Taiwan A Geopolitical Pawn

By :Paul Chong                         Friday 27 January 2017

unknownMs Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s President

Taiwan, once dubbed as “The Little Tiger” of Asia because of its early economic growth, has been running around attempting to impact its own unique Chinese-ness & claim its independence from mainland China. The worst crucial fact is for the Taiwanese to claim the extreme that they are not Chinese. This is most ironic when its root tongue, culture & heritage largely lie with the Fujian Province of China. Similar languages are spoken across Taiwanese Strait like Mandarin & “Minnanhua” (Taiwan Hokkien).

Historically & futuristically, Taiwan belongs to China as its 23rd province. This can never change. Historically the Chinese Communist Party’s core interpretation of the 1992 consensus rests on the idea that there is only one China.Taiwan belongs to China as its 23rd province.

China has always considered this unification with Taiwan as an internal matter & no outside intervention or interference will be taken lightly.

In 1945, following the end of World War II & the defeat of General Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) Party by Mao Zedong, Chiang fled to Taiwan seeking refuge there with the help of US. In 1949, General Chiang Kai-Shek, who ought to be considered as China’s traitor, a rebel & renegade leader established the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan with his Kuomintang (KMT) cohorts.
Deng Xiaoping was known to have said, “There can’t be two tigers on the same hill.” Hence the “One-China Policy” instilled by China & accepted by the world at large, except for a very small minorities.

“People used to say Taiwan is a little rabbit running around two elephants,” said Alexander Huang, chairman of the Council on Strategic and War Gaming Studies, a Taiwanese think tank.
“No matter whether the two elephants are making war or love, Taiwan will be shaken by the elephants.”

In the case of the United States, the One-China Policy was first stated in the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972: “the United States acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States does not challenge that position.”

The One-China policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called “China”, despite the existence of two governments that claim to be “China”. As a policy, this means that countries seeking diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China) must break official relations with the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) and vice versa.
Whatever justification & rationalisation, all encompassing with political overtone attached, there can be but one China. By the same token, there can’t be Two US.

With reference to the 1992 Consensus, the Chinese Communist Party’s core interpretation rests on the idea that there is only one China. But Tsai Ing-wen still insists on her own contrary interpretation.

Beijing is ‘seriously concerned’ over policy. Taiwan has been warned about playing the chess game by leaning onto US. It has also been warned not to go to the extreme.

The way I see it, Donald Trump is playing his chips using Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s leader, as a willing pawn in his chess game with China. Trump is saying China has taken out too much out of US. Now he wants to bargain for some if not all of it back.

Taiwan is definitely a bargaining-chip for Trump on China. The question is who will ultimately be the winner. Some in Ms. Tsai’s camp are uncertain about the consequences of a closer union with the US, and how China would react to improved relations. Others are in favour of a closer link to China.

“I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Mr Trump said.

WISHING ALL MY READERS & FRIENDS
A GREAT ROOSTER YEAR 2017

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A Brief Look at China’s Government – Stuff You Thought You Knew, But Didn’t

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Looking at the western democratic governments these last 30 years, more negatives than positives are apparent. The latest to add to the fold of turmoil & instability is Egypt – an ancient civilisation that once held its glory & pride. US, so claimed as the master of western democracy, in its attempt to dominate & impose its system of government on others has itself been drowning in the ocean of economic woes & other problems.

In the article below, the Shanghai Chinese author presents to us the meritocratic system of the Chinese government that ignorant critics are quick to condemn. Knowing the truth will breed better understanding of the merits & the way the system works.

Deng Xiaoping referred to it as “capitalism with Chinese characteristics.”

Here’s to the Most Vocal & Unforgivably Uninformed . . . who will begin to understand why China has emerged as a major political and economic power on the international stage, and the pace of this growth has been astonishing.

China is like having the longest root of capitalism to capitalism. Its meritocracy is certainly a good or even better alternative to US imperial democracy.

