Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 4th, 2011

China, the Communist Party and Banks

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

The book The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (Richard Mcgregor, is excellent. Read the excerpt so that you know when you deal with China, who is really pulling the strings ( I dont think I posted this before..).

Great excerpt from The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (Richard Mcgregor)


“If the prospectuses were to be scrubbed clean for foreigners, Chinese bank executives took a different approach at home, discussing the Party’s role in interviews with Caijing and local university researchers in 2005 and 2006. These bank chiefs struck a more respectful tone than Guo, but, by Chinese standards, they were remarkably frank. Whatever the prospectuses might say, the executives were clear that the banks were not just commercial institutions. They were instruments of national economic policy, a fact that would be borne out in the global financial crisis three years later. At the Bank of Communications, China’s fifth largest bank, Jiang Chaoliang, the chairman, said the party committee was in charge of strategy as well as personnel. Far from being driven solely by making a profit for shareholders, the Party had to act in accord with social ‘stability’ and national ‘macro-economic’ policies laid down by the government. The bank’s foreign partner, HSBC, apparently had no trouble with this, even though its purchase of a 19.9 per cent stake in the Chinese lender had been partially marketed to its own shareholders as a chance to change the old-style corporate governance.”

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Empathy in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

The other day I was watching the film Taken, with Liam Neeson with some Chinese friends. The story is about a dad whose daughter is kidnapped and Neeson hunts down the perpetrators.
The great thing about living in China is understanding how they think and how they perceive life. In one scene, Liam is looking for his daughter, and finds the hangout of the thugs who have taken the women. He walks into a place where women are on beds, they’ve been forced into prostitution and are in drug induced stupors. Liam, seeing the women in such a state, tries to help them and rescues one, taking her away with him. Here is how the Chinese with whom I watched the film processed this notion.
chinese- “is that girl his daughter?”
me “no”
chinese” then why is he helping her?”
me “you mean why did he take her from a place where she is forced to be a prostitute?”
chinese “yeah? I mean he doesnt know her right?”
me “no”
chinese “so why help her?”
me “umm maybe he thinks its morally wrong to force women to have sex and ruin their lives. maybe he thought he was doing a good deed.”
chinese, “sounds stupid to risk his life for that.”
me”uh ok, i see your point.”
the whole time i’m thinking , i need some kung pao chicken and dam this place is morally bankrupt.

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Eating Pigeon in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

Earlier this week I had a business lunch. On a plate was a smallish bird, the size of a sparrow. My colleagues insisted I try, so I did. When asking what it was they told me the Chinese name, it was something like gerken ….
They then looked it up and it was pigeon, that I had consumed. Hoping that it was not yanked from one of the rooftops then stomped into submission, I mourned its passing. The bird was good however, tasted kind of like duck.

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Reply to Comments

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

First to the remorseful commenter, its ok, anyone who reads this blog will take it in context (ie your comments about sex ed). The thing is that this place has that effect on people. Its the constant barrage of feels good garbage that uncle chicom rams down our throats on a daily basis and the clueless nature of many. Its like that episode of Gilligans Island where the evil dictator wants to make Gilligan the puppet dictator. Gilligan looks out the window and sees the reality, the poverty despair, but the exiled dictator shows him a syrupy sweet scene thats obviously untrue. This is China, we live here, see the lies and deceit but are surrounded by uncle chicoms ‘soft power’ and how they tout all the advances they have made but we see how people like Li gang’s son get three years when a life was lost yet a rapist gets 7 years, feeling sorry for the typical chinaman we wonder where the justice is.

As for the other poster who wants to know of the US’s intentions with aircraft carriers, I hope you are enjoying the site and appreciate your comments. Rather than reply to all of your comments here, I must wait till I can access wordpress. but as you know, I live in China and uncle chicom does not wish to grant those living here that privilege as of yet. But one thing did stick out in my mind, your comment about dredging up things from the past (ie l corruption). From the past? Yes the article was from the past, but the sad fact is how nothing has changed in China, as there was corruption back then, as in the times of Confucius, as there is today, same cultural phenomenon different date.Remember, the goal of this site is to allow people to understand China…
HAVE FUN EVERYONE AND ENJOY 2011!! The year of the rabbit

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Li Gang and the Problem with China’s 1 Child Policy Imps

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

China has a huge problem with the rich and powerful getting away with murder, i mean that literally, and here is an example. Just to preface the story. The person in question here, the guy charged with killing a lady while driving drunk, is the son of a high ranking Chinese official. The woman he killed was poor. I believe he only got 3 years, while the rapist I posted earlier got 7 years. So a guy who murders, if he is connected, does half the time of a rapist…This is Chinese justice.

“THEY CALL them the “ guan er da i” and “ fu er dai ” respectively, the second generation children of senior party officials or China’s new millionaire class. Spoiled brats, they are products of the “little emperor” syndrome associated with the country’s one-child policy and are fed by their supreme confidence in their social standing and impunity that power and money bring in this deeply divided society. Not the most pleasant manifestations of the new China. “Sue me if you dare. My father is Li Gang,” is the result, the Chinese equivalent of the old familiar jibe: “What are ye having Guard, a pint or a transfer?”

