Sunday 9th of August 2020

misunderstanding china as a backward country for the last 40 years...


China Versus the World

An Emboldened Beijing Seeks to Consolidate Its Power

Beijing is ruthlessly expanding its power. But resistance is growing around the world -- and Germany will soon play a key role.

The Galwan Valley in the Himalayas is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet). It is a remote area where the slopes are covered in snow all year round. Last week, the valley made an appearance on the global political stage. China and India, the two most populous countries on the planet faced off along their -- disputed -- Himalayan border. The exact location of where one country ends and the next begins has long been unsettled. Indeed, the two countries went to war over it in 1962.

As the two nuclear-armed states clashed, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed on the night of June 15. There were also reports of deaths on the Chinese side.

For the first time in almost half a century, the rivalry between the two neighbors has cost human lives. No shots are said to have been fired. Patrols in the area generally don't carry firearms. Both governments are apparently aware that they could easily trigger a world war. The soldiers may have beaten each other to death with stones and clubs. Some are said to have fallen into a ravine during the fighting.

The incident shows how quickly the situation in Asia can escalate and how a cold war can turn into a hot one at any given moment, despite the high level of caution.

In the Galwan Valley, claims and interests collide. On the one side, there's the People's Republic of China, which is expanding its power in the region. In late April, while India was preoccupied with a worsening coronavirus crisis, the Chinese army is said to have moved troops into the border area and encroached on Indian territory in several places. At least that's what the government in New Delhi says.

On the other side, there are countries like India that don't want to put up with China's expansionism.

It isn't only the Chinese-Indian relationship that's tense. Resistance against China is growing in many parts of the world. Conflicts sometimes take place openly, as in the case of India, and at others covertly.

"What we are seeing now is just the beginning of a global backlash," says Indian geostrategist Brahma Chellaney.

Decoupling From China

Beijing's growing strength is leading to a "fundamental shifting" of the global balance of power, says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, adding that in the future, the Western military alliance should cooperate more closely with "like-minded countries," such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. NATO must "stand up for a world built on freedom and democracy, not on bullying and coercion." Stoltenberg didn't have to mention China by name. Everyone knows who he meant.

At the center of the global struggle for power are the United States and China, an old superpower and a new one. Their rivalry has even spilled over into the search for a coronavirus vaccine.

Ever since Richard Nixon was president in the 1970s, Washington has pursued a policy of rapprochement with Beijing. The U.S. aimed to integrate the formerly isolated and impoverished empire into the international system, in the hope that China would align itself with the West. In economic terms, this formula is known as "change through trade." Every successive U.S. administration has more or less adhered to this approach -- until Donald Trump came along.

In 2018, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington that marked a departure from traditional politics. He accused China of expansionism, unscrupulousness and an uninhibited display of power. "We will not be intimidated and we will not stand down," he said.

Today, Washington no longer speaks of rapprochement, but of "decoupling" from China.

The U.S.' change of course was preceded by a shift in awareness on the Chinese side. For a long time, the country had followed the directive of the reformist politician, Deng Xiaoping. "Taoguang yanghui," it went: "Hide your strength and wait and see." But as early as the global financial crisis in 2007, the notion has been spreading in China that its own system is not only equal to the West's, but perhaps even superior.

Provocative Acts

At a Communist Party conference in 2017, Chinese President and party leader Xi Jinping made it clear that he thought China's moment had arrived. He proclaimed a "new era" in which the People's Republic would move "to the center of the world stage."

The American sinologist Orville Schell recently argued in an essay that Trump's policy of "America First" and Xi's "Chinese Dream" of re-emerging as a global power would be difficult to reconcile. Schell's take is that a new Cold War is all but certain. At best, it could be limited, not prevented.

This antagonism has also forced other countries to pick a side. And even though many players may feel alienated by Trump's misguided policies, hardly anyone is prepared to get behind China.

Many people in India have long felt threatened by their big neighbor, and not only since the conflict in the Galwan Valley.

In early June, India and Australia announced an agreement by which the two nations would grant one another use of their military bases. The U.S., Japan, Australia and India -- known as the "Quad" in geopolitical parlance -- could hold joint military exercises in the Indian Ocean for the first time in over 10 years.

