Showing posts from 2012

So the Officials can't drink anymore eh? Is that it???

I ran across an article the other day where it had said that Xi Jinping has ordered that Senior govt officials will be forbidden from drinking maotai.  So what? What's the definition of a senior official?  County level? Of course not. The military officers can't stay in nice hotels either.  That's a good start. I think the USA could learn from that one.  Seems the guys at the top of the food chain want to improve the reputation of their leaders in the eyes of  their people.  Better late than never. May I offer some further suggestions to help the process along? Why not ban all leaders from driving imports?  In future, govt leaders can only be seen driving China made cars.   Goodbye BMW 7 series and Audi A7's....Hello Honda.   It's an economic trade off I know.  The gov't loses all that tariff income, but at least this way local car production will increase, right?  Need to serve the people.   No more first class on airplanes.....all you serve

Guangzhou to Beijing rail, and the death of socializing.

I'm a bit disappointed in a way to see travel becoming so fast in China.  Is that fair to say? Am I being too reminiscent of the "good old days" when trains were so slow? I hate to say this.....but yeah, maybe I am.  And I am hypocritical as hell. I'm not talking about all the money this costs to do, and how it would be much better spent improving the train know the trains the masses take, that they can actually afford tickets to ride.   You see....taking the trains in China is probably the best way to learn Chinese.  Getting a ticket for a hard sleeper on a slow moving train was the best way for a serious student(or even a good natured tourist) to communicate with the masses.   People literally had nothing else to do but talk! And gawk! The first train I took in China was from Guangzhou to Kunming and back.  One way was 56 hrs! I'm not bragging....but I am trying to illustrate how impractical it would be for a laowai to

Soft landing my ass.

Soft landing my ass.  The disparity of wealth is here to stay, until implosion dictates otherwise. Hear I am, sitting comfortably with my coffee on a nice leather sofa, far from the sounds of any coming storm, hearing again that China needs a soft landing.  Won't happen.   And I'm not talking economically.  China is too far gone down the road of no return.  A decision has been made that it is easier to just take the money and run, than to stand and fight for reform. The disparity of wealth is so great, and the dispersion to change that would veer society towards a more equitable arrangement so entrenched, that it is indeed easier to just flee overseas with your begotten gains, than to stand and reform the unchangeable direction of Chinese society today. This is not what Deng Xiaoping envisioned. He did have the foresight to understand that some people would take advantage of their new opportunities to gain wealth, to the disadvantage of some.  He did envision abuse of t

Who will take China to the next level?

China was at a turning point 25 years ago, just before I first arrived..  Leadership was in transition. The US Congress was still debating whether to give China MFN status. Foreign companies had yet to flood over in waves.   Shenzhen as an experiment was still in doubt.  And of course China had yet to join the WTO.  What happened?   China took off, and 8% annual growth is now the norm. Millions of Chinese got rich, usu at the health and expense of their factory workers. But now what?  Who will take China to the next level?  The new leader, Mr. Jinping, will obviously be the next ruler of China.   However, we all know he's just head of a committee, rather than an actual ruler with new ideas and initiatives.  He will NOT rule by fiat.  Rather, he will have to rule by consensus, all the while paying attention to the agenda's of his rivals. So who will take China to the next level?  It will be who it always has been, since the days at least of Jiang Zemin.  A nameless, anonymou

any local battlefied sites?

Back in the States' now from a recent trip back to South China, on business, I yet pondered again....does China record and preserve it's battlefield sites?  Here in the South, we have many such sites going back 150 years. I've taken my children to a few of them.  Perhaps they were too of them asked if the cemetary of one of them(Shiloh) had a playground. Still the records are well preserved, and I find the storytelling of the local attendants fascinating.  I'm just wondering if China does the same?

Diaoyu Islands

For the first time ever, I saw China peacefully allow demonstrations.  I've been in China back and forth for over 20 years, and lived there for over 10.  I'm sure there are countless allowed demonstrations in countless small cities everyday, that no foreigner ever hears about. Still....I was taken aback by how peaceful the demonstration I saw here in China the other day was.  The street was lined with riot police, along with a cadre of such following the demonstration from behind.  I observed the group, and sure enough it was mostly youth.  Nothing violent occurred, though traffic was held up quite a bit. In a show of how organized the gov't is, we all rec'd a text message from our carriers on our phone asking us all to return home, and not to create any public disturbance.  I had a business meeting to attend to however, and didn't even know abt the day's events until I was on top of them. I took a pic of a banner, that I may or may not post later.  It sai
Back in the States' for a short time. A gutter in my subdivision collapsed, I know not how.  Was repaired within a week of my having noticed it.  I was reminded of how Churchill opposed the independence of India.  He said grass would grow in the streets if England left.  On many business trips to Mexico I've pretty much seen the same thing.  Knee high grass everywhere, along with potholes.   A nice barometer of a gov't is it's ability to do the small things right, and how quickly it does them. Some countries, like China, of course, have not an emphasis on speed, but a PLAN, if you will, that goes at it's own pace, unbeknownst to the rest of us.  But it gets things done. A rail to separate opposing directions of traffic....done. A new light at an obviously busy intersection....done. The power to the light, upon installation....a week or two later....but done. My point is the gov't doesn't necessarily feel the pressure of public opinion to hurry alon
This is my first post.  I'll try and figure things out as I go along.  Esp the template. I live in South China most of the year, and have been doing biz in China since the 90's.  My first visit here was 1990, when I came as a student, for a two year stint.  I've actually lived here for abt 14 years. My goal is to try and give some what of a non Beijing perspective on things. I'm sure they exist but I haven't come across too many South China blogs.  My blog will not focus on the politics as much as the social perspectives of how I've seen China change(and boy has it changed).  It will be at times a personal blog as well. I only hope I can keep this thing going, and I will try and do just that.