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


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)


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.


Chinese Leaders Jet-Setting The World on Buying Spree

Chinese Leaders Jet-Setting The World on Buying Spree

President Hu Jintao

While other world leaders are staying home plagued with solving their economic crisis, the Chinese leaders Hu Jintao (President), Xi Jinping (Vice President and Wen Jiabao (Premier) were jet setting the world on buying spree. What does this mean? Like top sales corporate executives sourcing out world products & markets, they are doing the same.

Chinese Premier Wen jiabaoPresident Hu Jintao

Though China’s stimulus package is worth a whopping four trillion Yuan over two years, it has abundant cash reserves after years of double digit economic boom. To say the least, China is in a better shape by far than any other economies & facing no worse than a slowing down in its

economy. Time is opportune for China to

be buying resources at present low prices, renewing & establishing new contacts . . . making investments that will ensure further impetus to the Chinese power house.

(Premier Wen Jiabao >)

China Vice President Xi Jinping Vice-President Xi Jinping

Their recent buying spree includes . . .

  • A $19.5 billion investment in resource conglomerate Rio Tinto by Aluminum Corp of China, financed by the China Development Bank.

  • China Petrochemical’s $1.5 billion purchase of Canada’s Tanganyika Oil operating in Syria.

  • A $25 billion loan to the Russian government in exchange for 290,000 barrels of oil per day for the next 25 years and a pipeline to China to carry the oil.

  • A $10 billion loan to Brazil securing up to 160,000 barrels of crude a day.

  • A deal with Venezuela for up to 1 million barrels of oil per day by 2015 in return for another $4 billion to top off an existing development fund.

  • A $1.7 billion bid by China Minmetals for OZ Minerals, an Australian zinc producer on the verge of bankruptcy.

All these, while assuring its supply chain, will contribute positively to further the growth of the Chinese economy. Logic will tell you that you can’t keep on spending money which you don’t have & get deeper into debts. But if you have $2 trillion cash reserves, then it’s a wise move indeed.

Now you can see why China is booming while others are groaning & going under in this economic trough. The tens of thousands of factories closing in China & the millions of Chinese out of work bear little numerical consequences in a country as huge as China. Its economic gear is in place, bank lending is soaring, up an amazing 101% to the tune of $237 billion, with 35% of all lending in January going towards infrastructure projects including power grid, railways & nuclear plants.

Other economic scenario is also encouraging: retail sales continue to explode higher, up a whopping 24.5%, from clothing sales to electronics & luxury items. For January, Mercedes Benz saw sales of its S-Class models jump an impressive 26% in China.

China is led by a good team of leaders. They are making sure their power house engine is matching up with the superb performance of the classed Mercedes engine & Rolls Royce.

Metaphorically speaking, the sun rises in the East & sets in the West. It looks like China, despite all the doom & gloom, is climbing up in the right direction.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent

Friday, 27 February 2009

US “Toilet” Paper Money!

US “Toilet” Paper Money!


In my search for truth probing through the devious & deceptive financial maze of the United States of America, utter shocks were uncovered & revealed. This article is intended for the average person in Main Street, who are now bearing the brunt of the financial crisis, still hopelessly & foolishly not knowing that they have been deceived & manipulated largely by the greed & irresponsibility of the big guys in Wall Street.

For ninety-five years now, not only those in Main Street, but globally too we’ve been led to believe in the wealth & strength of the United States of America. The US government was ably & irresponsibly issuing “fiat” money – “government issued coupons with expiration dates printed in invisible ink” (Darryl Schoon). If product has a “use-by” date or an expiry date, you would know what to do with it.

US Toilet Paper MoneyEnvironmental experts recently called toilet paper

“one of the greatest excesses of our age.”

In the process, the country has been transformed from one of productivity to that of indebtedness. “While productivity is doing more with less, fiat money allows governments to do more with nothing. Fiat currencies are a way for governments to spend what they don’t have; and while counterfeiting by individuals is a crime, passing government coupons off as money is legal because governments make the laws.” (Darryl Schoon). In truth, the issuance of fiat money by governments is a white collar crime & yet illegally made legal. Isn’t it kind of double standard?

From the Financial Sense University, we learn that “Fiat money is oxymoron” in which “faith unfaithfully kept it falsely true”. In simplistic sense, fiat money is useless, likened to the toilet paper we daily use. It is only as good & valuable as the extent with which the issuing body make it legal, & the faith placed upon it from within & without.

In economics, traditional money is a means of exchange. It’s redeemable in gold or silver or any set commodity. Thus the amount of money in circulation is backed by tangible assets. Not so in the case of fiat money. The only thing that gives the money value is its relative scarcity and the faith placed in it by the people that use it.