Article by 龙信明 (Lung XinMing)

http://www.bearcanada.com/china/brieflookatchinasgovernment.html

A Bit of Background 

You probably already know that China has a system of annual university entrance examinations, taken by about 10 million students each year. This set of examinations is quite stiff and perhaps even harsh, covering many subjects and occupying three days. The tests require broad understanding, deep knowledge and high intelligence, if one is to do well. Any student whose results are near the top of the list, is in the top 2% or 3% of a pool of 1.5 billion people. 

Getting a high mark qualifies a student to enter one of the top two or three universities, which will virtually guarantee a great job on graduation, a high salary and a good life. Moving down the scale of results, the prospects become increasingly meager. You may not know that China also has a system of bar examinations which every graduate lawyer must pass in order to practice law in China. For these, we can bypass “stiff” and “harsh” and go directly to “severe”. Out of about 250,000 graduate lawyers who sit for the exam, only about 20,000 will pass and obtain qualifications to actually be a practicing lawyer in China. Once again, the exams require broad understanding of all matters legal, deep knowledge of the laws, and high intelligence. So if you happen to meet a Chinese lawyer, you can be assured you are dealing with someone from top 1% or 2% of a pool of 1.5 billion people.

I mention these two items only to introduce a third – the Civil Service Examinations.

Becoming a Government Official in China

The Imperial examinations were designed many centuries ago to select the best administrative officials for the state’s bureaucracy. They lasted as long as 72 hours, and required a great depth and breadth of knowledge to pass. It was an eminently fair system in that the exam itself had no qualifications. Almost anyone, even from the least educated family in the poorest town, could sit the exam and, if that person did well enough, he or she could join the civil service and potentially rise to the top. The modern civil service examination system evolved from the imperial one, and today, millions of graduates write these each year. And for these, we can bypass “severe” and go directly to “brutal”, because out of the millions of candidates only about 10,000 will get a pass.

The Chinese Have High Standards

And that pass doesn’t get you a job; all it gets you is an interview. If you meet anyone in China’s central government, you can rest assured you are speaking to a person who is not only exceptionally well educated and knowledgeable on a broad range of national issues but is in the top 1% of a pool of 1.5 billion people. Moreover, China’s government officials are all highly-educated and trained engineers, economists, sociologists, scientists, often at a Ph.D. level. 

Contrast this with the Western system where most politicians are either lawyers or those with no useful education. We should also remember that the Chinese generally score about 10% higher on standard IQ tests than do Caucasian Westerners, and couple this with the Chinese process of weeding out all but the top 1% from consideration. When you add further the prospect of doing your weeding from a pool of 1.5 billion people, you might expect China’s Central Government to be rather better qualified than that of most other countries. And it is. 

The point of this is to bring your attention to the disparity between the quality of ‘politicians’ in Western countries and China’s government officials. The discrepancy is so vast that comparisons are largely meaningless.

Friends, Family and ‘Connections’ 

There are some who will tell you that family connections in China can produce a government job for some favored son, a claim that may be true in some places though extremely difficult at the national level. But no amount of ‘connections’ will move you into senior positions or to the top of decision-making power; those places are reserved for persons of deep experience and proven ability. “Of the Communist Party’s highest ruling body, the 25-member Politburo, only seven came from any background of wealth or power. The rest of them, including the president and the prime minister, were from ordinary backgrounds with no special advantages. They worked and competed all the way to the top. 

In the larger Central Committee, those with privileged backgrounds are even scarcer. A visit to any top university campus in China would make it obvious to anyone that the Communist Party continues to attract the best and the brightest of the country’s youth. In fact, China’s Communist Party may be one of the most meritocratic and upwardly mobile major political organizations in the world – far more meritocratic than the ruling elites of most Western countries and the vast majority of developing countries.” 

(1)Choosing the Nation’s Leaders 

Consider how it would be if a Western country could identify and assemble the 300 best, brightest, wisest, most educated and experienced people in the nation, men and women of great proportion whose depth and breadth of knowledge and ability were the envy of all. And consider this group selecting some to be their leaders – the Prime Minister, President, Cabinet members. That’s essentially how China does it. On what basis can we tell them their way is wrong? For Westerners to refer to this as a dictatorship is offensive and merely stupid. 

