand Talents.’ This is an effort by the Chinese government to reach out to Chinese individuals who have been trained, and currently reside, outside China. They are focusing on those who are world-class in their technical abilities, primarily at the Ph.D. level, at work in various universities and science institutes abroad. In each year of this new five-year plan, the goal is to recruit 2,000 of these individuals to return to China.
Reasons and Cure: Given all of the above, I think you can see why I pose the fundamental question: Which is the developing country and which is the developed country? The next questions are: Why is this occurring and what should the U.S. do? Let’s face it, we are getting beaten because the U.S. government can’t seem to make big improvements. Issues quickly get polarized, and then further polarized by the media, which needs extreme viewpoints to draw attention and increase audience size. The autocratic Chinese leadership gets things done fast (currently the autocrats seem to be highly effective).
What is the cure? Washington politicians and American voters need to snap to and realize they are getting beaten and make big changes that put the U.S. back on track: Fix the budget and the burden of entitlements; implement an aggressive five-year debt-reduction plan, and start approving some winning plans. Wake up, America!”
By P Chong Friday, 8 April 2011
That irresistible aroma of the famed Starbucks Coffee . . . with the absolute guarantee that every cup of their coffee tastes exactly the same, whether you’re drinking it in New York, London or Beijing. Its growth has been phenomenal and its franchised set-up surged ahead of time. It is a trendy thing to be meeting friends over a cup of coffee especially among the young.
So anyone for a “Frappuccino” ?
The distinguishing mark is the logo of the company which over the years has seen some changes with much the same colour scheme.
Let’s just be wary about the genuine from the ingenious fake . . . going by their logo sign. You might be caught with the coffee choked on its way to your gourmet stomach!
At first glance, you hardly can tell the difference. To the non-discerning coffee drinkers, they may be drawn to the”drummed-up” premise by the price attraction.
These three ladies are happy to be drinking “Starbucks” coffee for only one dollar! Look! The logo is the same or similar! But upon closer look, the colour scheme of the logo may betray – but it’s certainly says “One Dollar Coffee”.
Well, coffee is coffee. After a day’s outing & shopping, they are glad to be drinking coffee & resting their weary legs. We found this “One Dollar ‘Starbucks’ Coffee” in one of the big shopping malls in Guangzhou.
They say it can only happen in China when it comes to fake goods and imitation stuffs. The reflected glory renders tremendous flattery to the genuine one.
Now, how about this? Is this flattery or insult?
As Perth resident, I’ve searched high & low for the presence of a Starbucks Coffee outlet, until I received in the mail yesterday:
“Please be advised that there I have checked the WA business names register and I can confirm that there are no ‘Starbucks’ businesses registered. This is consistent with the information provided on the business’s website http://www.starbucks.com.au/ which shows the business has stores in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria only.”
So, are there any enthusiast to venture into “Starbucks” new creations?
By P Chong
Tuesday, 6 July 1999
Of the nations in the world today, China stands out progressively tall and strong. It is as though the sleeping dragon is finally awakened. This appears to be the fear of the West, though an economically strong China is good commercially for all the trading nations in the West, politically China is deemed as great threat. It is feared that “once China stands up, it won’t topple or be toppled.”
In retrospect, China is undoubtedly the world’s greatest civilised nation over a continuous period of thousands of years – a civilisation undiminished & unbroken, unlike past civilisations like Egypt, Greece or the Romans. By any reckoning, China should have by now be far more advanced & superior than the rest of the world. Why not?
Of the many reasons why China did not progress beyond its initial lead in technology & discovery, the main cause of which can largely be attributed to its inward looking policy . . . viewing all territories beyond the Great Wall of China & its boundaries as barbarian nature. This nationalistic pride & closed door policy led to its seclusion, totally depriving itself from from the interchange of ideas and exposure to new scientific developments & industrial growth. While China lavished in its culture, philosophy & essentially non-materialistic form of development, it began to lag behind the West in terms of economic industrial growth. In preserving its civilisation from being tainted by corruption, disruption & deterioration, it never knew new growth, developments & discoveries elsewhere in the whole wide world. The “Middle Kingdom” realised too late the encroachment of other nations upon its shores & territories. Countries like Britain, Portugal & Japan were making inroads into China through modern superior arms of war instead of its age-old “kung-fu”.
