Skiing Downhill or Cross-country in China

January 5, 2016

Wei Gu writing for The Wall Street Journal reports that skiing is the latest obsession of China’s wealthy. “Skiing is taking off in a big way in China. Beijing sees the sport as part of its China dream.”

Skiing isn’t new to China.  In fact, China View.cn says cliff paintings of hunters in rugged remote northwestern China appear to prove that Chinese (in that area) were adept skiers as early as the Stone Age some 100 to 200 centuries ago. Of course back then skiing wasn’t a sport. It was used to get around and go hunting. But that’s changed. Today “skiing has become a popular pastime for China’s burgeoning new middle class, with several slopes around the capital, Beijing, packed every winter weekend.”

Skiing also isn’t new to me, but I haven’t gone skiing for about 20 years, and if I ever ski again, I will have to buy new boots and maybe new skis, since my old pair of parabolic skis have been gathering dust in the garage for far too long.

Back in my powder days, I often skied two of Southern California’s more popular ski resorts, along with Mammoth Mountain in central California, in addition to Mount Bachelor and Mount Hood (both active volcanoes) in Oregon, and I had my share of days and nights skiing in blizzards at temperatures far below freezing.

I have never snowboarded but a former student told me it is easier than skiing. Maybe one day I will find out, and I might give it a try in China.

Sexy Beijing’s reporter Rachel Dupuy went to Nanshan to see what was up in China’s newly forming snowboarding scene. What we discover from Beijing Beat: Riding China (the embedded video above) is Beijing’s Nanshan ski area the winter of 2008 with a snowboarding competition that included $25,000 in prizes.

It appears that along with fast food, for instance, McDonalds, KFC, and Pizza Hut, China is adopting western sports. In Tiger Woods smiles big while golfing in China, I wrote about China’s growing number of golf courses and mentioned Chinese golfers numbering more than 100,000 and taking to the sport with enthusiasm.

If you are a dedicated powder monkey, for more information about skiing in China, click on the link for Ski Resort.info for a list of all 57 ski resorts in China, and for the to 5, click China Highlights.com.

And if you are into cross country skiing, well, Boston Globe.com reports that every Jan. 2 near Changchun, a provincial city about 600 miles northeast of Beijing with 7.5 million people, is open to both competitive skiers and the general public for a 17.5 kilometer (10.9 miles) race that is an easier version of the 52.5 kilometer (32.6 miles) main event.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

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The Global E-Bike Revolution

December 29, 2015

China is swarming with E-bikes that are basically pedal powered machines with an electric boost. These E-bikes are common in Beijing and Shanghai.

There are also E-scooters with heavier motors that are capable of doing speeds of 30 mph or faster.

According to Time Magazine, “The relative simplicity of the machines and their components has encouraged a huge number of e-bike companies to open in China.”

“In 2006,” Time Magazine reported, “there were 2,700 licensed manufacturers, and countless additional smaller shops. Rising to the top of the heap is not easy.

“Leading manufacturer Xinri (the name means “new day”) was founded in 1999 by Zhang Chongshun, an auto parts factory executive who recognized the potential of the field. In its first year, Xinri built less than 1,000 bikes; last year it churned out 1.6 million.”

According to Next Big Future, 140 million e-bikes were in use in China in 2010, and for 2011, that number was projected to reach 167 million with increasing sales each year. In fact, by October 2013, The number of electric-powered bicycles in China just passed the 200 million mark (link in Chinese), manufactures are reporting 200% annual sales growth in Brazil, sales are strong in Europe and the Philippines is ordering 100,000 electricity-powered three wheelers, just one of several Asian nations investing in e-bikes.” – Quartz.com

In addition, The Economist reports, “the (Chinese) government also wants to encourage electric bicycles to curb the pollution and congestion created by other vehicles…The authorities are also trying to make e-bikes themselves greener: manufacturers are being compelled to invest in lighter materials and to replace lead-acid batteries with lithium ones.”