In contradistinction to the West, China’s system cannot produce incompetence at the top because in a population of 1.5 billion people there are just too many available candidates with stunningly impressive credentials. In China’s system, leaders and officials are evaluated and selected by their peers, not by the unqualified and uninformed ‘man in the street’. It is the only government system in the world that ensures competence at the top, because these people are evaluated on the basis of real credentials rather than public popularity or TV charisma. 

Leaders are selected on the basis of true leadership, on their ability to bring together all factions, to create harmony and consensus on their realisable vision for the country, to wisely control and direct the military. They have a firm understanding of the economy, of the nation, of society and its problems and the best way to meet them. They are not only admired and respected by their peers, but able to draw others to them in order to form that consensus and harmony that are so desirable and necessary for stability.

Education and Training of Government Officials 

There is another factor to consider, that of education and training. In the West, senior government officials – the politicians – are seldom renowned for competence or even intelligence. For the Western politicians who who exercise all the real decision power to shape a country, there is no education or training available or required. It is all a kind of ‘earn while you learn’ system. 

In China, those who will become the senior officials and civil servants have entered a lifelong career in a formidable meritocracy where promotion and responsibility can be obtained only by demonstrated ability. Once in the system, the education and training are never-ending. The system is generally well understood within China, and it meshes well with Chinese culture and tradition as well as conforming to the Chinese psyche in their Confucian overview and their desire for social order and (yes) harmony. The Western world understands this dimly, if at all, and inevitably forms incorrect and often absurd conclusions about China and its government – especially the mindless references to China being a ‘dictatorship’.

The President Goes to School 

The Central Party School in Beijing has been called the most mysterious school in China, and is like no other university or college anywhere. Here is a link to an article on this university that will give you more information: Read here. At various times, the most promising young and middle-aged officials attend this university for up to a year at a time, to expand their knowledge and understanding of all issues relating to China. 

The Headmaster of the school is often the President of China, and the lecturers are usually foreign dignitaries, high-level officials, and renowned experts on everything from economics and international finance to social policy, foreign policy, industrial policy and even military matters. The cornerstone of the school’s educational policy is that everything is on the table. There are no forbidden topics, and even reactionary, revolutionary or just plain whacky positions are discussed, analysed and debated to resolution. All manner of planning, problems, solutions, alternatives, will be discussed, examined, debated, explained, with any number of prominent experts available as reference material. 

When these sessions are completed, all students will have an MBA-level or better appreciation of the entire subject. And this is only one subject of many they will encounter. When you consider that these officials entered the government with an already high level of education, and with an already demonstrated broad level of understanding and exceptional intelligence, these additional layers of training and education cannot help but produce an impressive level of overall knowledge and ability throughout the government. Nothing like this system exists in the West, which is why senior civil servants in most Western countries often look on their leader-politicians with a mixture of disdain and contempt for their lack of knowledge and ability.

The Functioning of China’s Government 

Few Westerners have bothered to learn even the simple basics about the form of China’s government, preferring instead to parrot foolish Western supremacist nonsense about China being a dictatorship. China has a one-party government. 

If you listen to Western ideologues, you will be told this is heresy in the eyes of the Gods of Government in 6 galaxies. But it is no such thing, and contains enormous advantages. Here, there is no forced separation of officials on the basis of political ideology. China’s entire social spectrum is represented in government in the same way as in Chinese – or any other – society.

There is no partisan in-fighting. 

Unlike the West, China’s system looks for consensus rather than conflict. Government decision-making is not a sport where my team has to win. It is simply a group of people with various viewpoints working together to obtain a consensus for policy and action for the overall good of their nation. From everything I have seen, China’s one-party system is superior in many respects to what we have in the West. This is what has produced a growth rate of over 10% per year for 30 years, compared to perhaps 3% in the West. And how can it be otherwise? 

