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An American in China

Archive for March 9th, 2011

Reality of Chinese Schools-90% of Teachers Unqualified, Why Am I not Surprised

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


Many foreigners have no idea of the reality of Chinese schools. They read a report about some school in Shanghai knocking the top off some middle school test results and think it portends to the rise of China. They do not, however, understand the reality of education China.

In China, the difference between the haves and have nots is huge, think of a situation such as Zimbabwe or Bolivia and you can imagine what it is like in China. Thus, the rich go to the best scools with good foreign teachers. The rich must, however, just as my colleauge recently did, pay around 200,000 RMB or U$30,000 as a bribe for her child to enter a good grade school here. The grade school is reputed to be one of the best so her child will be ok.

Now lets imagine the case of the typical Chinaman who makes around U$400 per month. This is the average wage for all Chinese. This person cannot afford the bribe that my colleague can pay and thus is disadvantaged in that respect. In addition, it is well known that the best schools tend to cluster around Beijing and Shanghai. And the farther one is from these areas, the worse the schools are. I am not talking about poor schools like in the Appalachians back home, I am talking about schools like we had in the 1880’s. I have visited many villages here and you would be shocked to see what a typical school in China is like. So, to think that a solitary school in Beijing or Shanghai is representitive is absurd. The Chinese, due to face and the fact they don’t wish to seem ignorant, will not report the scores of areas such as Xinjiang, Gansu or others. My best friend here hails from Chongqing and her family has shipped their kids to Chongqing as they say the education in Xinjiang is putrid, and CQ (Chongqing is not much better- but every little bit helps).

Thus, the news below is no shock to me. The chinadialy reports that 90% of teachers in a specific province or state in China are not qualified to teach… Yeah, that is like saying that in a state like Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts, 90% of all teachers are not qualified to teach….WTF

I guess in a country where 90% of the people are not qualified to make laws, to manage a business nor to govern a country, I should not be surprised.

excerpt chinadaily.
“BEIJING – Parents are questioning the professionalism of kindergarten teachers after it emerged that more than 90 percent of childcare workers in Jiangsu province are unlicensed. Chen Lingfu, vice-president of Nanjing Normal University…released the figure during a speech he made on Wednesday”

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China and Oil

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


China not only the worlds largest polluter but also her largest consumer of coal and such has reported that they have 30 days worth of strategic oil rerves.

excerpt chinadaily.com ” China’s strategic oil reserve capacity is enough for one month’s use, and the storage proportion of crude oil to product oil is 3:1, according to Wang Qingyun, director of the State Bureau of Material Reserve, the National Business Daily (NBD) reported Wednesday.”

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Chinese Love Bikes

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


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Working China- Dumb Foreigners

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


Chinese in the big cities, for the most part can usually utter a few words of English and many have decent English skills. They are taught English from the age of 4 or 5 nowadays and so they have quite a bit of experience with it. They never seem, however to get some things correct. For instance in doing some research I have been reading the works of Chinese PhD’s and oftentimes their written English is incomprehensible. An example would be a book on Chinese contract law written by a professor now teaching at Temple, I would say that 35% of the book is not written in recognizable English. The book is the only one of its kind and thus those of must who are interested must suffer through it.
What is my point? My point is that the Chinese in addition to being tribal, are also somewhat headstrong or overambitious in their understanding of their true level of English. I have a friend who works as an editor at a very well known Chinese company and I have helped him with some documents on occasion. For the most part, they are the best I have seen here, but produce manuals that, according to their customers, are “written In unintelligible English and they need to hire native speakers”. Being Chinese this is a bitter pill to swallow. They resent the fact that after studying English for twelve years that they are not as proficient as the Germans, for instance. While the Germans may not be native speakers, they have very good structure and logic, two things Chinese writing lacks, which makes their documents intelligible.
The Chinese, being tribal, thus resent their inability to write in a flowing and logical fashion and resent the foreign devils who seem to change their 2000 word missives into useful English. When my friend’s colleagues are forced to ask him for help, it is done in a condescending manner and rarely are his words heeded. In addition, the company, which is run by a communist, has no native speakers in positions of power. Thus, although they employ some foreigners as editors, those foreigners do not play a roll in assisting with the big decisions and the company churns out garbage they call user manuals.
This is the Chinese way of doing business. They believe that foreigners are overpaid whiners with too many rights.

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Typical Chinese Traffic- Beijing Congestion

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


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Communist Influence in Governance in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


From The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (Richard Mcgregor)

“The Party has an institutionalized, albeit undisclosed, presence in state companies that is not for sale. As the lawyer admitted: ‘In corporate law, the boards [of Chinese state companies] can choose to disregard the Party’s advice. As a fact of life, they cannot.’”

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The Communist Party and Business in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


From The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (Richard Mcgregor)

“of China and the China Construction Bank laid off 100,000-plus employees each. In interviews with state bank chief executives, I had always been surprised about their refusal to discuss the job cuts made to get their enterprises into shape for overseas listings, naively thinking it would be a selling point for foreign fund managers. It was only later I discovered that the authorities had classified information about the mass lay-offs as a state secret and restricted detailed reporting to internal publications. Party discipline forbade the bank executives from answering my questions. On other topics related to the Party itself, however, some top executives, like Guo Shuqing at China Construction Bank, were much more forthcoming. Guo was an unusually open official, ebullient and chatty where most of his peers were stiff and formal. Instead of the kitsch replicas of the Great Wall and packs of green tea that many Chinese companies would give to visitors, a beaming Guo would hand out his books on macro-economic management and currency policy. Born in Inner Mongolia in 1956, Guo had been marked for higher office for many years. By his early forties, he had already served as a vice-governor in Guizhou, one of China’s poorest provinces, a sure sign he was being groomed by the Party, which increasingly insists that rising stars do time in government posts far from the more affluent coast. As a deputy-governor of the central bank, Guo had been parachuted in to run the body which managed China’s foreign reserves after his predecessor had committed suicide by jumping out of the seventh-floor window of a military hospital in Beijing. Guo landed at the China Construction Bank in 2005 in eerily similar circumstances, in the wake of its chairman’s detention for taking bribes.”

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The Chinese and Foreign Barbarians

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


From here The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
“If a foreigner can speak Chinese intelligibly, his character as a barbarian begins to be perceptibly modified; and if to the knack of speech he adds a tolerable acquaintance with the sacred characters which form the written language, he becomes transfigured, as one in whom the influence of the holy men of old is beginning to prevail over savagery and ignorance.”

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Odd Chinese Behaviors

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


This is a good observation that was written over 100 years ago, but is still true today.
from The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
“As an exception to the general rule of common sense which is so very noticeable in all Chinese institutions, if only one takes the trouble to look for it, it seems to be an understood thing that a man may not only stand still wherever he pleases in a Chinese thoroughfare, but may even place his burden or barrow, as the fancy seizes him, sometimes right in the fairway, from which point he will coolly look on at the streams of foot-passengers coming and going, who have to make the best of their way round such obstructions.”

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The Face of Modern Chinese Entrepreneurs

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


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