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

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What happens to the alleged culprits of Food Fraud in China? Part 2 of 2

December 23, 2015

If you read Part One of this two part series, you are probably thinking it isn’t safe to eat in China so you will stick to American food.

However, Wall Street Journal.com reported, “Struggles with food safety are not a specifically Chinese problem. Many countries, including the U.S. and Japan, have gone through similar growing pains in the food industry, says Wu Ming, a professor at Beijing University’s school of public health.”

Professor Ming is correct. Down to Earth.org reports, “Every day in the US about 200,000 people become sick, 900 are hospitalized and 14 die (that’s more than 5,000 annually) due to food borne illnesses (and few if any people are punished for these deaths). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about one quarter of the American population suffers from food poisoning each year.”

It’s just business as usual and those food deaths are collateral damage on the way to making profits.

New U.S. Laws for food safety cover all food except meat, poultry and some egg products and there are other exceptions too. In fact, the CDC.gov reports, “Every year, about 48 million of us, roughly one in six people in the United States, get sick from eating contaminated food—it could be you, your spouse, your kids, your parents, or other loved ones.”

And if you believe China is not doing anything about food safety, think again. I Googled “arrests in China for food safety”.

The first hit for 2014 from Food Safety News reported, “Chinese Police Arrest More Than 100 People for Selling Contaminated Pork.”

In 2013, The Guardian reported, “China arrests 900 in fake meat scandal.”

In addition, the U.S. is no saint. Sustainable Business Forum.com says, “Unlike the U.S., China arrests Food Safety Violators.”

Helena Bottemiller of Food Safety News.com recently reported, “Current statutes (in the U.S.) do not provide sufficient criminal sanctions for those who knowingly violate our food safety laws,” said Leahy, who has become an outspoken advocate of food safety reform. “Knowingly distributing adulterated food is merely a misdemeanor right now, and the Sentencing Commission has found that it generally does not result in jail time.”

In conclusion, if you are in the food industry in China and want to take short cuts regarding food safety to boost profits while possibly killing people along the way, the United States is a safer place to commit murder while making a profit, because in China, you might go to prison and even be executed.

Return to or Start with Part 1

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

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What happens to the alleged culprits of Food Fraud in China? Part 1 of 2

December 22, 2015

In 2011, Wall Street Journal.com reported, “Ink, dye, bleach and toxic chemicals … have been found recently in food products in China, reigniting fears over food safety despite repeated government pledges to crack down on tainted eats.”

Sounds bad, but don’t judge China before reading this entire two-part series to discover that China is not alone in the struggle to make food safer to eat.

It isn’t as if China’s government is not trying to improve food safety. In 2011, Al-Jazeera’s Melissa Chang reported from Beijing about China’s government vowing to improve food safety laws. In fact, according to Melissa Chang, more than 2,000 people across the country were arrested for failing to meet food safety standards.

The Wall Street Journal said, “One of the biggest issues is the drive to make a buck at any cost, says Lester Ross, a Beijing-based attorney with U.S. law firm Wilmer Hale. Some companies see that by using additives, they can cut overhead costs or boost profit margins, and they merely aren’t thinking about the affects the additives will have on consumers, Mr. Ross says.”

Melissa Chang demonstrated how a chemical sauce to turn meats such as pork into beef can change any meat that isn’t beef into beef so the enterprising capitalist can charge more and increase profits.

Is that capitalism at work?

Since living in China means awareness of such trickery, “Many Chinese,” Chang says, “pay a premium to know exactly where the food they eat comes from.”

Chang then talked about an organic food cooperative in the suburbs of Beijing, which was established by families to buy directly from organic farmers and the project was successful.

However, Chang said, “Even the best intentions (may) go awry.” Organic in China doesn’t mean the food would qualify as organic outside of China since so much of the air and water is polluted there.  It is a challenge to grow quality produce.  Achieving better standards will take years.”

