Jing-Jin-Ji

Paul Chong                                     Thursday, 2 February 2017

map-jing-jin-ji

map-jing-jin-ji-locationJing-Jin-Ji
(Short name for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei. Ji is a one-character abbreviation often used for Hebei province.)

The name Jing-Jin-Ji has a definite crystal ring to the name of Xi Jinping.
A megapolistic dream of President Xi Jinping.
Jing-Jin-Ji: Birth of a megalopolis with Chinese characteristics.A mega project unparalleled in human history.

  • the size of New England
  • the largest megacity in human history
  • Northeast China will soon be home to a massive regional hub with a population five times that of the New York metropolitan area.
  • an area of 82,000 sq miles larger than 100 US cities combined
  • 130 million population when completed, some 10% of China’s one billion-plus people. Currently, it’s 110 million combined.

Hebei, a poorer, steel-producing province roughly the size of Oklahoma. Tianjin was connected to the capital Beijing via a high-speed train in 2008 that covers the 130-kilometer (80-mile) distance in a mere 30 minutes.

Integration of the areas will spur more development as well as help to relieve Beijing’s belching smog, sprawling traffic jams and notoriously long commutes—which in some cases stretch to as long as three hours.

Though Beijing and Tianjin officials have stayed tight-lipped on plans, Hebei stirred the pot recently when the provincial government announced on its website (in Chinese) that the city of Baoding (150 kilometers from Beijing) was preparing to take on some of Beijing’s administrative functions, without offering specifics. But it’s already causing real estate prices to soar. It’s actually three very large cities that are being forced to merge together to, bizarrely, reduce the size of one of them: Beijing.
The new city should unite Beijing, Tianjin and the Hebei region into one supercity.

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*Beijing will become more on political, cultural and high tech industries, the high end functions.

*The Port of Tianjin, which is one of the busiest ports in the world, vying to become the financial heart of China’s northeast.

*Hebei will have heavy industries, and the relocation of   ‘non-capital functions’.

China has committed $36 billion to further build high-speed rail connection . . . to improve transport links between Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei.
Getting around Jing-Jin-Ji speedily will be ensured.
This colossal infrastructure building endeavor will include of a total of nine projects that will consist of 1,100 kilometers of new track being laid by 2020.
integration will allow entire regions of cities to function as singular urban organisms that can be better administered, planned, and economically developed.

The frameworks that China’s megaregions are being built upon are the enhanced transportation grids that run through them, which often consist of new high-speed and conventional rail lines, metro systems, light rail, and highways that allow people and goods to travel from one city to another as though they were all part of the same urban entity. There will still be significant amounts of green space and rural areas within these city clusters.

# In addition to Jing-Jin-Ji, China is currently building around nine other such megacity clusters across the country, which include one consisting of 16 cities and 80 million people in Yangtze River Delta and another which draws together 11 cities another 48 million people in the Pearl River Delta.

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China Reshaping the World with its Giant Infrastructure Projects

An old Chinese saying goes like this: “If you want to be rich, you must first build roads.”

Economy maybe said to be slowing down

but the rumbling is still being heard loud & clear!

In the Grand Prix, when others stall, you roar!

And, boy, have they built some roads & other mega infrastructure. In the past year, we’ve seen the world’s longest sea bridge, the world’s longest gas pipeline and a high-speed railway that’s left everyone else in the dust — literally.

The resultant infrastructure push is incredible. A list of 108 super projects is floating around China as we picked out the 45 coolest ones to showcase here.

From highways spanning the continent, to the largest wind power base in the world, to a modern Silk Road that links Europe and India, to new cities in the desert, building & conglomerating 9 giant cities in the Pearl River Delta Region into one megalopolis in excess of 50 million, China is showing what it really means to do big things.