China’s government doesn’t waste its time fighting juvenile ideological battles with ‘opposition parties’, but instead everyone gets down to the business of doing the best for the nation. China’s government leaders manage by consensus, not by power, authority or bullying. It is their job to create agreement and unified willing participation in the country’s policies to meet its goals. At this level there are no children, and there is no one person with the power to start a war just because he doesn’t like someone, or who is free to alienate other nations on the basis of some blind personal ideology.

Lobbying and Influence 

In China, many people and industries are permitted to present their case, but private or short-term interests will not emerge victorious in this system. Your proposals will receive support and will succeed only if they are to the long-term benefit of the country as a whole – the greatest good for the nation and for the population. That’s how it works. In the US system, corporations control the government; in China’s, the government controls the corporations. And those firms may often not get their way even if they are government-owned. Consider the introduction of HSR (High-Speed Rail) in China. Some Chinese airlines (especially the state-owned ones), complained like hell, and with good reason, about the inauguration of HSR. Some have had to dramatically scale back their flight schedules because many people prefer the train. But the wide HSR network was seen as being in the best interests of the entire country and it went ahead. Read more here. That is also why China has the best (and cheapest) mobile phone system in the world. Read more here.

The “Loyal Opposition” 

China’s system also has an ‘opposition’, but this body has two major differences from Western governments. Also, it functions intelligently, so let’s make that three major differences. First, it does not function to ‘oppose’ but rather to consult. This body is charged with the responsibility to consider not only the government’s directions and policies but also to devise alternatives and make recommendations. And the government must by law consider and respond to all these consultations – which it does. Second, this opposition group are not the marginalised ‘losers’ as in the Western systems but a second tier of extremely competent people who were not selected to the top governing positions. And, rather than lose all this expertise, this secondary group was created to contribute to the development of their country.

The Success of Government 

Probably the greatest deciding factor permitting China’s rise is the political environment. China’s one-party government is in for the long term; it makes no short-term decisions for the sake of political expediency. China makes decisions for the good of the whole country and, having made them, implements them. 

There is no partisanship, no lobbyists, no special interest groups that skew these important decisions and rob the population of what they might have had. 

The benefits of this system can be seen in its results. China has already far surpassed the undeveloped nations that adopted Western democratic governments,and likely has a brighter future than most of them. Why is the West so eager for China to abandon a centuries-old system that clearly works well, in favor of one designed for ideological battles, conflicts and shouting wars? Many foreign observers are now, (finally) admitting openly that China’s form of government exhibits signs of superiority over Western systems, and that it is largely responsible for China’s efficiency, for its rapid development, and for its speed of response in areas like the Sichuan earthquake and the planning and deployment of its high-speed train system. 

The “Free World” could learn a lot from China’s government system. It works, beautifully. It has transformed the economy and brought hundreds of millions out of poverty. It has put men into space, built the world’s fastest trains, the longest undersea tunnels, the world’s longest bridges, the largest dams. 

It is rapidly creating the world’s largest genuine middle class. And it’s hardly begun. (1) From an article by Eric Li.

Be Creative & Innovative to be Productive

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping i...
English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping in Lijiang (Yunnan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Churchill in Downing Street giving his...

People are generally negative & restrictive

They fall into the “existence trap”

Existing with the world flashing by

Without as though a worry & care.

Dead as a door nail

Rotting away with the gale

The weather & wind perform their parts

Till time sets all apart!

Without initiative & drive, the world will drift you by. You’ve got to be alert to catch up with the time which is fast speeding by. Miss the train you’ll be in pain . . . finding yourself lagging behind. The proverbial truth that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step bears out clearly to you. So take the initiative & move on.

Besides changes are refreshing. It’s exhilarating & exciting. When you live your life out with emotion, excitement & enthusiasm, you’d find life worth the living . . . under any circumstances. This is YOU ruling the circumstances rather than the reverse . . . you’ve got to put yourself in the driver’s seat. Chart the course & navigate the way.

If you aim high & miss the sky, at least you’re landing midway high! It’s obvious that you’ve got to do something to achieve something, doing nothing means getting nothing at all.