The present day classic example is drawn from Zimbabwe, where the government is broke – hyper-inflation exists & where unlimited printing of money is the order of the day & is in surplus circulation with denominations running into the millions or more.

If history is anything to go by, fiat money, to put it kindly, has been one of failure. Every fiat currency since the Roman times had ended in devaluation & eventual collapse – for the currency as well as the economy of the country. During the Song Dynasty, the Chinese experimented with paper money which however was redeemable. It took several hundred years but finally abandoned due to unacceptable levels of inflation as money printing exceeded production.

The fundamental flaw in a fiat monetary system lies with the human nature where greed sets in & there is no moral restraint on the amount of money that can be printed, allowing unlimited credit creation. If on an individual basis, you go on a credit spending spree, thereby creating an unlimited amount of credit, you’ll end up with unserviceable debt & consequently default. Sadly, both American individuals & the US nation are accustomed to credit & addicted to it.

When the going gets rough, the rough start printing. Governments cannot be trusted not to print too much money when it is not linked to a scarce commodity such as gold or silver. This is a case of being over-extended without any means of servicing as on the individual or national basis & it can only spell disaster.

For thousands of years gold & silver have demonstrated their utility. Unfortunately, governments historically have either debased & diluted the amount of gold & silver in their coins or “attempted to circumvent gold & silver entirely by mandating the use of paper money, sic fiat.” US unilaterally broke off its tie to gold standard during the presidency of Richard Nixon in 1971.

The imminent danger is implosion, contrary to explosion, as in a Blackhole in outer space. It’s most difficult to say exactly when this system will implode; but implode it most certainly will. The question is just how far can you push or stretch such a system without finally collapsing in defaults, deflation & depression. This will be followed by an accelerating distribution of wealth culminating in social unrest.

What’s most amazing & little known fact is that the Federal Reserve is not part of the US Government. It is in fact owned by a collection of the world’s biggest banks & the biggest family names like Rothschild & Rockefeller in Britain & America. Alan Greenspan (now since February 2006, Ben Bernanke), was but a pawn of the banks & the politicians – pulling out all the stops to maintain the illusions of fiat money credibility. While the system is doomed, there is still time for individuals to act quickly & save themselves. The politicians & bankers, however, may stop at nothing to keep the charade going on longer.

In retrospect, America has cheated death with its currency many a time in the historical past by alternating its monetary system between gold & silver with paper money. Whenever commodities run scarce, resources low & spending forever mounting, fiat currencies are a way for governments to spend what they don’t have. Credit-based or fiat money issued by central banks turns into debt with accruing compounding interest to be paid by the productive members of society, thereby draining & depleting its productivity.

The irony of it all is while the productive members of the society (that is, workers, businessmen, farmers, savers & taxpayers) are made to pay for the mounting compounding interest, the non-productive members of society such as bankers & politicians are joyously milking it. In a fiat money society, savers are unfortunately penalised while speculators are rewarded. The nation must wake up from its seemingly peaceful slumber lest it becomes its permanent slumber.

US has largely turned itself into a “self-service” nation which is uniquely destructive & subtle deadly in nature. It has bred a “speculative economy” through the establishment & growth of “financial services” giants such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, BoA, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia etc. When these finally collapsed, their CEOs & CFOs were enjoying their “self-service” benefits by way of bonuses without the least of compassion for the economy.

Suffice to mention here in brief that US has roughed its financial way through its historical past – the American Civil War, the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, now with Iraq & Afghanistan chocking at its throat. Needless to say, in all of these, there have been insurmountable financial strain, economic waste, draining & depleting of the nation’s productivity & resources. The US is a bankrupt nation today, a shadow of its former greatness & power. Wealth is power in a stored stage. It can exacerbate suffering more than it can alleviate it.

This is turbulent changing time that we’re living in. The power in the world’s financial hegemony is shifting with the rise of one nation & the decline of another. Changes are inevitable as surely with the sun rise & the setting of the sun. Coincidentally, the rising is in the East with the setting in the West.

The Chinese have a saying about an “old tiger”. Its roar is still there, fierce & ferocious, but it is weak, no longer fast & quick in capturing its animal prey. That’s when an old tiger becomes most dangerous to mankind as it turns to be a “man-eating tiger”.

Prominent Austrian Economist Ludwig von Mises from the Austrian School of Economics has long held that no sound economy can long endure under fiat money, arguing in his book “Human Action” that, “What is needed for a sound expansion of production is additional capital goods, not money or fiduciary media. The credit boom is built on the sands of banknotes and deposits. It must collapse.”

Will America survive? Will it go on feverishly printing its “fiat” money? How can the world keep on having faith in its currency?