$102 MILLION: The Pingtang Telescope will be the world’s largest radio telescope when completed in 2016

Here in this slideshow is the presentation of the selected projects:

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$176 MILLION: Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory conducts China’s major scientific projects and is the country’s most expensive research facility

$200 MILLION: The Guangzhou Opera House is one of the three biggest theaters in China, designed by architect Zaha Hadid

$368 MILLION: The Hainan power grid project is China’s first underwater cross sea power grid and will link the southern island of Hainan to mainland China

$473 MILLION: The Qinling Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in China

$717 MILLION: The Kashgar-Hotan Railway connects all the cities and towns of the southwestern Tarim Basin

$760 MILLION: China Central TV Headquarters is a loop of six horizontal and vertical sections covering 1,551,837 ft.

$900 MILLION: The Tianhuangping hydroelectric project is the biggest in Asia and plays a vital role in providing power supply in eastern China

$1.1 BILLION: The Shanghai World Financial Center Project is home to the second highest hotel in the world – the Park Hyatt Shanghai is on the 79th floor

$1.3 BILLION: The Baltic Pearl Project is China’s largest foreign development project and consists of residential and commercial properties outside St. Petersburg, Russia

$1.7 BILLION: The Wuhan Tianxingzhou Yangtze River Bridge is a combined road and rail bridge across the Yangtze River in the city of Wuhan

$1.7 BILLION: The Nanjing Metro Line was completed in 2005 and is used by almost 180 million people a year

$1.8 BILLION: The Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel and Bridge is the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge in the world

$1.9 BILLION: The Chengdu Shuangliu Airport will handle 35 million passengers annually

$2.12 BILLION: The Wuhan Railway Station serves the world’s fastest trains at 217 mph

$2.2 BILLION: At 128 stories, The Shanghai Tower will be the tallest skyscraper in China and the second tallest in the world when completed in 2014

$2.2 BILLION: The Qinshan Nuclear Power Phase II will add to the Qinshan plant and have the most nuclear reactors of any site in the world

$2.88 BILLION: The Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant is the first nuclear power station in northeastern China and will reach 45 billion kWh annually

$3 BILLION: The Great Gabon Belinga iron ore mine is China’s largest African mining operation

$3.3 BILLION: The Tianjin offshore drilling rig is China’s national base for offshore oil development

$3.5 BILLION: The Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal is the largest single construction project in China and the third largest building in the world

$4.5 BILLION: Lingang New City, a planned city to be completed in 2020, will house almost 1 million people

$6.3 BILLION: The Xiangjiaba Hydro power Project is expected to be completed by 2015 and generate 31 billion kwh annually

$5 BILLION:The Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev project will create the fastest inter-city train in the world at 280 mph

$6.3 BILLION: The Beijing South Railway Station is Asia’s largest railway station

$6.5 BILLION: China is one out several countries that signed a contract to re-construct the ancient “Silk Road” linking China and India with Europe

$6.76 BILLION: Xiluodu Dam will be the third tallest dam in the world and second largest hydro-power station in the country.

$7.89 BILLION: The Su-Tong Yangtze River Bridge is the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge

$8 BILLION: The Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port Project will handle the largest container ships in the world

$8.3 BILLION: The Nigerian Railway Modernization Project is China’s largest overseas project

$10.2 BILLION: The Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station in Guangdong province will be the biggest nuclear power plant in China

$10.2 BILLION: The Guangdong Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station will be China’s newest power plant when completed in 2013

$10.7 BILLION: The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project will connect two huge regions when completed in 2016

$12 BILLION: The Hainan Wenchang Space Center launch project will be the country’s newest launch center

$14 BILLION: The Harbin–Dalian High-Speed Railway will serve the first high speed train in northeast China

$16 BILLION: Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the world’s longest cross-sea bridge project

$18.2 BILLION: The Jiuquan Wind Farm will be the largest wind power base in the world when completed in 2013

$23.1 BILLION: The Kunming New International Airport will be China’s 4th largest aviation hub

With no room for expansion at the current Kunming Wujiaba International Airport, the local government decided to build a new airport tentatively called Kunming Xiaoshao International Airport. With the completion of the new Kunming, the old Kunming will be demolished and all operations will be transferred from the old to the new.