The countries have been alarmed by developments in the South China Sea, where there has been a growing number of incidents in recent months. Within a short period of time, Beijing officially incorporated islands there into Chinese administrative districts, carried out geological exploration work in Malaysian waters, the Chinese coast guard rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat and a Chinese corvette aimed at a Filipino warship.


Hanoi, as well as the otherwise reserved governments in Manila and Kuala Lumpur, protested. The U.S. sent three aircraft carriers to the region. The last time the U.S. Navy displayed such strength in the Indo-Pacific was three years ago. Last week, a U.S. military aircraft also flew over Taiwan, a country that is critical of Beijing and with which Washington maintains exceptional relations. China, which considers Taiwan a part of its own territory, called the maneuver a "provocative act."

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Picture at top from Pick of Punch Magazine 1973...

some leaders don't accept the western hubris...

What they say about the national security law for HK


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sending a message to the chinese government...

A tweet by the US secretary of state has led to speculation over whether he is trying to send a message to the Chinese government. 

Mike Pompeo posted a picture on his personal account of his dog Mercer, surrounded by "all of her favourite toys". The toy that sits centre stage is a stuffed Winnie the Pooh. 

The tweet has ignited significant attention given that Winnie the Pooh is a common derogatory nickname for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese netizens don't have a lot of love for Mike Pompeo, and regard him as "evil" and "the king of lies". 

However, he may be aware that they will struggle to talk about this tweet because nicknames referencing the Chinese leader are heavily censored.


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China has been gaining global market share in terms of trade as it appears to be the first to shrug off the global slump driven by the coronavirus pandemic, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley, CGTN reported. 

The worst of its trade performance has likely passed as it is expected to continue growing its import and export recovery this year alongside a global recovery, said Morgan Stanley Chief China Economist Robin Xing.

"I would say China's trade performance is enjoying a boost right now as it continues to gain market share ... and the worst of global demand is behind us," Xing told CGTN.

China's foreign trade rebounded sharply in June as recovery in the country gained traction aided by government stimulus which stoked demand for commodities while exports, fueled by medical goods, also rose.

In US dollar terms, both imports and exports came in above expectations. According to official data released on Tuesday, imports rose for the first time since the pandemic struck, by 2.7 percent year on year to $167.2 billion, bouncing from a 3.3-percent decline in May. Exports also rose by 0.5 percent to $213.6 billion, strongly beating expectations and showing signs of recovery.

A Reuters poll had earlier predicted a 10-percent fall in imports and a 1.5-percent contraction of exports.

Commenting on the latest data release, Xing said two things stood out, namely the strong export numbers, and broadening export performance beyond non-medical goods.

"It (exports) beat expectations and it's not the first time, but for the fourth month in a row. Second, this strong export performance broadened to non-medical goods."

"So over the past three months, when the external shock was at its peak, from March to May period, China's exports held up because it was gaining market share, it was largely driven by medical equipment and computers. So now we are seeing a more broad-based export recovery, expanding to things beyond just medical areas," said Xing.

Xing explained that China was regarded as a country that managed to be "first in-first out" of the COVID-19 situation, and now it's bolstered by signs of recovery in the global trade.

Morgan Stanley: China GDP to return positive in Q2

Xing also said Morgan Stanley predicts China's second quarter (Q2) GDP growth will be back to positive, which was a pace much faster than the market expected a couple of months ago.

"It is on track to return to pre-COVID-19 by potential growth level in quarter four (Q4)," he said.

On the country's long-term prospects given calls for a shift in supply chain management, Xing said that China remained a large base for manufacturing, citing examples of Tesla and Apple, both of which are retaining, and for the former, even expanding their base.

"They (large businesses) have been encouraged by China's ramp up post-COVID-19 shock … not planning any dramatic shift from relying on partners in China, noting that production coming back so quickly from COVID-19 disruption really demonstrates China's durability and resilience," he said.

Xing said that the focus in the first half of 2020 was geopolitical tensions, particularly US-China trade tensions, but the discussions in the next couple of years seem to have shifted.