The brat in question had just mowed down two roller-skating students in the grounds of Hebei University in central China; one, Chen Xiaofeng, died. The 22-year-old drunk, who then tried to speed away, was Li Qiming, the son of Li Gang, a local deputy police chief, and the line with which he fobbed off security guards’ trying to hold him has gone viral online, despite the efforts of censors. The derision with which the censor himself is now being treated online suggests China’s notorious firewall may be less solid than the authorities would like to believe.

A month after the incident, much of China knows the story, and “My father is Li Gang”, the New York Times reports, has become a widespread catchphrase for dodging responsibility with impunity, “from washing the dishes to being faithful to a girlfriend”. One female blogger is running a contest to incorporate “My father is Li Gang” into classical Chinese poetry. Other competitions, using ad slogans and song lyrics, have emerged elsewhere on the internet. In Chongqing, an artist created an installation based on the phrase.

While Li and son have apologised and the latter may yet face charges, the story has shone a telling spotlight on three important facets of Chinese society: deep political and economic inequality – two years ago China surpassed the UK to lag behind only the US in the number of dollar millionaires; the impunity of officialdom and its instinctive response to suppress scandal, to censor; and the growing unwillingness, despite repression exemplified by Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo’s continued imprisonment, of young people to kowtow to the authorities.

“In society they say everyone is equal, but in every corner there is inequality,” Chen Lin, brother of Chen Xiaofeng, was cited as saying before the clampdown. He is not alone in drawing that subversive conclusion.

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Shocked in 2011- Chinese Dont Trust Chinese Food- WTF?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

File this under “Did they really need to conduct a poll to figure this out?”
This snippet reports that 70% of Chinese don’t trust the food here. 70%? Under what rock have the other 30% been living to trust the food from here?

excerpt chinadaily:
” BEIJING – Nearly 70 percent of the Chinese public do not feel confident about food safety, a national survey has found. Insight China, a magazine, and Tsinghua Media Survey Lab conducted the survey, released over the weekend, against the backdrop of the government trying to restore public confidence damaged by a series of food safety incidents.

More than half of the respondents said government management and surveillance should be further improved to properly protect people from unsafe food, it said.

Of the 2,862 county-level quality inspection centers nationwide, only 1,100 are capable of carrying out food-safety tests, Wu said. “

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Chinese Police- Friendly Visit or Shakedown

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

The Chinese police live a very benign existence. Aside from the occasional shakedown, their presence in the center world is largely unnecessary. Possessing the uncanny ability to show up after payday or when money needs to be liberated from the pockets of a foreigner after a Chinese has mindlessly rammed him with his vehicle, the Chinese police live somewhat isolated lives.
The other day, however, their presence reared its ugly head when I was visiting my friend in Apple apartments and one of these fine specimens of police acumen stopped us to inquire about if we had registered with the local police. The law in china is that you must register upon arrival and always let them know where you are staying. To me, this is a holdover from the cultural revolution whereby if they know where we live, it makes it that much easier to corral us when they need someone upon which to heap blame, and beat us senseless. Also, since coming to China, whenever i see the words ‘China’ and ‘law’ are in close proximity I have to stifle a laugh. Imagine, this place with a functioning legal system…

Flashback to the cop with palm outstretched…
As the cop spoke no English , my friend and I glanced at the extended hand as if it belonged to a beggar, said we had no money and moved off. The guy was embarrassed, i guess he needed money for the holidays…
China life

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Ex-NBA Player Fined for ‘Flipping the Bird’ in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

File this under “Foolish NBA has been, playing the fool in China”

excerpt chinadaily

Steve D’Shawn Francis with his middle-finger extended is captured by television camera during the Beijing Ducks versus the Guangdong Winnerway match in Dongguan, Guangdong province, Dec 19. Francis scored 2 points, showing for 5 minutes 55 seconds. This is Francis’s only record of scores for the Beijing Ducks. On Dec 26, Francis’s agent said that Francis will be fired. [Photo/titan24.com]

. [Photo/titan24.com]

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Communicating in China- Chinese Conversations

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 4, 2011

Chinese Logic
Chinese have a funny way of communicating, as in they are not very clear in terms of what they want. I just had this conversation with a supplier. The background was that he’d visit on Friday and had purchased a ticket.

me- “hey do they have tickets for you to come on Thursday?”
him- “I got my ticket for Friday.”
me-“I know but I wanted to know if they have tickets on Thursday, if so, our company could reimburse you for the other fare.”
him-“I got my ticket for Friday.”
me- “I know, I was just wondering, or speculating on the possibility of changing the date to Thursday.”
him-“I got my ticket for Friday.”
me-“ok never mind.”
him-“I am confused. i was supposed to come on Friday. I bought the ticket for Friday…”
me- “never mind.”

this type of thing happens all the time, if you are talking to someone from China make sure you do not digress or segue, it will render many of them a babblng foo.

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