In the old days, people were more “sedentary”, staying put in one place. Unlike the present era, people are constantly on the move. They are internationally mobile with their first class credentials & academic qualifications, seeking jobs & opportunities globally. Salesmen too are not confined to restrictive territories & boundaries. They are flying here & there & everywhere! Life as a whole is different.

When you’re old & retired, life takes on a different plane of excitement. Who says retirement is for the rest of your natural life? If you stayed retired & do nothing, you’re gonna meet St Perter in the Pearly Gate sooner than expected.

Creativeness & innovativeness do not stop chronologically. Your brain cells must be nourished & kept afresh all the time. Stimulation keeps you young mentally. Sir Winston Churchill & Deng Xiaoping were both old but not feeble . . . achieving greatness only in the later years of their lives. A living testimony is in the person of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore or Prof. Wang Gangwu (privileged to have him as my former university lecturer) in the academic field.

Change should not be for the sake of change. Change must always be for the better. Often it involves some calculated risks. But remember nothing venture nothing gain.

Change needs to come from “within” not from “without”. Politicians always promise heaven & earth which they are never able to fulfil. President Obama is typically the best example.

Be not afraid of changes. Take them in their strides. Be courageous even when angels fear to tread. Take the calculated risks . . . to dream & build, to conceive & believe, to strike & to be bold, to stand tall & be counted . . . and in the end to stand proudly & declare unto the world saying: “THIS I HAVE DONE”!

PM meets Lee Kuan Yew
PM meets Lee Kuan Yew (Photo credit: Downing Street)

 

Songs That Inspire . . . Influence Generations

 

Bengawan Solo River in Indonesia

As a little boy in school those days, we had singing lessons & a song book entitled “Sing & Be Happy”. Somehow, my singing teacher didn’t like me, kept discouraging me to sing saying that I had a croaky voice. Nevertheless, where love exists desire persists! Though I am never good at it, music & songs fill my life . . . make me as happy as can be!

I was born in Malaysia, brought up there, had my schooling there, sent on a government scholarship for teacher training in UK & then furthering my tertiary education at the University of Malaya, Pantai Valley, Selangor. That’s how it was . . . down memory lane in Malaysia . . . no political divide, no racial strife, tension or envy, peaceful & harmonious living . . . a land known invariably as “The Golden Chersonese”, where music flow & songs galore!

Songs have no cultural or political overtone attached. Music as such is a universal language. There is but one tongue . . . the musical tongue. Songs like “Rasa Sayang” & “Bengawan Solo” have always inspired listeners the world over. The other day, I was with some Aussie friends chatting & having a bit of wine. John who owns 6 bands related to me that when his band was playing in Penang, Malaysia, he learnt to play and sing that ever popular request “Rasa Sayang”. He just loves it! The favour of the song will always live on.

Another song that comes to mind is “Bengawan Solo.” When teaching in Kelantan, North East Malaysia, I remember Zainab a Malay student of mine who rendered this song beautifully. I learnt it then & I sing it even now. In most karaoke parties I have organised, “Bengawan Solo” never failed to show.

There’re various translations to this song . . . English, Filipino, Burmese & others.

Teresa Teng
Teresa Teng (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teresa Teng (Deng Lijun) the ever popular nightingale from Taiwan, sadly passed away at the age of 42 in the year 1995. She captured the hearts of men & women all over the world with her songs. There was a saying then “The day is dominated by Deng Xiaoping, but the night belongs to Deng Lijun”.

Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any karaoke fan would love “Tian Mi Mi” and “Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin” (The Moon Represents My Heart) as sung by Teresa Teng. My former HSC student Kat sings it beautifully in Mandarin . . . & she is Malay! My own wife Lilian sings the English translation version. However, it’s hard to get her to render it in public except small karaoke party. She sings well but fights shy of public swell!

Now let’s hear a delightful group of African boys singing ‘Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin” in Mandarin:

Incidentally, best way of learning a language is through the song in that langusage.