$33 BILLION: The Beijing Shanghai High Speed Railway is the world’s longest high-speed rail project

$44 BILLION: China is one out of 32 countries who signed an agreement for the construction of highways to span the continent and reach Europe

$45.4 BILLION: The Ningxia’s Ningdong Energy and Chemical Industrial Base will double the province’s GDP and generate $30.3 billion after the planned 2020 completion

$62 BILLION: The South-to-North Water Diversion Project is expected to divert 44.8 billion cubic meters of water to the north by 2050

$306.7 BILLION: The “Turn the Pearl River Delta Into One” will result in an urban “mega-city” bigger than Wales

$458 BILLION: The Tianjin Harbor Industrial Zone is one of the largest chemical ports in the world

Other Great Chinese Infrastructures worth ment

$2.6 billion: China’s construction of the Libyan coastal railway project $4.5 billion: Guangzhou Nansha Lair shipbuilding base project $5.0 billion: Niger oil project$5.4 billion: Changxing Shipbuilding Base will be the world’s largest shipbuilding base project $7 billion: Sudanese oil project $7 billion: China’s construction of the Algerian East-West Highway Project $10.7 billion: Baosteel million-ton steel base project in Zhanjiang East Island$11.7 billion: Rural Market Project $20 billion: Portland Oilfield Sinopec investment $26.8 billion: Tianjin ethylene project $38 billion:  Zhangzhou and Fuzhou-Xiamen railway projects $77.5 billion: Super markets projects $77.5 billion: Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Project $237 billion: State Environmental Protection Eleventh Five-Year Plan $800 billion: Zhejiang Sanmen nuclear power project $900 billion: Northern Energy and Chemical Base project$1 trillion: Tianjin Binhai New Area investment.

Even more are listed – There are just too many to list them all.

Care to add up the costs of these projects yourself?

Is China building faster than the market can keep up?

 

World’s Largest Underground Express Rail Station

West Kowloon Sky

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ImageWest Kowloon Cultural Centre Promenade

The Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus, built to connect Hong Kong to Beijing, is said to become the world’s largest underground high-speed rail station.

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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.

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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:

Guangzhou – Venue of 2010 Asian Games

By P Chong                                                                  26 February 2011

Panoramic Guangzhou
In the grip of nostalgia, I revisited Guangzhou in November 2010. I was first there in 1989 when it was no more than an“international sprawling village” with old derelict buildings, narrow twisted streets & lanes . . . so very crowded with both people & bicycles. Today, there is only one word to describe the scenes that greet the eyes – unbelievable! It’s a miraculous transformation!
Guangzhou Traffic Network
Guangzhou, known invariably as Flower City & City of Rams, is a historic-cultural city with a history of 2200 years. Today, it’s an economic power-house in the south of China. Its growth is phenomenal and as part of the conglomerate group of the nine cities to form the largest megapolis in the world, it will continue to spearhead the future growth of the Pearl River Delta region. (Please refer “China – World’s Largest Megapolis” on 25 February 2011).

Modern Guangzhou with 11.7 million population has everything that an international megacity has to offer – a sprawling network of highways, super bullet train network links, underground commuting network, super shopping malls, high-rise skyscrapers, parks & gardens, top-class hotels, entertainment, golf courses, theme park resorts . . . and rightly playing host to the 16th Asian Games and making it the largest & grandest ever.

CRH Bullet Train

As with all the major tourist places, first class hotels were sprouting up everywhere to usher in tourists in the 1980s. Guangzhou then boasted of its famous White Swan Hotel, located on the historical Shamian Island, the old concession zone during the late 19th century and early 20th century (where dogs and Chinese were forbidden). It overlooks the Pearl River and faces the White Swan Lake. Reached by its own private 635 meters causeway, the White Swan Hotel is only 10-minutes drive from downtown and 1-hour drive from New Baiyun International Airport.

