The Heart of the Dragon

Chinese teens more conservative than their elders | Business | The Australian

Having befriended my fair-share of Chinese expats, I find this article to be unsettling. It is hard to understand the expectation of children to care for their parents, despite a cultural denial of such responsibility. This indicates to me that the emerging generations of Chinese leaders will be responsible in their social policy, but it also signals a possible tipping point for Communist leaders left over from the previous generations, who now must successfully provide the institutional transition toward a true welfare state. If the remaining years under China's Fifth Generation go smoothly, I think the current leadership in Beijing will have solidified the Party's legitimacy in the eyes of the Chinese people, who will take great pride in the achievements of their children and grand-children and China's burgeoning international prestige. If the Communist Government is allowed to frame the West, specifically the United States, as acting so as to counter the growing wealth and prosperity with policies aimed at suppressing China's success, it may be able to stave off the brain-drain suffered in Europe and other parts of Asia once the people were exposed to the possibilities of political and economic stability and security in the United States. US policy-makers have so far taken a 'wait-and-see' approach to Chinese affairs, but as the once impoverished nation becomes a truly legitimate competitor we must become more aggressive in our public diplomacy within the western mainland of China- where the heart of the dragon lays.


Chinese In Africa

BBC NEWS | Business | China defends its African relations

If there is one continent in the world that still elicits feelings of uncertainty in the minds of global political and economic leaders it is unquestionably Africa. The cradle of civilization now faces rampant disease, famine, violence and economic malaise, while Western diplomats sit on their thumbs on the upper-east side and squabble over the merits of peacekeeping missions to halt genocidal slaughter in Sudan. For decades UN policy has utterly failed the people it was established to benefit above any other, and no end to the destitution is in sight, at least until recently.

There is no government in the world more experienced with and successful in the implementation of development policy than the Chinese. Its population has demanded that its leaders climb down from their perch in Beijing and travel to the villages, so as to better understand the nature of poverty and conceive of realistic and effective policies to combat its debilitating consequences. Well, the proof is in the pudding.

The Chinese economy is booming, its peasantry is becoming increasingly self-sufficient and educated, and few people would argue that the future for the Chinese people is not bright and their international prestige and influence not growing. This leaves Western leaders in the precarious position of having to confront a Communist government, who's success challenges the legitimacy of their own democratic systems as they battle for the hearts and minds of impoverished, war torn countries in the Middle East, which are far more valuable to their self-interest than trying to tackle the complicated problems that plague the African continent.

It seems logical to me that governments in the developed world both feel threatened by the rapid ascendancy of such a formidable competitor, but I doubt that they have the resources necessary to combat the Chinese as they begin to spread their wings and establish friendships with countries that have felt slighted by the West for years. Therefore, I think it would be in the West's self-interest to allow the Chinese to expand into Africa unabated, so as to both relieve themselves of the distraction it poses to progress on initiatives currently under way elsewhere, as well as to make sure the Chinese do not become too ambitious for their own good but rather stay focused on international projects that they are best suited to manage.

The Chinese are well aware of where their comparative advantages lie, and I don't think they are eager to bite off more responsibility than they can chew.  We will have to wait and see how the US and other governments engage the Chinese, but with any hope they will be viewed as a partner who shares our goals of global prosperity and alleviation of destitution around the world. Until we are given a reason to feel otherwise, it would be both irresponsible and ignorant to act otherwise.

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BBC NEWS | Technology | Web users urged on China policy

BBC NEWS | Technology | Web users urged on China policy

There is nothing that I find more abhorrent in the prevailing ethical standards of corporate American than their compliance with internet and media censors around the world. They seem to have no understanding of how valuable their services are to the people of the world, who if denied access to these services would without question demand a change in government policy. Suppose Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others were to all say that is it, we are closing shop until we are allowed to do our job, which is proliferating the world's information to every human being on the planet. This is a force of globalization and technological modernization that no government should be permitted to resist. How would the Chinese government explain why the companies closed? How long would it take for the instinctively curious and ambitious Chinese populous to demand the government reinstate the companies free of censorship? I suspect the Communists are unwilling to risk their government over censorship of a world they can no longer deprive their citizens from exploring. It is the people's decision whether or not they choose to embrace western values and liberal political ideas, the party should fundamentally understand that they must concede this soon before they are subverted by a sudden embarrassment like the one I just articulated and lose their legitimacy. It has happened to every Chinese government in the last 1000 years, and if the historic success rate of Communism is any indication this long streak of total collapse is bound to continue.


Chinese Continue to Show Little Regard for Intellectual Property Rights

Chinese Reverse Enginere Skype

News broke recently on the blog of Charlie Paglee that a Chinese company had reversed engineered Skype's interface so as to manipulate the existing Skype programing, which relies on super nodes to transmit massive amounts of data into the individual users interface rapidly, by not giving the new service super node capability but still relying on the super node infrastructure to transmit its services. There are some upsides to the new technology, such as the interoperability it will offer for users of various IM services (such as MSN, Yahoo and AOL), co-operating through the Skype network. Paglee notes in his blog that he received a call via his skype service from a colleague who works for the Chinese engineering company responsible for the methodical reverse engineering process, who informed him that the end-goal of the firm was to create its own presence within the Skype network which is 100% inter-operable with the Skype offered communication services. He notes that there was a clear disparity in the quality of the two services as they currently work together, but he suspects the firm will be able to clear up these problems without significant problem. This is both a promising development for Chinese innovative capacity, but also poses a serious threat to the stability of the Skype network because of the intense drag it has on the current super node capacity. It is encouraging to hear about foreign firms, particularly Chinese firms, which have achieved great success in innovation of personal technology, but the Chinese need to understand the importance of working with its western corporate partners rather than actively pursuing every opportunity to undermine their competitive advantages and manipulate their already generous network infrastructure.


Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to Seek Dual Listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has confirmed that it will seek a dual listing on the Hong Kong and Shanghai indices, which indicates bullish sentiment among Chinese policymakers for the mainland markets. This is in stark contrast to the consensus held for the last 18 months, during which ipso on the mainland capital markets were suspended because of extreme volatility following routine asset stripping and artificial deflation of IPO prices among corrupt brokerage houses and SOE executives. The mainland markets have shown signs of strength recently, hitting a two year high last week, but many institutional shortfalls will likely hamper any further maturity under a fresh IPO market. Lack of credible brokerages and institutional investors (such as pension funds) leave the markets off the buy sheets of most high profile investors, which leaves their fate in the hands of the individual Chinese investor, who is becoming more confident as of late, but still remains just as unpredictable as ever.

ICBC's Hong Kong listing will likely follow in the profitable footsteps of recent listings of two of the other five major Chinese banks, Bank of China and China Construction Bank. It is wishful thinking to assume the Shanghai listing will be as successful, but it seems evident to me that at the very least CCP policymakers see an opportunity to allow ordinary Chinese in on the success of its bullish financial sector, which has thus far been reserved for more globally focused investors who have the capital necessary to keep these investors out of the Hong Kong market. Whether or not the mainland investors can be counted on to buy early and hold onto their investment, rather than get caught up in an artificially motivated sell-off once the stock 'peaks,' which are typical of the mainland markets, remains to be seen. If this new strategy works, it will be a major political victory of the Communist Party, which has been struggling to find ways to let the general population share in the countries rapid economic growth.