And lest we forget the memory of Deng Lijun (Teresa Teng), who has been commemorated in a public garden park in Taipei, Taiwan, let’s listen to her melodious captivating voice:

Beijing Then and Now (Beijing-Chengde-Tianjin Tour)

(BeijingChengde-Tianjin Tour)

20 – 27 October 2011

By P Chong     1 November 2011

"Bird's Nest" Beijing National Olympic Stadium

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.

Beijing CBD

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.

When Others Stall . . . China Roars!

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.

 

"The Nest" Stadium
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.

Giant Pandas as often featured on the cover of China Today

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.

The Great Wall of China

By P Chong                                                                                                     Saturday, 26 December 2009

"Wan Li Chang Cheng" 1989

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.

Teaming crowd of visitors

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”.

"With courtesy of Richard Chiang who purchased it from the Wushipu Oil Painting Village of Xiamen in May 2008.”

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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?


Obama – Bowing To “Who” Or “Hu”

By Paul Chong Friday 20 November 2009

Democrat President Obama Bowing to Emperor Akihito

President Obama would unconsciously be reminded by memories of his boyhood’s Muslim upbringing that the shortest distance between a problem & a solution is the distance between his knees & the floor. That would be kneeling down before Allah to stand up to anything in the world!

At least the Christians would believe in doing their best, and leave God to do the rest. Bur alas I have been reminded that the Americans have been throwing God out of their life’s equation. I believe that Obama, consciously or unconsciously, is living out a life of religious conflict.

He is the first American President (Afro in origin, imported from Kenya) known to bow to foreign dignitaries. First he bowed to the Saudi King & then it was a “wow bow” to Emperor Akihito. In the Los Angeles Times (November 14, 2009) he was reported as “How low will he go?”. He has aroused all sorts of sentiment among the American people.

Obama Bowing to Saudi King

Has the switch & change in the Democrat foreign policies brought this on? The change has meant less confrontational approach towards Iran & North Korea. This change towards a conciliatory & co-operative diplomacy is certainly apparent in Obama’s recent Asian outreach. He is obviously acting out “the call to action” since receiving his controversial Nobel Peace Prize. What has he achieved, if anything, after the initial nine months of his presidency?

Obama, for all his rhetoric, lacks the mark of a great man’s aura. He looks simply plain. At least, George W Bush exhibited the gait of a six-gun shooter. There’s the creeping question whether his “painting with words” would be matched by his action & commitments. In short, could he fulfil his dream of change? He will yet be judged by history.

However, Obama missed out one great bow – not to “who” but to “Hu”. In his address in Japan he emphasied that America was not out to “contain” China. Yet his many moves & appeals to China betrayed that intention, & it’s left to wonder whether the American generals, the avid practitioners of the full spectrum dominance doctrine were listening.

China is not a new nation nor small in status by any comparison. Foreign countries have had taken advantage of China during its past repose & rest. For a greater part of human history, China has been known to be great & far advanced than any other. China means “Middle Kingdom” – half-way between heaven & earth. It is also the centre of civilization or globalization in the present context. As in the tradition of Chinese kungfu martial arts, new skills are unmatched to the old master’s.

Obama must remember that China does not have to be dominant in order to be prominent. Co-existence, mutual help, & co-operation rather than confrontation are key pointers to peace & harmony. This is the type of foreign policies preached & practised by China since the dawn of history. Such would be the basis for the new world order. For this reason, China has surged ahead in its dealing with Africa & Southeast Asia leaving US way behind.

China & the rest of the Asian countries are no doubt pleased to hear of Obama describing himself as “America’s first Pacific president” & even of his boast of having a half-brother living in China’s glorious booming special economic zone of Shenzhen.

Liu Mingkang

It would be unthinkable for China to accede to US pressure on its currency policy. At a recent Beijing forum, Liu Mingkang, Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, highlighted the fact that the very weak US dollar & low interest US interest rates are creating “unavoidable risks for the recovery of the global economy, especially the emerging economies”. This is “seriously impacting global asset prices & encouraging speculation in stock & property markets”.

The above scenario goes to show that US is more responsible for the problem than the solution. Why would or should the Chinese listen to US hectoring, when US keeps printing its “fiat” money without restraint? Should the Chinese be expected to prop them up?

