Understanding China


#21

I said tallest building in Norway so something more along the lines of Oslo Plaza.


#22

Ah the wonders of Google. But to travel all the way to Oslo just to make your bidding is a bit of a tall order. Besides, the “Sakte TV” crews are busy with their next project, the "Summer Train’, which will start soon: http://slowtelevision.blogspot.no/2017/05/slow-tv-summer-2017-sommertoget-summer.html
8 weeks of Slow TV should be enough to satisfy anybody, incl. you, even if you are still recovering from the 8 days of Reindeer migration this spring.


#23

Back to the subject of understanding China.

Some years ago I remember being part of a team of 5, incl. the aforementioned American boss, that was going from Shenzhen to Tianjin to inspect and negotiate terms of charter for a large (4,000 m.t. capacity) Chinese Crane Vessel for potential use outside China. None of us were much below 60.

As we march through the shopping arcade that was part of the domestic terminal at Shenzhen Airport, some pretty young salesgirls accosted us, shouting; “Viagra, Viagra”, while vigorously waving sachets of the offered product.

That is today’s China. Not much of the restrictive Communist China I visited in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. It is now a free wheeling hard nosed capitalist society, with only the name of the ruling party having much to do with Mao’s Communist China.

A visit to China would be an eye opener for many Westerners, who have been fed disinformation and/or propaganda for years. (Now more popularly known as “Fake News”)


#24

I’m sure you knew that’s how it would play out. The man is ignorant of our culture and it appears to believe in Euro Exceptionalism.


#25

I believe in no national “exceptionalism”, incl. Norwegian, European, or American.

I believe there are exceptional people among all nationalities and races, but they are few and far between. Or you can say that each human being is “exceptional”, since no two individuals are identical.

Each individual, no matter what nationality, race or religion has a right to pursue his or her happiness and interests to the best of their abilities. For those with less abilities, for whatever reason, there should be a social safety net supplied by those who can help, without asking for any favours in return.


#26

Well my wife has a close friend who is married to a bonafide born and raised ChiCom. Last year she spent a couple of months in china when he went back for work and to visit family. She hated it said she would prolly never go back. Most of the people are clueless how controlled everything is. They get a healthy dose of news from the regime telling them everything is double plus good. They do get some fake news about world affairs. Mostly they just don’t get any news about what’s going on in the world. She couldn’t stand the internet being locked down and censored. When she was out in the country visiting his family was the eye opener. The only way to relieve herself was by squatting over a hole in the tiled floor. You had to pour buckets of water down the drain hole when finished. It was winter so she had to walk in the cold outside to the well to refill the buckets for the next person to use. Prior to her friends departure my wife laughed at me when I told her outside the city there prolly wasn’t running water or indoor plumbing. She said they have electricity, Internet, and TV they aren’t backwards. I said heavily censored TV and internet with intermittent brown out plagued electricity and no indoor plumbing. It was an eye opener for her friend for sure but not much so for me. Everything I’d read or watched in western “fake news” articles and TV reports was correct. :thinking:


#27

Oh yes there are poverty in China, especially in the countryside, where a lot of Chinese still lives and toil on the farms. But there are poverty in the US as well: http://www.povertyusa.org/the-state-of-poverty/poverty-facts/

The poverty line in China may be different from that in USA for sure, but China has brought many millions of people out of poverty in the last 50 years. Since poverty is largely in the countryside, China is concentrating it’s effort there: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/17/rural-development-is-key-to-lifting-chinas-poor-out-of-poverty-says-scholar.html

In the countryside there are also places with a lack of sanitation for sure.

As for press freedom and access to the Internet, there are a lot of restrictions still, but they are also easing up a bit as they grow more confident. The majority of complains on this aspect comes from abroad, some of the relatively rich city dvellers and intelectuals. The average Chinese is more occupied with more mundane issues, like paying their bills. (Familiar?)

I must say that the “brownout” statement baffles me. I haven’t experienced that in any Chinese city I have visited in the last 20 years at least.

Remember that China has done a lot of their development in the last 35 years, while we in the west has been at it for a lot longer, especially USA which didn’t suffer any damages during WWII.