To grow, to progress is to change. Sentiment must give way to progress. There is no room for inhibition to changes. Change needs to take place before growth ^& progress can be attained. It’s attitude more than aptitude that scales the altitude. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the great former prime minister of Singapore, is credited for the great strides achieved by the City State. His visionary ideas have no room for inhibition to change or any hindrance.
Now, what a change has come about as a result of Deng XiaoPing‘s visionary concept of “Xiang Qian Zou”. In Mandarin, it means “Forward Move”, but by replacing the middle word with similar pronunciation, it becomes “Moving Forward with Money”. This started a great frenzy for the Chinese striving for monetary progress in all spheres of work & life.
Capitalistic way of life does have its price. Greed always breed a profound loss of goodness in mankind. Simple honesty, truth, kindness & compassion are lost in the process. The dollar sign etched prominently on the foreheads of goal-getters. It is evident to an outside observer that the whole civilisation is transforming overnight. China, in its forward economic stride, has done away with its traditional large families, and its door is wide open to the corrupt western way of life. There is a price to be paid, for consequential results cannot be avoided.
We are not about to discuss the forward march of China & the loss of a whole generation of tradition, custom, simple courtesy & good manners, which come about as a result of its Cultural Revolution.
We want however, to draw a comparative study between China and the United States of America, which has only a history of some 200 odd years, and yet progressively more advanced. Why is this so? The irony of this is even more profound when we compare US with Great Britain – the tag of British “greatness” pales in significance. And to think America started as a colony of Britain! What then is the significant attributable factor?
This factor is spelt out very clearly when we look at the green bag note. It says very clearly: “In God We Trust”. It is this upward and outward attitudinal outlook that made all the difference between Britain & the US, and China & the US. The American look upward to God for all its needs & provisions since the first Pilgrim Fathers stepped on the shore of the new continent. Because of its explicit trusting the Lord, America has been greatly blessed and it prospered beyond the realms of the other nations with similar history or longer history.
Apart from this upward attitudinal outlook, it practises an outward outlook beyond its shore and adopt an open door policy in the many aspects of its economy. In so doing, it was to absorb and gain both from within and without the world the wealth of knowledge towards its rapid advancement.
On the personal front, the individual musty avoid being inward looking. The classic example is drawn from the Pharisees, the elite Jewish ruling council, highbrowed, stiff-necked & self-centred in character. They rejected Jesus as the Messiah (the Jews’ promised deliverer) and till today they are still awaiting His coming. Ever wonder re the p,light of the “wandering Jews”? Being persecuted and hated wherever they are? It is without doubt God’s punishment of the Jews for crucifying Christ on the cross! Not until the Jews find their roots in the Messiah Jesus, will their wandering stop!!
In Matthew 23:13, it reads: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
Verse 27:Woe to you, teachers of the law & Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs,which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones & everything unclean. In the same way,on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Verse 39 concludes with this: “For I tell you,you will not see me again until you say “Blessed is he who comers in the name of the Lord.”
How prophetically true what Jesus said. Until & unless the Jews find repose in Jesus, their perils will not be over!!
In John 14:6, the terminology is always on the personal basis: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus has given us the road map guiding us upward to heaven, and to stay in the centre of God’s will. You need not worry about tomorrow and trust Jesus to guide you one day at a time, and to follow him even though you don’t know the way. No other road map is required.
Abram followed one day at a time. He walked by faith and not by sight. As in genesis 12: 1 -5, we read:
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country,
your people and your father’s household and go to
the land I will show you.”