In his four-day visit to China, Obama did not miss out the hallmark of China – the Great Wall of China. Taking in the sights is one thing, but having a better insight of the greatness of China is yet another! Had he bowed to Hu, Obama would have reaped greater bonuses than all the bows he had executed with the Saudi King & Emperor Akihito.

President Hu jin-tao

Hu Jin-tao, the Chinese “sifu” President would gladly have shown Obama what China is doing right, in contrast to US, to resuscitate, rejuvenate to recover from this economic crisis. While US “stimulus” package has largely been channelled to bailing out the greedy & seedy, China’s economic stimulus package has been towards productive economic infrastructure, creation of businesses & jobs. It is undeniably true that greed begets more greed, and seeding it will be breeding it. No end will be in sight . . . sorrowfully for US.

Let’s just roam through some vibrant economic activities in China:

  • Pearl River Delta – China’s factory of the world, the hub of manufacturing & endless assembly lines.
  • The Yang-Tze Delta – the hub of capital-intensive industry,car production, semiconductors & computers.
  • Zhongguancun just outside Beijing – China’s Silicon valley.
  • The many immense info-tech malls – bursting with smallbusinesses manned by industrious, well-educated youth, wellmotivated & eager to trade & deal.

It is not as though technology is completely new to China, rather China had never looked at it with the eyes of the Western democratic capitalism. China’s way of economic development may well be the best there is after Deng Xiaoping’s foresight & economic vision. This is totally transparent without any hidden agenda, unlike the British with their scheming, devious & hideous diplomacy & imposing an unforgivable opium war upon the Chinese in the 19th century.

The new world order, as preached & executed by China, is hopefully being heeded by US. As advocated, this will be strategically based on economic independence with due respect to cultural & political differences. The four BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) emerging economies are in accord along this economic road to development. Consolidation of Asia as opposed to fragmentation, that which the West & the Northern rich countries like to create. The former Soviet Union knows full well what it means to be fragmented.

China will not dominate to facilitate deals with other sovereignties. Loans are given without any political strings attached & accessible without any hefty corporate commissions or consultation fees & conditions. China invariably has been engaged in vast, complex infrastructure projects that result in costing not more but less than half the price charged by IMF.

In the kungfu duel, the old master or “sifu” always has more up in his sleeves to overcome his opponent, brilliant & young he may be. Trustingly, some of the Eastern upbringing in Obama’ childhood still remained intact & will serve him well as his “third” eye . . . that he may see the ills & ailments of the US state of affairs.

Ironically & symbolically, Barack Obama found himself in an unusually vulnerable position during his first visit to China . When Obama campaigned for the presidency with an inspiring message of hope and change, no one guessed that this would mean deferring to Beijing on the international stage.


A Man’s Success

A Man’s Success

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Deng Xiaoping


The rich & famous are not necessarily great men. Some may be born

great or have greatness thrust upon them, but true greatness is through

personal achievement. Attaining wealth is not life’s only goal. it is however welcome as a by-product.

Capitalism may well lead to the moral degradation of the society.

The Mainland Chinese, as advocated by Deng Xiaoping, are driven

towards wealth & capitalism. Singaporeans are less in the same hot pursuit.

A man’s success in life is not only measured in the accumulation of wealth. If wealth is the basis, you can’t even compare Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, or Mahatma Gandhi with Mao Zedong. All of them are or were great and successful in life, but for very different reasons.

There are other intrinsic values to be considered, beyond the materialistic realm that the capitalistic world craved. These far outreaching values encompass many areas:

1. a man’s strength of character substantiated by

basic human goodness

2. faith & courage

3. philosophy & humulity

4. vision & creativeness

5. persistence & tenancity

6. talents

A man is thus judged by a composite set of values. Basically, for the great majority, one can succeed beyond all measures when he fulfills his role and responsibilities as a son, husband, father, grandfather and hopefully great- grandfather. You don’t have to be rich to feel fulfilled and happy. After all riches will not follow you to eternity, but a rich legacy ensures posterity in perpetuity.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent