Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for December 30th, 2010

Interesting Post on the US Military From Loadingdata.nl

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

Interesting post below about the US military strategy and that of China.

From this website


Military defense: US versus China

Today the following article was brought to my attention via @raykwong on Twitter:

If the DF-21D ASBM ends up working as advertised, however, it may (potentially) effectively obsolete U.S. Navy aircraft carriers in the event of a future direct conflict with China over Taiwan. It will mean that the Chinese can essentially sink our aircraft carriers at will, turning them into huge, massively-expensive above-the-water targets (multi-billion-dollar targets, when accompanying aircraft are taken into account) for the taking–easy pickins, if you will. (Source: Defense Review)


This reminded me of a story I once heard about the difference between the American and Soviet space program. While preparing to go to space, the Americans realized that a normal pen wouldn’t work without gravity. To solve this problem, they invested millions of dollars to come up with a solution: the permanent marker. The Soviets on the other hand simply brought a pencil.

This story may, or may not be true, but the analogy is clear. In this case again the Americans invest trillions of dollars to build the most state-of-the-art naval fleet (which, by the way, can hardly be used for anything else than offensive purposes) not realizing that each and every one of their ships, including their multi billion aircraft carriers, can be sunk for less than a fraction of the costs.

The Chinese missile that the panic-du-jour is about, has an effective range of 2000km. For your reference: that means they can reach the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal in the West, anywhere up to Malaysia, including the entire Philippines in the South, the entire Philippine Sea and all of Japan in the East. (And for the Americans who have no idea where those places are, that’s the distance from Boston to Miami)

Also interesting to know, since the supposed reason why the US would want to deploy their fleet against China is the Taiwan issue, is that the Taiwan straight is 150-200km wide. Less than a tenth of the range.”

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The Enigma of the Chinese

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

I love reading ‘real’ stories of China. What this means to me is reading the tales of explorers to this wonderful country. To me, it seems that they are able to capture the essenc of the place without the need to whitewash out the bad or invent things. The problem with Chinese history is that its old and thus we have to rely on sources that cannot be easily corrorborated. Thus, you may hear of wonderful things from China’s antiquity, but where is the proof? The following is a snippet I saved on my kindle. The author was a diplomat to China and lived there in the latter part of the 19th century (1883-93)

“The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

“….[the comment is ]…made by persons who have lived in China–among the people, but not of them–and the more superficial the acquaintance, the more emphatically is the statement made, that the ordinary Chinaman, be he prince or peasant, offers to the Western observer an insoluble puzzle in every department of his life. He is, in fact, a standing enigma; a human being, it may be granted, but one who can no more be classed than his unique monosyllabic language, which still stands isolated and alone.”

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Funny Product

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

I have no idea where this product is from but its funny. The photo comes from weirdasianews.com


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Ho Chi Minh on China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

It is better to sniff France’s dung for a while than eat China’s all our lives.

-Ho Chi Minh originally NguyenThatThanh
Attributed. Quoted in J Facouture Ho Chi-Minh.

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Body Painting in China or Plain old “Horn Dog fest”??

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

Body art in China. This is pretty good, check out the reaction of the guys taking the photos. I guess they dont get many playboy mags, nor Victoria’s secret leaflets in China…
from this site…cinaoggi.it












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Emotional Development and China-Comparing Chinese Subways and the Behavior of a 2 Year Old

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

Emotional Development and China

Lately I’ve been pondering China’s wonderful ability to pursue that which gives them pleasure, often the to detriment of their peers. some people call the behavior extreme selfishness, I’ve been here three years, I call it Chinese life.

Then I started to ponder children and how they go through developmental stages and wondered if one were to diagnose the emotional behavior of your typical Chinese person in China, how they would fare. To aid me in this academic quest, I relied on a Google search for emotional development in children.

According to this site, the following are behavior patterns typical with a 2 year old. Using this as a template, I will analyze my trip today on the subway: The question your current author is posing, is if the typical Beijinger is as mature as, less mature than, or as mature as a 2 year old..

Two Year Old Child Versus Beijing Subway who is more mature-

• Shows extreme behavior – dependent/interdependent, very aggressive/calm, and helpful/stubborn.
Today I saw four youths pushing an old woman as she exited the subway, falling to one knee she swung her purse at them cursing cai ni ma(fk your mom)–WINNER 2 YEAR OLD

• Gets angry when stopped doing something that is unsafe
Beijing has lines or stripes that have been drawn in front of the subway doors. The are arrows indicating where one should stand, as well as indicate a safe distance from the arriving train. Today, as usual, I saw a men argue with the subway helpers yelling that they didn’t have to stand in line and they would get as close to the subway car as they pleased. WINNER 2 YEAR OLD

• Temper tantrums are common and tends to cry, scream, kick, bite and can be rough with other children
Entering a Chinese subway is like a rugby scrum or an all star wrestling Battle Royale, all elements of humanity and decency are extinguished once the doors open. WINNER 2 YEAR OLD

• Needs parent/teacher/carer to tell him what is right and wrong
If it weren’t for uncle chicom (communist party), this place would redefine anarchy. Even with the risk of the death penalty for toxic food, etc, it happens on a regular basis. WINNER 2 YEAR OLD

• Easily distracted because of short attention span
Chinese can concentrate on those godforsaken rubiks cubes for hours (still popular here) WINNER CHINA-MAN

• Has little concept of sharing – plays alone alongside other children
“Random acts of kindness ” are non existent in China, thus the reason for this post. For examples, just read my blog . WINNER TIMES 2 2 YEAR OLD

• Likes routine and any changes are upsetting
Chinese are tribal and territorial, they dislike the new. I know Chinese who have lived in Beijing for years and never ventured beyond their little community. WINNER- TIE

• Beginning to show feelings of sympathy, pity and pride and aware of praise and smile
Tough call, Chinese will smile if you give them cause. For instance just the other day I witnessed a smile on the face of a guy as he stole the subway seat of a pregnant lady. Empathy, in China-wtf, never happen? WINNER- TIE

• Becoming more independent
Fighting for a seat could be equated with independence. WINNER CHINA-MAN

• Afraid of noises, trains, thunder and flushing toilets. Separation from parent, especially at bedtime is still frightening
Chinese are mystified by all things electric. They run into closing subway doors, trip over stairs and cant figure out which button to push for an elevator, but your current author has not witnessed a fear of this things from the typical Chinese person. WINNER CHINA-MAN

• May be able to hold picture of loved one in mind which will help child to cope with separation from main carer (18 months – 3 years)
Images of the hated Japanese and what they did to China over 70 years ago is forever etched in their memory banks. WINNER CHINA-MAN

• Fear of strangers decreasing
Chinese are awed by strangers, but have an inner fear of that which is different or new. The wavy hair and odd colored eyes of the typical barbaric foreigner, coupled with mass amounts of body hair, make this him a bizarre beast. WINNER 2 YEAR OLD

And the winner is 2 YEAR OLD by a score of 6 to 4 with 2 ties..

Maybe I am being too harsh or cynical. One could argue that the subways of NYC are quite similar, but the current author does not agree. i guess whether or not you agree with this post you at least think of the message behind it…

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Historical Quote on China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

from ” Historic China, and other sketches” (Herbert Allen Giles)

caveat, the author later states that this is not entirley true. He says there are many incidences of selfish and horrible behavoir but does not condemn the entire people.

“It seems to be generally believed that the Chinese, as a nation, are an immoral, degraded race; that they are utterly dishonest, cruel, and in every way depraved; that opium, a more terrible scourge than gin, is now working frightful ravages in their midst; and that only the forcible diffusion of Christianity can save the Empire from speedy and overwhelming ruin.”

cerca 1910

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Chinese Telecom Huawei Allegedly Invistigated for Possible Espionage

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2010

Here is another article about China’s giant networking company Huawei. The company was started by an ex-officer of the Chiense People’s Army. The concern voiced below was that some of Huawei’s employees had ties to the red army and were allegedly spying.
Hmmm lets consider this. The man who started the company was an officer of the Chinese Red Army. I wonder what kind of people this sort of CEO would hire and where his true allegiances lie?
(file this one under “send this to your local congressman, this company Huawei tried to buy American networking companies. As an aside, one of the reasons for the ability of the US to dispatch with the iraqis so quickly was the fact that we disabled their communications infrastructure, thus this sector is probably better left in control of the local country)

“Networking vendor Huawei has released a public refutation of a recent media report that alleged it was being investigated by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) for possible espionage.

In response to an article published by The Weekend Australian on September 5 2009 titled ASIO has ear on Chinese whispers, (see the online version here) Huawei Australia’s managing director, Guo Fulin, said the claims made in the report are “totally without foundation and based purely on unsubstantiated allegations.”

The article claimed Huawei employees in Sydney and Melbourne approached ASIO with concerns the company is employing Chinese nationals as technicians in Australia who have direct links to China’s People’s Liberation Army.”The articles falsely accuse Huawei of engaging in espionage activities and offer no proof to support this charge,” Fulin wrote.

The article also claimed that Huawei has recently sacked several dozen of its Australian-born workforce, replacing them with Chinese nationals brought in from China – a claim Huawei also denies.”

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