 

Opened in 1983 and refurbished in 2002, it is still majestic though there are now many other 5-star hotels. The White Swan Hotel boasts of a total of 843 exquisitely decorated and well appointed guest-rooms. All rooms and suites are comfortably furnished and well-equipped with modern amenities. The restaurants in the hotel offer a wonderful variety of Chinese and Western food. Fitness and entertainment facilities in the White Swan Hotel include swimming pools, gymnasium, sauna and massage room, squash and table-tennis room and so on.

It is best known for its elegant design and high quality service. Its lobby is featured with a tropical waterfall and a display of many huge jade carvings. The hotel used to receive visiting foreign heads and government officials and was regarded as the landmark building of the city of Guangzhou in 1980s and 1990s. The hotel amenities even include a toy room sponsored by Mattel that provides toys for children of every age and gender.

Shamian used to be a place where foreign enterprises concentrated with a lot of western- style buildings. Now Shamian has become a beautiful city park with cafes and bars here & there.

Having stayed there during our first visit to China in 1989, it’s really reminiscent to be seeing it again after more than two decades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China – World’s Biggest Megalopolis with 42 Million !

Pearl River Delta area, showing boundaries of ...
Pearl River Delta area, showing boundaries of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau (in green), and the bordering Guangdong Prefectures Map drawn in October 2007 using various sources, mainly : Map of the Pearl River Delta from http://www.johomaps.com Map of administrative boundaries from http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By P Chong                                                                         25 February 2011

Million population cities in China are a dime a dozen. According to a Mckinsey Report, China by 2025, will have 219 cities with more than one million inhabitants, compared with 35 in Europe today and 24 cities with more than five million people. China doesn’t do things by halves. Take the Three Gorges Dam for instance – it’s the largest hydroelectric project in the worldcosting some $39 billion to build. China builds around 20 brand new cities each year – a phenomenal scale the world has ever known.

Now the ‘Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One’ scheme will build a 16,000 square mile urban area that is 26 times larger than Greater London, or twice the size of Wales, says The Telegraph report. This will be equivalent to the size of Switzerland.

The Chinese government has announced plans to amalgamate the nine major cities in the Pearl River Delta (home to a manufacturing-driven economic boom) into a single city with a population of 42 or more million people (more than Argentina, the world’s 32nd largest country), occupying an area twice the size of Wales. The “Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One” will link all of these centers by high-speed rail links that will put every point in the new megacity within an hour’s journey of every other point.

The plan, announced in state media, would unite several existing cities in the prosperous Pearl River Delta region, including Guangzhou (12 million), Shenzhen (8.6 million), Dongguan (6.9 million) and six smaller cities. Together, these cities already account for about 10% of China’s economy. All these cities lie around the Pearl River Delta, and unsurprisingly the plan has been dubbed the “Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One” scheme.

Guangzhou

The ambitious plan will see China attempt to combine over 150 major infrastructure projects including transport, energy, water and telecommunications networks over the next six years. This alone is expected to cost £190 billion. On top of this, an express rail line is will be constructed to connect the mega-city with nearby Hong Kong. Twenty-nine rail lines, totalling 3,100 miles, are to be constructed to reduce rail journeys around the urban area between the different city centers to a maximum of one hour of journey. Hospitals and schools will be improved as a result of the development.

Shenzhen

The idea is that when the cities are integrated, the residents can travel around freely and use the health care and other facilities in the different areas,” said Ma Xiangming, the chief planner at the Guangdong Rural and Urban Planning Institute and a senior consultant on the project. He continued, ”It will help spread industry and jobs more evenly across the region and public services will also be distributed more fairly.”

On the green side, pollution, which is a major problem in the Pearl River Delta due to the major industry cities, is to be addressed with an “united policy.”

The long-term plan for China is to move ever greater numbers into its cities, creating some city zones with 50 million to 100 million people and “small” city clusters of 10 million to 25 million.

Briefly, to sum up what Ma Xiangming said:

  • The infrastructure project to be built over 10 years will link around 150 projects in transport, energy, water and telecommunication networks of the nine cities together with an express rail line connecting the hub with commercial Hong Kong.
  • “The idea is that when the cities are integrated, the residents can travel around freely and use the health care and other facilities in the different areas.”
  • The new mega city will help spread industry and jobs more evenly across the region and public services will also be distributed more fairly.
  • Rail journeys around the urban area will be cut to a maximum of one hour between different city centers helped by the inclusion of 29 rail lines totaling 3,100 miles, the report quoted Xiangming as saying.
  • Chinese planners believe the project will help in reducing phone bills by 85 percent as also improve conditions of hospitals and schools. The mega city project also expects to address the issue of pollution caused by industrialization around the Pearl River Delta.

A specialized conglomerate of nine cities into One Megapolis of 42 million people

Its total urban infrastructure investment will equal about £685 billion over the next five years while, by 2025, it will have added some 350 million city-dwellers to its population.

As in a grand prix race, while you stall others will roar. China is doing all that it positively can to be in the lead.

Would the name “Pearl-Megalopolis” be apt for the unnamed megacity?

Source: The Telegraph

World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge – The Pearl River Delta Bridge

By P Chong

24 February 2011

It’s absolutely mind boggling to even think of it! It’s been a dream for the last decade and that dream is now becoming a reality. China never does things in half measures. China has begun constructing a bridge to link southern Guangdong province, China‘s main manufacturing hub, with Hong Kong and Macao. When completed by 2016, officials say it will be the world’s “longest sea-crossing bridge” – spanning nearly 50km (30 miles). One branch of the bridge will reach Zhuhai in Guangdong province.

Pearl River Delta Bridge

 

The bridge will be a six-lane expressway that can withstand earthquakes up to 8.0 magnitude, strong typhoons and the impact of a 300,000 tonne vessel, said Zhu Yongling, one of the officials leading the project. (This is just the prelude to even greater projects to come in the wake of “Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One”. More details to follow after this article).

Thirty-five kilometres of it will be over water. Driving times between Zhuhai and Macau to Hong Kong will be cut from three hours to about 30 minutes. According to the China Daily, Guangdong has reached an agreement with Hong Kong and Macao on funding. “The bridge will cost 42.2 billion yuan ($5.9 billion). The project will be partly funded by the governments of the three neighbouring regions, and the rest will be raised through public bidding,” Governor Huang Huahua, who is also a deputy to the 11th NPC, told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the top legislature.

An artist’s impression of the completed bridge

Summary Facts:

  • About 30 km long.
  • Total investment of about 42.2 billion yuan ($5.9 billion), instead of 36 billion yuan previously estimated.
  • Toll charge for 50 years, investment to be recovered in 37 years.
  • Reduces travel time between Hong Kong-Zhuhai and Hong Kong-Macao from about six hours currently to less than an hour.
  • It will consequently help to reduce transport costs.
  • The three already enjoy close economic ties, but they must contend with a complicated network of ferries and zigzagging roads for transportation. This will be an excellent short-cut.

The project is expected to boost economic development in the region and improve the comprehensive competitiveness of the Pearl River Delta area, experts said.

Guangdong has been a key laboratory for experiments involving the country’s reform and opening up policy over the past 30 years. The southern province saw its gross domestic product rise 14.5 percent year-on-year in 2007, to 3 trillion yuan, accounting for about one-eighth of the country’s total. The plan to build the cross-sea bridge is just one of the moves Guangdong has made to strengthen its economic cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao.