What about food safety in the U.S.? Continued on December 23, 2015, in Part 2

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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I hope China is NOT Learning from the U.S. Playbook

October 13, 2015

I laughed when I finished reading China Takes a Page from U.S. Playbook on The Heritage Foundation Blog.

It seems that China has launched a PR campaign similar to Voice of America, and The Heritage Foundation was bothered by the size of China’s effort.

The Voice of America, according to The Heritage Foundation, broadcasts in 32 languages from short-wave radio stations on 200 frequencies, while China Radio International now broadcasts in 45 languages using 284 frequencies.

The Heritage Foundation said the problem is China’s authoritarianism with a capitalist economic overlay, which reminded me of imperial governments such as the British Empire during the 19th and early 20th century.

What if America were an authoritarian state too? The facts make a strong case that the U.S. is a global authoritarian power.

I’ve always believed that if you want to learn what a person or nation is really like, pay attention to what they do and not what they say.

THE FACTS

  • The United States has the most people in prison – about 751 for every 100,000 people, while China has 119 per 100,000 with more than four times the population of the U.S.
  • Of 218 nations, China was 115 on the list and the U.S. was number one. Source: List of countries by incarceration rate
  • The US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases worldwide in about 63 countries, while China has no military bases outside of China. Source: Global Research
  • China has about 1,900 combat aircraft and 760 naval ships compared to the U.S. that has about 18,000 combat aircraft and more than 1,500 naval ships.
  • China has about 240 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. that has more than 5,000. Source: Global Fire Power

The PRC was founded in 1949 and the United States in 1776. How many wars has each nation fought since achieving independence?

China’s Wars
(I did not list China’s problems with Tibetan and Islamic separatists or the Falun Gong)

  • Korean War (1950-53) China entered the war in support of North Korea
  • Sino-Indian War (1962) The cause of this war was a dispute over the sovereignty of a border region. In 1959, India sent troops and border patrols into the disputed areas. This created both skirmishes and deteriorating relations between India and China. After the war started, when Chinese troops reached the border that China claimed, the PLA stopped advancing, and China declared a unilateral cease-fire.  India still has border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal that have not been resolved. Source: International Boundary Consultants
  • A border-war with Vietnam (1979), which I covered in another post.

America’s Wars
(This list represents only wars. I left out the military operations that were not considered wars because there were too many to list)

  • Second Cherokee War (1776-1777)
  • Chickamauga Wars (1776-1794)
  • Northwest Indian Wars (1785-1795)
    Note: The complete list of wars against Native Americans was too long to list.
  • Shay’s Rebellion (1786-1787)
    Note: Most of Shays’ compatriots were poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes. Failure to repay such debts often resulted in imprisonment in debtor’s prisons or the claiming of property by the government.
  • A Quasi-War with France (1798-1800)
  • First Barbary War (1801-1805) Tripoli declared war on the United States
  • The War of 1812 (lasted two years – the U.S. Declared War on Great Britain)
  • Second Barbary War, which is also known as the Algerian War (1815)
  • First Seminole War (1816-1818) The U.S. started it.
  • Mexican American War (1846-1848) Mexico attacked after the U.S. annexed Texas in 1845.
  • Utah War (1857-1858)
  • American Civil War (1861-1865)
  • An American led revolution in the Kingdom of Hawaii (1888-1889)
  • The Spanish-American War (1898) The U.S. declared war on Spain
  • The Second Samoan Civil War (1898-1899)
  • Philippine-American War (1899-1913)
  • World War I (1917-1918) the United States Declared War on Germany
  • World War II (1941-1945) Japan attacked the United States
  • The Korean War (1953-1953) The U.S. responded to a North Korean invasion of South Korea, which was also ruled by a dictator.
  • The Vietnam War (1959-1975) The United States declared war to protect the freedom of South Vietnam, which was ruled by a dictator
  • Persian Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm (1991) Started by the U.S.
  • War in Afghanistan & the war on terror (2001 – ) The U.S. invaded in response to 9/11
  • Invasion of Iraq (2003 – ) The U.S. invaded due to suspicions of WMD that were never found.
    – Timeline of United States Military Operations

What happens if China does copy the U.S. in all things global?
Do you really want that to happen?