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless
you. I will make your name great, and you will be
a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be a blessed through you.”
So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan and they arrived there.”
Abram (whose name was changed by God to Abraham) is the classic example of the principle of “walking by faith, rather than by sight . . . one day at a time”. In walking with the LORD, ourselves must be erased, the LORD must be raised. There is a definite attitudinal shift from self-centrednerss to God-cent redness.
In John 15:5 it says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and in him, he will bear much ruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Thus the way to be is: inwardness to upwardness. Amen.
The above account is in essence the salient points of a religious message
first delivered in a Sunday church gathering in July 1999.
By P Chong 10 March 2011
The race always go to the swiftest & the fastest. When your engine stalls, others will roar. There is no relenting . . . there is no waiting. There can only be winners or losers. That’s the name of the game. When you’re ahead, you’d race & surge on.
When I wrote “China‘s Leaping Achievements” in November 2009, which article still enjoys a great reading audience by topping the list up to the present, I hadn’t put in much details about how China build & grow from an impoverished economy to its present giant standing, overtaking Japan as the second largest economy & is right on the doorstep of the U.S.
Way back in the early 1960s when I was at the University of Malaya at Pantai valley, Kuala Lumpur, I had learned from our economic geography professor, Dr. Dwyer, one phrase of his famous expression: “The Chinese are the most assiduous in their economic pursuit . . . unshakeable & resilient “. According to him then no race in the world can ever even match or compare. A country maybe rich in its natural resources, but it’s the people that constitute the greatest of all resources, natural or otherwise. There are many countries in the world endowed with great natural resources but not getting anywhere and conversely, there are countries without such natural fortune making their marks in the world. Singapore, the City State, is undoubtedly the best example in this category.
- China has always been an inventing nation right from ancient times. Printing, paper, fork, drum, silk, gunpowder, umbrellas, the plough, rice cultivation, wheels and a whole lot of other things . . . are originally from China. Its history is littered with war and famine, so you can expect the Chinese to be tough and been there and done that sort of thing. After thousands of years under the rule of dynasties and finally under Chairman Mao of Communist China. Deng Xiaoping, the architect of modern day China, began the nation building with these words “Xiang Qian Zou” – The Road To Riches.
Nation building involves fundamentally the national identity using the power of the state by the unification of its people so that the state is politically stable and sustainable for future development. China addresses this problem very well and it has built a patriotic, hard working and educated workforce. The key to developing a nation’s wealth is developing your human resources . . . educating and building up the middle class. Science and technology hold up the base. In just three decades, China has shown the world an unprecedented growth.
China successfully prove what can be achieved when a Communist nation embraces capitalism. As a nation, they have synchronized the chaos into a force to be reckoned with. Even the West has accepted the fact that the Chinese are smarter, more hardworking, obliging and its immense pride to collectively build a nation.
From a nation of million bicycles, China has become a nation of cars. A few years ago there was a survey done by The Economist concerning car ownership in China , India , France and USA . As predicted, USA has more than 1000 cars, France 762, China 11 and India 7 for every 1000 people. Just only, last year China has become the biggest car market in the world!! According to China Daily in the first 10 months car sales were up 34% from last year … BMW has already fulfilled its target of 112,000 cars for this year in September, Mercedes sold over 101,000 units and Rolls Royce sold more of its cars in China than the US and last month Jaguar/Landrover has just open a new dealership in China.
Today’s Communist China is only Communist in name. The demand for luxury goods in China is growing at an exponential pace. Luxury items makers such as LV , Prada, Gucci, Coach and etc. reported more than 100% annual growth for the past few years. It has come to the point where Western products has to customize to suit the Chinese needs and taste like longer leg rooms at the back seat for Rolls Royce coz most of them are chauffeur driven so the bosses need extra leg room !!