Huang said the provincial authorities will invest in infrastructure in the Pearl River Delta, which has become a magnet for overseas investors, particularly from Hong Kong and Macao.

A complex rail transit network is also in the pipeline that will one day ensure that a journey between any two cities in the region takes less than one hour, Huang said.

The governor said he expects Shenzhen, which is the closest city to Hong Kong, to set an example for the whole province’s close relations with the special administrative region.

According to projections more than 200 million vehicles a year will be using the bridge by 2020, carrying 170-220 million tons of freight.

“Through a more convenient and fast transport network, Hong Kong’s financial, tourism, trade and logistics and professional services can become better integrated with the Pearl River Delta and the surrounding areas,” said Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, at a ceremony launching the project.

Indicative of the importance Beijing has attached to the project, the Chinese vice-premier Li Keqiang, the man widely tipped to succeed the prime minister Wen Jiabao in 2012, was on hand to inaugurate construction.

Make 2016 a date in your travel calendar to visit

this Special Economic Zone region to witness

the splendour & magnificence of

the economic wonder that China has in store for you!

 

Source: The Telegraph & Chinese Daily

 

 

Hong Kong – The Eyes of the Dragon

By P Chong                                                                  Tuesday, 16 March, 2010


In a glittering and poignant ceremony on 1 July 1997 Hong Kong passed over as the last jewel of the British Crown. It then became the eyes of the emerging Dragon. Ten years & three on, it is as vibrant and spectacular as ever – constantly progressing, initiating and setting the impetus for its motherland’s growth. The sunshine is ever so bright through a clear blue sky with more towering structures, both residential & commercial.

While in the past Hong Kong served as a drainage port to the British Crown, today it rightly and timely contributes to the economic engine of Mainland China. It was a devious scheme of Opium War devised by the British in securing its foothold in Hong Kong. Whatever loss China suffered, “Hong Kong has helped set up 57,500 factories, employing 9.6 million people in the Pearl River Delta. About 70% have been opened in the past ten years.” (Source: Austin Ramzy’s The China Connection in The Time Magazine, Vol. 169, No. 23/2007). It is without doubt that Hong Kong will continue to spearhead the growth of the Greater Pearl River Region.

The Chinese population of Hong Kong is the key factor and the vibrant crux of it all. It is a known fact and verified truism that the Chinese people are the most assiduous in their economic pursuit, resilient to the core and diligent beyond all comparisons. It is this trait and character that made China to stand tall and erect without outside support since the dawn of its civilization many thousands of years ago.

With empty hands and frugal means, and armed essentially with a great desire to succeed, the Chinese immigrant stock had and has been drifting and settling in what was largely a rugged farming land amidst a “Fragrant Port”, and hence its name “Hong Kong”. Beyond the New Territories lies Shenzhen which is also depicting the same success story in transforming itself into a vibrant city.

In the opening up of Lantau Island, with bridge and tunnel connections, a world-class international airport Chek Lup Kok, Disneyland, and other tourist attractions such as the world’s largest Buddha statute with cable car access, the Hong Kong Government has plan for the Island in absorbing a greater population target of ten million. Whether Lantau Island Discovery Bay residential area will remain tranquil and vehicle free is something for the environmentalists to debate upon.

Hong Kong never goes to sleep and with the awakening Dragon for its motherland, it will be even more so sleepless and vibrant. It boasts of great rags to riches success stories in the likes of Li Ka Shing, the late eccentric Nina Wang and others. I first visited Hong Kong in 1970 and stayed in the then five-star Hilton Hotel. Today that same Hotel is no longer there. It was demolished and in its site stands Li Ka Shing’s Headquarters bearing the prestigious landed address as No.1, Queen’s Road Central.

As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong appears to be no different playing its role in the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. In fact, it shows now to have a closer affinity with its motherland. It demonstrates clearly too that there can be unity in diversity. Hong Kong needs its motherland as much as China needs Hong Kong.

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.