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent

Sunday, 3 May 2009

7.05 am

Related Articles: (By Same Author)

China & Japan – Financial Saviours of US

Chinese Leaders Jet-setting The World On A Buying Spree

US Extreme Game of Economic Dominoes

Western Democratic Imperialism

Word Count: 1401

The Japanese Dilemma

SANY0496The Japanese Dilemma (By Paul Chong)

The second largest economy in the world is facing a mental crisis – the dilemma of change.

Beneath all that gloss & shine lies the problematic issue of change in order

to grow & progress. It is running out of options and solutions are difficult

in the face of aged old traditions & conservative social system.

The world market has long been dominated by such big names as Toyota, Honda, Sony, Seiko, Panasonic among others, proving its greater economic power over the US, if not militarily. Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, made Tokyo her first destination of call in her inaugural Asian outreach, and to top it up, I believe the first foreign dignitary to be invited by Obama to the White House is none other than the Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso – reflecting Japan’s importance on the world stage.

However, they say that all that glitter is not gold. Japan is facing the economic headwind of the global crisis, with its economic system breakdown responsible for its post-war economic success. As international trade collapses, demand for Japanese goods diminishes.

Life in Japan, socially, economically & politically, is not a bed of roses any more. Since its war aggression & shameful exit from the world stage after its defeat in WW2, Japan has sort of retreated into its own protective sphere. Its emergence as an economic power came about as a great “imitator” of western produce. It draws its experiences from the western models which paid off in handsome dividends. Of course, it had massive outpouring of aid & help from US.

Basically, Japan has become a nation of bureaucrats. Its social fabric is so deeply entrenched with conservative traditions & archaic cultural values, making changes difficult. What’s needed is a mental revolution in keeping with changing times & circumstances.

Japan has long held the concept that its Emperor is direct descendant from Heaven & is the Son of Heaven to be revered. Armed with this self-esteem they set out to conquer Asia & the rest of the world in WW2, but sadly they were vanquished & made its shameful exit.

Japan suffered war humiliation. The first atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki & Hiroshima. After its shameful surrender, it retreated under the protective arm of bureaucracy of safety & predictability. Bureaucrats controlled every phase of their daily life. The Japanese became a nation of lifetime employment with a large middle class where people are similarly equal.

This however is quite contrary to the traditional Japanese life where social hierarchy long existed with class distinction and unequal distribution of wealth & privileges. This egalitarian society was a creation of the 1970s with its progressive taxation, redistribution of wealth, subsidies and the dampening of competition through regulation. Protection works well so long there’s no major upheaval in global situation. People can become lame ducks when they rely or become over dependent upon the bureaucrats.

Much of Japanese innovative ideas have been based upon outside models by perfecting on others’ creations. Since the middle of 19 century, Japan’s economic success could draw upon lots of outside models – from communist Russia’s ideas of planning to the US industrial development. This arena is now exhausted – but the Japanese are now totally unprepared for a “tsunami” of global doom & gloom.

Unlike the West, where success is achieved more on an individualistic basis & the dare to venture, in Japan success is totally on a collective basis, bureaucratic order & placement. People are beginning to feel insecure when employment is no longer a hallmark of guarantee. People are at a loss. The national health & pension plans are tattered, Depressed & suffering, Japanese are prone to suicide. Japan has the world’s highest rate of suicide & “Hikikomori” (acute social withdrawal) among the rich nations.

The most pressing social problem is that of a declining & ageing population. If the present trend were to continue, without the replacement intake of new migrants, the present 130 million is likely to go as low as 90 million in 50 years, more or less. Some 40% of the Japanese would be over 65.

It’s taboo to advocate or even talk about immigration. The Japanese have always considered themselves as a superior race & their Emperor as “Son of Heaven”. They would for all purposes & intent continue to keep their race “pure” & keep outsiders out. The modern concept of human resources is based on vitality & productivity. If the open door policy is unacceptable, perhaps Japan might think about doing it on a selective basis by welcoming only the “brainy” ones with incentives, as what Singapore has adopted.

Politically, Japan has seen a number of frequent changes in its leaders, which do not augur well for political stability. Prime Minister Taro Aso’s rating is low & for want of a better choice, the country seems to be devoid of good strong leadership.

I have often advocated the concept of “to grow, to progress is to change”. Obama used the keynote of “change” to propel himself from obscurity to the stage of respectability in the White House – by no means an easy task for the first Afro-American. Japan needs the same dose of medicine to change if it’s to maintain its leading economic position or to compete with its giant of a neighbour, China – now a true mighty dragon awakened from its peaceful slumber, & its rise as a regional superpower & world power!

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent

Wednesday, 4 March 2009