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An American in China

Archive for February 7th, 2011

Peace in Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


Today is the first day in a week when I have not been awoken with the smashing of fireworks and early morning screaming. I guess the festivities much be over for China. The good news is that I can now sleep restfully. The bad news is that the size of the city will swell by 20-25% in the next few days as all of my friends return.

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More Beijing Traffic

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


This is also pre-CNY

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Beijing Traffic Pre-New Year Festival

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


Here is a typical Beijing day, but I have some photos from the new year where its dead. I will upload them later.

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Confucius in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


From Here:

The gist of Confucianism, the orthodoxy of the traditional Chinese state, is the notion that human society expresses itself through a finite number of hierarchical relationships. The type of relationship in question imposed certain duties on, and granted certain rights to, respective individuals in such relationships. These pre-determined relationships were reciprocal, if not mutual.That properly defined relationships result in desired behavior on the part of both the individual and society is the essence of Confucianism.176
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China and Intellectual Property

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


excerpt from :

Economic Warlords (Julie Cochran)

Unfortunately, the economic warlords presiding over local governments ensured that these types of fines and damages were rarely levied upon violators. Eventually, the Seventh National People’s Congress amended trademark laws, aiming to enhance “‘the administration of trademarks’ and encourage ‘producers to guarantee the quality of their goods and maintain the reputation of their trademarks, with a view to protecting consumer interests.’” The amendments also refined the definition of infringement “to include the sale of goods that one is ‘fully aware’ are counterfeits of a registered mark, the forgery or unauthorized manufacturing of representations of another’s registered trademark, and the sale of trademark representations that were forged or manufactured without authorization.” A special Intellectual Property Rights Tribunal was created in Beijing to deal exclusively with infringement cases. Satellite courts have been established in several other large markets; however, these courts still suffer from a lack of qualified legal administrators. The Chinese legal system’s “inquisitorial” nature aggravates the need for competent individuals who will vigorously prosecute violators of intellectual property rights without being swayed by local influence.

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China Fact

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


In the original Aladin Story from tales of 1001 Arabian NIghts, Aladddin was a Chinese boy.

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How the Chinese Economy Works

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


Economic Warlords (Julie Cochran)

The essence of a free market is competition, and China’s version of federalism has induced ferocious rivalries between local economies. Zhao Jiancai, the enterprising mayor of Zhengzhou, is a good example of the economic warlords who disregard Beijing’s decrees in quest of political fame. Zhao plans to transform Zhengzhou from the dreary capital of Henan, one of China’s poorest provinces, into the “‘Chicago of the East’—a gateway between the booming coast and the vast interior—by more than tripling the city’s size.”63 A $100 million waterfront arts complex, complete with dancing fountains and laser beams, illustrates the type of hyper-investment for which local governments vigorously compete. In fact, despite the central government’s repeated mandates to curb spending, top planners have resorted to using satellites to “spot bulldozers working on illegal construction projects in far-flung provinces. Indeed, much like the ancient warlords who ruthlessly expanded their powerbases in the celebrated Three Kingdoms era, “[e]conomic growth has become the path to career glory for city mayors.” The swords and spears once wielded by local strongmen have been replaced by new weapons of choice— financial subsidies and tax incentives—yet the goals are ultimately the same: economic power and political prestige. A Hong Kong economist recently compared “modern Chinese cities to corporations, and their mayors to chief executive officers, all competing with each other to expand their business empires.” In fact, much to the chagrin of top-level planners, “[t]he majority of China’s 660 cities and 2,200 country-level towns have or are planning to build wide roads and lavish squares” in furtherance of local administrators’ legacies. Chinese scholars refer to such localism as chu-hou ching-chi, an economic system in which “thirty huge ‘fiefs’ (provinces, municipalities, and autonomous .
Professor Zheng has made a similar comparison: “Since the governments at different levels could benefit greatly from local economic growth, they acted like entrepreneurs: acquiring raw materials and energy for enterprises; providing the financial resources enterprises needed; and creating markets for enterprise products.”
Many of these projects amount to little more than novelty tourist destinations. For instance, officials in the province of Chongqing recently opened the doors to what they insist is the world’s largest bathroom. Associated Press, China Public Restroom Has 1,000 Stalls, July 6, 2007, . This fourstory “porcelain palace” boasts bizarre amenities including urinals shaped like crocodile mouths and busts resembling the Virgin Mary.

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Congrats to the Packers, Super Bowl Champs

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


For those of you are not from the USA, we just had our most important event of the year, the Super Bowl. The team from Green Bay Wisconsin beat the team from PIttsburgh, Pennsylvania. My favorite team is from Ohio -where I was born , but they have never even made it to the Super Bowl.

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Chongqing China and Japan

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


Chongqing China is one of my favorite places here. The people imho are nice and they have the best food on the planet. The Chinese claim it is the place with the hottest women, but you can be the judge of that.
One of the interesting things is that Chongqing people speak Chongqing ese, which is mandarin with an odd accent. They tend to sing or bark when they speak and the sound of it can be uplifting or unsettling, depending on their mood. At present I am watching the Japanese channel and speak not a word of it, but to me the sounds that the Japanese make remind me of the Chongqing accent. I guess its hard to understand unless you have compared them.

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Federalistic China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 7, 2011


Good excerpt from Julie Cochran’s work. In this she is arguing that China works like a federalist country meaning the the provincial level governments and below actually have a wide degree of control due to the fact that the central government is ill equipped to govern them and due to the mandate of economic growth.

– Economic Warlords (Julie Cochran)

In many cases, this decentralization placed local governments outside the reach of the central government’s coercion altogether. Indeed, “even if the central government [were] capable of executing political control over the provincial leadership through the Party’s nomenklatura system, it [did] not have the effective mechanisms to execute control over local government officials below the provincial level.” Globalization has exacerbated the cycle of decentralization and hypercompetition. Professor Zheng notes: Globalization has affected China’s central-local relations with the creation of two opposite forces, i.e., decentralization and centralization. On one hand, globalization has decentralized economic activities further to local governments and other local organizations, making it increasingly difficult for the center to access local economic resources. On the other hand, globalization requires the center to regulate the national economy in order to accommodate external economic forces resulting from globalization.

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