"The discussions have shifted to business continuity, and the relative advantage that China has in this context over other countries, in particular, some large multinational firms," he said.

However, he said that there may be some diversification in the supply chain, though several companies have said they are employing a so-called "China plus one" strategy.

"Most of them are employing cash preservation and costs (reduction strategy), which will limit the scope of such diversification."

"Over the longer run, the discussion may shift to automation, and the increased use of robots and leveraging technology like 3D printing. China is investing in things like new infrastructure, like 5G which could further boost China's reliance in the global supply chain," he said.


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of knowledge and wisdom...

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
― Miles Kington

Miles Beresford Kington, writer, humorist and musician, was born in Northern Ireland in 1941, grew up in North Wales and sent away to school in Scotland. He saw himself very much as an Englishman, although, to complicate matters still further, he was actually half American, his mother being a US citizen.’

'From an early age,’ he wrote, ’perhaps confused by my shifting geography, I knew I wanted to be a humorous writer and a jazz musician, and even at school I had already started my own jazz band and set up a humorous magazine in opposition to the official school magazine. When I went to Oxford University (1960-63) I spent most of the time playing the double bass in jazz groups and writing undergraduate humour. Thus, when I left university, I was almost entirely unfitted for life, and consequently went to London to try my luck as a free-lance humorous writer, where I nearly starved to death.
He spent his first year in London, writing scripts with Terry Jones. Their output was prolific, but not very successful and Terry finally dissolved the partnership, going to work with Michael Palin. Miles found a job as a part-time gardener. 
Music, or, more specifically, Jazz, about which he was passionate, provided him with his first professional writing break. In 1965, “The Times” (Miles having lobbied the Arts Editor for months with sample reviews) employed him as their jazz reviewer. He then set about realising a long-held ambition – to join the staff of Punch, the humorous magazine famed for its cartoons and the quality of its writing. He bombarded them with articles, till they finally gave in and allowed him to join the staff. In 1970 he became the literary editor.

“At Punch, Kington was one of the most reliably funny columnists, reaching his zenith with "Let's Parler Franglais", a macaronic jeu d'esprit in which he dissected the vagaries of the British from behind the screen of a crazed bilingualism. His London cabby is exemplary, complaining that Marble Arch is "un peu dodgy aujourd'hui. Le traffic est absolument solide. C'est tout à fait murder. . . Personellement, je blâme le one-way system. Et la police . . .” Michael Bywater 


The Franglais columns, with the exception of the cartoons, were arguably Punch’s most enduring bequest. Miles described the four volumes subsequently published as ‘probably the most popular bilingual lavatory books of the 1980s’.


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Today we are revisiting Hints to Chinese Businessmen. This column, by Kington, gives a series of hints to Chinese coming to England to make a deal, in a similar vein as a piece in The Telegraph (a capitalist paper with a difference: it makes a profit) about English business going to the British Trade Fair in Peking (now Beijing, see top picture). Gusnote: not the "British Fair Trade"...

Some of the hints include "food" and we are advised that there are no English restaurants in London. The English style of cooking is very good and is confined entirely to an endless stream of English cook-books...

The last few paragraphs are about business and photography:


The French themselves had their own Franglais expert, Pierre Daninos, who wrote Les carnets du Major Thompson, which was published in 1954, and was followed by many funny sequels. The books pretended to be the observations of a retired British officer living in France, and were witty collections of comparisons between French and British society. ... Daninos is famous for having noted that all English women are red-headed since the first one he ever saw landing in Calais was such...

As usual, The (snooty) Guardian's obituary of Daninos considered that this sort of thing had been done before and sometimes done better, and that Daninos had uncritically repeated instead of critically examining national stereotypes.

But that's the British press bitching for you. Daninos was born in 1913 and died in 2005, while Kington was born in 1941 and died in 2008. So, who was first with the Franglais?

Who cares... In our new days of political correctness, we would be thrown in jail for making fun of the Chinese, the French and the Englishmen... as long we follow the herd of American political idiots and state with fear in our underpants that the Chinese are taking over the world. Read from top.