#28

No they’re not

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/4642916/china-vpn-internet-great-firewall-censorship/%3Fsource%3Ddam

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2017/03/14/china-is-tightening-control-over-the-internet-again/amp/


#29

Well, yeah, mostly. I was throwing a Hail Mary out there for one last ditch effort at giving the man the benefit of the doubt. The whole “In foreign affairs, nearly ALWAYS biased in favor of the official American position” statement pretty much summed him up as a lost cause. Oh, well.


#30

If that include everybody that doesn’t see the world your way, I’m glad to be “a lost cause”.


#31

Yes to foreigners the tightening up on access to foreign websites is a nuisance, incl. to me when I’m in China.

The fact is that the majority of Chinese don’t like the western sites but prefer their own, which is much more atuned to their way of thinking. Most Chinese use sites in Chinese language, like Weibo, Baidu etc. which are eqv. to popular western sites like Twitter, Google etc.: http://daxueconsulting.com/market-analysis-chinese-website-design/
Much like most Americans rearly look at foreign websites, or news channels, especially if they are in a foreign language.

If you are in China and miss familiar showes from home, here is some advice on how to reach them: https://www.duchinese.net/blog/41-top-5-websites-to-watch-western-tv-in-china

In fact it is not only China that is - or would like to - curbe access to certain things on the Internet. Many countries are getting fed up with the dominance of the web by American companies and the way they use that dominace. Some form of control is bound to be implemented by most countries, unless they agree to abide by the reguations imposed on local Internet companies.

I’m not sure if any restrictions are imposed in America on any foreign or domestic sites spouting anti-American views. If there are, you will hardly be able to detect it, unless you are looking for any spesific such site that you know of.

The Chinese print press and TV news are getting more dearing and critical in their reporting, but nothing near the level seen in America. Many would say that is a good thing, looking at the level of redicule and disrespect that is being shown to your political leaders in certain media.


#32

This article in The Economist a couple of weeks ago may help to explain why China and Europe both are getting weary of the way US IT companies and US intelligence organizations try to control all data on the internet for their own purposes and gain: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21722873-its-rules-are-broad-ambiguous-and-bothersome-international-firms-chinas-new-cyber-security

There is nothing wrong with China, as well as European countries, wanting to get some control over how data about their nationals are used by foreign entities, that being public or private.
As far as I know Americans are not too keen on having their private data spread worldwide either.

There is nothing “democratic” about Facebook keeping records of everything 2 Bn. people do or say, to be sold to other companies to use as marketing tools. Nobody elected Mark Zuckerberg.


#33

That China is a major shipping nation is well known, with companies like COSCO among the biggest Shipowners in the world and with a diverse fleet of ships in worldwide trade.
But that Chinese lessors (State and private banks etc.) actually control upward of 1000 ships, many of them not flying the Chinese flag, or showing outwardly as Chinese in any manner, is not so well known: http://splash247.com/chinese-leasors-now-control-fleet-excess-1000-ships/
The next ship you look at may well be actually Chinese “owned”, although flying the flag of any nation, while being managed by, and/or operating for, any major western shipping company.


#34

To understand China it helps to have the perspective of the Swire group.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-06/19/c_136378288.htm


#35

Yes some of the old British Hongs that started out as opium traders: https://www.britannica.com/topic/opium-trade
in the days of western dominance in China is still going strong.


#36

Swire were never in the opium trade and fiercely defend their position:


#37

Yes that has been their stand and is accepted as a historical fact, and I will not dispute that.
But I was not referring specifically to Swire. Several other names were mentioned in the original article you linked to though.


#38

The main player in the opium trade were Jardine Matheson, around which a whole conspiracy industry has evolved where fact and fiction are wonderfully marged:


#39

With the withdrawal of US leadership in the world, as well as from the Paris Accord, China and EU is stepping into the gap. This includes leadership in IMO’s greening of world shipping: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-07/china-eu-bolster-greening-of-global-shipping-to-curb-emissions

PS> The Bloomberg articles following the one above are also eyeopeners:

  • China Takes Lead in Pacific Shipping After $6.3 Billion Deal
  • Comac Wins China’s Approval for Mass Production of Regional Jet

And COSCO may not stop at OOCL: http://splash247.com/cosco-takes-oocl-eyes-cma-cgm/


#40

What alternate univers do you live in?