The amount of research articles published by Chinese scientist is staggering. It is reported that China has jumped to number 2 – up from 14th in 1995, in the number of articles published in the science and technology journals worldwide such as IEEE, Nanotech & Applied Physics. It is an open secret that the majority of the PhD students in the hard sciences enrolled in elite US universities (Ivy League) are Chinese. It is these PhD graduates that will do most of the research. It should be noted that a lot of the Microsoft patents came from its Beijing Labs.
By far China ’s most successful research institution is the National Institute for Biological Sciences or NBIS, which is responsible for half of China’s scientific publication. The Institute’s 23 main investigators, director and deputy director are all returnees from the United States. Quote one of its principal investigators : “ If I stayed in America the chances of making a discovery is slimmer, here people take risk, they give you money and you can essentially do whatever you want ”. (Refer information on www.economywatch.com. ) Patents are actually a measure of technological prowess and innovation. Nations that file the largest number of patents are the home to innovative corporations and Nobel Prize winners. It won’t be long before you will see Chinese Nobel Prize winners. No wonder there are so many first coming out of China nowadays.
China has the fastest Supercomputer (Tianhe-1A) in the world running at the speed of 2.5 petaflops which is equivalent to the power of 175,000 high-end laptops.
The fastest bullet train belongs to the Chinese (CRH360) with a top speed of 262 miles per hour leaving the Japs and Germans far behind. And these are indigenous technology. With all the money throwing into the national car industry after 20 over years, we ended up being a ‘BETTER CAR ASSEMBLER’ than our neighbours.
China hold the whole world at ransom in July this year by banning all its Rare Earth Materials. Rare earth materials are a collection of 17 minerals found at the bottom of the periodic table. China controls 95% of the world supply. These rare earth includes cerium, scandium, yttrium, lanthanum and etc are used in our daily lives such as handphones, laptops, camera lenses, flat screen tv, x-ray machines, guided missiles systems, oil refineries and etc. By banning, the exports of these materials China indirectly impede the growth and development of many things. Fortunately, there are 2 other companies in the world that will have the capability to produce some to offset the Chinese ban. One is the Lynas Corp from Western Australia which have a mine in Kuantan, Malaysia and it will start production by end of next year, while the other is Molycorp from California . How their combined output added up to around 40-50,000 tons which is still way below the global demand of 250,000 tons. Unsurprisingly the shares of both of these companies jump multiple folds since the July ban. Lynas was trading at some where 38cents in July and the high of the year was $1.69 (ASX) and shares of Molycorp are more than double now.
It is also a misconception that China’s success is due to its Cheap Labour; yes, that was probably 15 years ago. However, the next megatrend will be the growth of the Chinese Research & Development. The Chinese will be able to apply the same cost advantage in its manufacturing towards Research & Development in no time. If you notice currently the global telecoms equipment sector is now dominated by 2 Chinese companies (about 65% of new installations) notably Huawei. Western countries are buying this Chinese equipment not because it’s cheap but also it is good!! In a recent electric car, trade show in Shenzhen there is this Chinese R&D company that reinvented the battery. Their battery last twice longer, much more power, half the existing battery weight and 100% recyclable. This is going to change the face of the global automobile market. With its low cost R&D, product development and manufacturing, which country can match China? It will continue to dominate the world for decades to come!!! In the End, it is the Communist China that won the battle of capitalism.!!
So when will China overtake US as the number one economy in the world? As predicted China will overtake Uncle Sam ‘s economy in two years in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) It won’t be long as China’s opponent is embraced with an insolvent banking system, high unemployment rate , homeless population, high foreclosure rate and with 40 million people on food stamps and its Federal Reserve printing money out of thin air. Over here in China , its economy is growing at a 10% pace annually. And if you think, it’s easy for you to access the Chinese Market. Think again. If your company owns certain patents they will demand access to them and furthermore train their people on how to use your technology so that they can reverse engineer it the moment you open shop. Just ask car manufacturer Peugeot on the difficulty and pain in working with the Chinese.
