Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for February 23rd, 2011

Chinese Law

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

China opened up about 33 years ago, and at that time they had no legal system to speak of. The history of law in China actually can be found as far back as the Han dynasty some 2000 years ago. At that time, however the law was not the rule of law as we know it, but seemed to work well for them and their culture. Then in ’49, the communists took over and Mao said as he spoke, laws were being made. One of the first universities he shut down in Beijing is Zhong Guo Zheng Fa Daxue- China University of Political Science and Law. Mao, it was said, feared a functioning legal system.
Since opening up China has had the aid of the world in formulating their legals system which is a mixture of common and civil law. Common law is what the USA and all areas of the UK utilize while the rest of the world, barring Islamic or religious laws use a civil law system.
In reality, although they have written many laws in the past thirty years, no one considers China to be using the notion of the rule of law.
The problems are corruption and ignorance. Corruption is a fact of life in China, and was a part of the the legal system since its inception. Ignorance, however, may be more of a modern phenomenon as it had its roots in the modern Communist party and their form of governance. The party put many judges into positions of power and these people were ignorant and had no understanding of laws. They really didnt have to after all, as the party had all the power and all the rights, so a functioning legal system may not have been important. The legacy of this ignorance lives on, however and although China now requires their judges to have some degree of college, it still does not mandate that they study law, per se. The consequence is that although areas liek Beijing and Shanghai may have judges who at least have a cursory understanding of law, the judiciary in the rest of the country has no idea of its import nor its nuance.
Good sources of law in China are Stanley Lubman, Randall Peerenboom and others.

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Reblog About Chinese Scams

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

Good post here from this site.
or past the url into your browser

Serpentza talks about how someone giving you shopping tips of where to shop gets kickbacks, which means whatever price you pay is probably double or triple what you should be paying.

However, what Serpentza doesn’t tell you is it is okay to haggle over the price except maybe in a Shanghai Wal-Mart. Yea, they have Wal-Mart’s in China.

Anyway, Serpentza says to shop by yourself unless you know someone local. That is good advice.

Actually, I have this hand carved wood sculpture that I wanted. The shop owner thought my wife, who is Chinese, was my guide and he told her if she could convince me to buy this carving, he’d give her a kickback.

Needless to say, she found out how low he was willing to go, that’s the price I paid for the sculpture, and she refunded me the kick back.

Meanwhile, Serpentza says the beggars all have an angle—don’t trust them.”

read the rest here.

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American Thugs or Patriots- You Decide

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

This is a re-blog of a post from here. You can get a sense for where the author is going relatively quickly. Alhtough I love my country and understand why we protect our right to arm ourselves I can see his point, being a non-land of milk and honey’er (but I still disagree with him) the author does a good job of attempting to poke holes in the logic…..

Here is the first part, you can click here or cut and past the link below into your browser to read the rest, and feel free to comment, I think the author enjoys that…



“America is no democracy: Gun rights” I have to start with a dis­claimer: I am not an Amer­i­can, and have never under­stood the rav­ing pro­po­nents of gun-rights. I under­stand this is a cul­tural thing, like whal­ing is for the Japan­ese, Bull fights are for the Span­ish, or ston­ing of adul­ter­ers is for some Mid­dle East­ern and North­ern African tribes. To me it makes clear how much the United States are based on age old dog­mas, and refuse to change their mind when the facts of life change.

The right to bear arms is sup­posed to be based on the Sec­ond Amend­ment to the United States Con­sti­tu­tion states (as rat­i­fied by the states):

A well reg­u­lated mili­tia being nec­es­sary to the secu­rity of a free State, the right of the Peo­ple to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


I fail to see, how­ever, how the cur­rent prac­tice is based on this text. Let me break up the sec­ond amend­ment into a few impor­tant terms:”

Check out his site for the rest of it.

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China Getting Crazy – Allowing Individuals to Travel to Taiwan

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

This is funny clip. The chinadaily reports that some cities in China, on an experimental basis will allow ‘individuals’ to travel to taiwan. As of now, Chinese can only go to Taiwan as a group, or in tour groups. or so I am told. I have no idea how this new rule will be managed.

“TAIPEI – The Chinese mainland will allow residents in several pilot cities to travel to Taiwan as individuals from the second quarter this year, said a senior tourism official here Tuesday.”

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China Fact- Beijingers are Old

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

At the end of 2009, Beijing had 2.27 million senior citizens.

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Chinese Addiction to Video Games- Foreigners to Blame?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

You hear a lot of carping about how it was the evil foreigners who invaded China and forced an alleged 30% of them to sit around and get stoned on some good scag (herion/opium) , in days gone by. To hear the typical chinese talk about it, they were victims and had no choice. Thankfully i have never partaken of the opium peace pipe so I cannot give any first hand accounts of its pleasures/control over you, but I can say that most would agree that the use of any foreign substance is a choice. For instance, I ate some Nebotruffles the other day, and after consuming half a pound, i had no one to blame but myself. I love chocolate so I am weak. I cant blame the guys manufacturing the stuff…
So I saw the excerpt below from the chinadaily. It talks about the problem that chinese youth have with video game addiction. It’s supposedly at an alarming level which has the locals concerned about the future. To me its just a generational thing and will sort itself out, but my real question is….who will the Chinese blame this addiction upon?

” BEIJING – Zhang Ziyan, an 11-year-old boy in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, became hooked on a new board game during the last winter holidays.”Every day I played the game in a neighborhood gymnasium with classmates until 9:30 pm, when the lights were turned off,” said Zhang. However, the rapid growth in board game players, especially children, has given rise to new public concerns that the games might have harmful side effects on young players. “Some characters in the game are scantily clothed, which is unhealthy for children,” said a mother in Shanghai surnamed Ding whose 11-year-old boy has also become a Sanguosha addict. “And the unofficial history blended in the game might mislead the children’s understanding of the real history.”

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Chinese Pollution Pics- Dramatic Example of How Bad Chinese Pollution is

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

I just posted that on Monday the 21st of February, the pollution in Bejing was so bad, it was”beyond measure”and unhealthy. In order to help you see what this means in practical terms, I dug up old photos to show you the same area of Beijing’s skyline during a good day, a moderately polluted day, and a horrible day. Remember these photos are not of a fog, but pollution or smog. The days are classifed by date, Oct 31-2010 good, Sept 26, 2010- moderate, Feb 20, 2011- horrible.

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XBOX Video Games and Nebo Truffles

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

My best friend loves video games, so he sent me a couple of care packages. In the first was a USA XBOX which I received a while ago, and then in the last some games and something much more dear to my heart. My friend knows that although I have a slim frame, I am a chubber at heart. To me chocolate is something to be lived, not just eaten. Taking this into account he mailed me a bit of heaven, or ‘Nebo’ as it is called.

Apparently there is a company called Nebo Truffles, (Nebo means heaven) which sells custom chocolate to people all over the land of milk and honey. My friend had ordered some for his son’s wedding and liked what he got, so he then bought a bit of it for me.

Why would I fill up a post about chocolate on a sight about China… because the freaking chocolates kicked ASS! Don’t get me wrong, China does food well, but they cannot do chocolates. So I take some of them to work and pretty soon my Chinese colleagues are cozying up to me and ripping them off. No sooner do I lay them out then the office smells like chocolate and I’m down to my last four pieces. I was like screw this, and threw them in my drawer. In the end as I sat there sucking cappuchino chocolate from my fingers I was like, “Damn I miss home …” Anyway, I sent the company email to see if I can buy some for my mom on Easter.

Oh yeah, my friend also sent me the latest NCAA 2011 football, so soon I shold be on XBOX online and ready to roll.

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What the Worst Pollution in the World Looks Like-Beijing’s Pollution “Beyond” Index

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

The US embassy had this to say about the pollution in China “The independent assessment by the embassy said pollution was either hazardous or “beyond index,” meaning that air quality had plunged below the worst level on the scale.” 

Lately I have smelled a mixture of some toxing and metals in the air but could not identify it. Whatever the case, i have taken quite a few photos to show you what it means to have polllution so bad that it is “Beyond measure.”
When you look at the photos, remember that it is not fog that is obscuring the sky but pollution…. this place is crazy

excerpt from here:
“The Beijing Environmental Bureau said air quality in most of the city was at level five — the worst rating. “Obviously elderly people and children should not go outside,” an official at the bureau who refused to identify herself told AFP.Particulate pollution, rising temperatures and a lack of wind caused the stifling smog, which reduced visibility in parts of the city to just 200 metres (yards), the Beijing weather bureau said in a report.”

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Chinese to Chicoms- “You Drunken Bums!”

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 23, 2011

I find this excerpt quite amusing. In a survey from the China youth daily , which to me sounds remarkably like that little group of ultra-nationalists called the Hitler youth, they report that the typical china-man is pissed with or believes that the typical chicom or chinese communist party member, spends too much cash on hard liquor. According to s survey, Charlie China-man says that he believes that the increase in the cost of pricey Chinese alcohol is a direct result of the ‘misuse of funds for government banguets’! WTF?
Now let me get my head around this…
There are 80 000 000 chicoms in china but 1 300 000 000 people. And of those 80 000 000 chicoms, only about 300 000 (and their mistresses of course) probably go to these banquets. So if we do the math and I am an American so I may foul up the numbers, but to me it would appear that .023 % of the people are consuming so much alcohol that is is driving up the price for the other .977 % of the chinese. If this is true, then it means that in essence, that for each gazillion Chinese, there is one drunken communist party member who by virtue of his position and the cash he’s able to rake in from his minions is throwing the entire ‘ability to buy alcohol’ equilibrium’ in the entire country- Damn I am glad that this place is my plan ‘b’.

“A survey by China Youth Daily found that most people (92.9 percent of all respondents) believe the price increase in upscale baijiu, or Chinese liquor, is closely linked to the misuse of public funds for government banquets.”

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