China is also quietly building up its military and I believe it is currently making use of the financial crisis to extend its geopolitical and economic sphere of influence in Asia and beyond. China is already refurbishing an ex Russian aircraft carrier (Varyag) due to completed in 2012 and building 2 other 50,000 to 60,000 ton carriers due to complete in 2015. When completed China will have what they called a ‘BLUE WATER NAVY’ . This means Chinese navy are capable of operating across deep waters of the oceans and also able to launch a nuclear attack from anywhere in the world. Moreover recent developments in the Chinese missiles technology caught most western powers off guard. For example, a few years back China conducted a successful anti satellite missile test. It used a modified DF-21 (Dong Feng) ballistic missile mounted with the kinetic kill vehicle to intercept the satellite. Another recent development is the Chinese ASBM or anti ship ballistic missile the DF-21A which is designed to launch from land and can penetrate the most advance defence from any moving aircraft carriers. The carrier battle group used to be the ‘untouchables’ will no longer hold and it will make the US aircraft carrier battle fleets a sitting duck. With these multiple warhead ballistic missiles homing into these battle groups, there is nothing they can do to stop it. Even if it explode in mid air, imagine a nuclear warhead explodes in the vicinity of the fleet, it will just vaporize the entire fleet.
There are so much more happenings that are ceaselessly unending. To list them all would not be possible here. Some of the great & would-be achievements are inescapable:
1. China’s Great Engineering Feat: The Three Gorges Dam
2. China – World’s Biggest Megapolis with 42 Millions!
3. China’s Engineering Might: Bullet Trasin
4. World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge – The Pearl River Delta Bridge
Read in my blog “Who Owns The U.S.?” together with the above 4 topics, you’ll be amazed & astounded beyond all reasons to realise just how great & mighty China is and will be in the very near future.
By P Chong Saturday, 26 December 2009
“Wan Li Chang Cheng” – literally means “Ten Thousand Miles Wall.” It’s not one great wall but a monumental series of wall that constitute The Great Wall of China. They were erected over the centuries to thwart & deter the barbaric invaders from encroaching upon the Middle Kingdom. The Wall twists through Chinese dynastic history. Today the nation welcomes visitors near & far together with their wallets. What the visitors, more than a million a year, really see is the impressive gleaming stretch of wall at Juyongguan near Beijing. Such commercialisation is marring an archaeological treasure as claimed by preservationists.
It’s been more than a fifth of a century since I first stepped & climbed The Great Wall of China. To tell you the truth, the feeling & excitement were simply beyond me! I had led a party of ten to China, all of them virgins in this world of ancient civilisation. Coincidentally, May/June 1989, saw the Tiananmen political debacle undertaken by the students.
In all the years since the landing on the moon, Western writers declared, with absolutely no evidence that the Great Wall could be seen from there. But what Deng Xiaoping, the small & yet most dynamic of a man, proclaimed “Let us love our China, let us restore our Great Wall” has become a well-known slogan.
In the passage of time, I have seen great growth, progress & changes:
From Friendship Stores to Departmental Stores
From virtually no phone to modern convenient cell phones
From million bicycles to million vehicles.
This is truly representative of a complete transformation & material revolution unseen & unheard of in the history of mankind! All within one lifetime, one generation!!
However, there are walls which tourists seldom get to see or visit in the outer reaches where there are crumbling sections of the Wall awaiting attention & preservation.The crumbling walls were never far away, a companion piece to the halfway stage of China’s rush to progress.
Visibly, there are signal towers & walls that stretched out for miles in ruins & villages entirely contained by high-walled forts for security purposes in the ancient days. Some homes carved out from the Walls have 20-foot-thick walls – “Very warm in the winter, cool in the summer”.
It is truly amazing! Now that the smoke signals are replaced by cell phones, what is there in store for the ruined parts of the Wall where even certain sections have disappeared. Will modernity bury archaeology? Will a history of more than 2,000 years be lost in a time vault or capsule?