__________________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Sales of China’s Electric Vehicles Accelerating while Gas and Diesel Sputters

September 23, 2015

China has its own brands of domestic cars. For instance, the Chery, a government owned corporation, (the pinyin transcription of its Chinese name is Qirui).

China’s Automobile Dealer Association reported that there were 25 Chinese sedan brands available in January, but they expect that number to eventually reach five domestic brands, because of government restrictions and increased costs of licenses for gas and diesel vehicles, in addition to competition from foreign automakers. The fact that China eliminated the 10% vehicle tax on Chinese electric vehicles might have also played an important part. – Fortune.com

It doesn’t help that Chinese cities are seriously restricting the number of new license plates for gas and diesel to reduce traffic and pollution. And that might explain why “China is now one of the largest electric car markets in the world.” While sales of traditional gas/diesel powered cars are dropping, sales of electric cars “appear to have more than tripled as compared to the previous year …” – Clean Technica

“(China’s) Government data shows that local-brand passenger vehicles accounted for 38% of China’s domestic market in 2014, down from 46% in 2010. For sedans, local brands’ share fell to 22% from 31%.” – The Wall Street Journal  “But during the last four months of 2014, China’s electric vehicle sales skyrocketed, In December alone, monthly sales of passenger and commercial electric vehicles hit 27,000. … If this growth continues, China may surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest market for electric vehicles in 2015.” – Fortune.com

Look out, Tesla, the Chinese are coming, and they are serious.  If you don’t believe me, visit China and breathe the air in most if not all of its major cities. After you stop gasping and wheezing, you will then be a believer of why the Chinese are going to go electric in a big way.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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China’s Concrete and Steel Miracle

September 9, 2015

About 3000 BC, the northern Chinese used a form of cement in boat-building and in building the Great Wall. A key ingredient in the mortar used in the Great Wall was glutenous, sticky rice, and some of these structures have resisted even modern efforts at demolition. – The History of Concrete

As for steel, The first famous metallurgist in ancient China was Qiwu Huaiwen of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557 AD), who invented the process of using wrought iron and cast iron to make steel. – china.org.cn

Once steel is produced it becomes a permanent resource for society – as long as it is recovered at the end of each product life cycle – because it is 100% recyclable without loss of quality and has a potentially endless life cycle. Its combination of strength, recyclability, availability, versatility and affordability makes steel unique. – worldsteel.org

In 1980 when China first opened its doors to world trade, it produced 37.1 million metric tons of modern crude steel–5.17% of global production that year. For a comparison, the U.S. produced 101.4 million metric tons, Japan produced 111.4 million, and the European Union produced 208 million metric tons.

Thirty-four years later in 2014, China’s share of global crude steel product reached 49.1% or 822.698 million metric tons to the 88.174 million metric tons produced in the United States that year.

What caused this dramatic change? The answer is easy, the growth of China’s middle class. China has more than four times the population of the United States and almost twice the population of Europe.

And that’s why Business Insider says, “China’s rising middle class will create opportunism the world has never seen before.”

About 30 years ago, China started to modernize and in those thirty years, it has achieved what it took Europe and the North America more than two hundred years. China’s goal is to end up with the same urban to rural population ratio found in Europe and North America, and it is nearing that goal. Imagine compressing more than two hundred years of pollution from the West’s industrial revolution into thirty years in China.

To understand this spectacle, in 2004 the BBC News reported that, “The biggest mass migration in the history of the world is under way in China, and it is creating what some are calling the second industrial revolution.… A massive building boom unparalleled anywhere is taking place ­– last year, half the concrete used in construction around the world was poured into China’s cities.”

Concrete isn’t the only product China needs.  Iron and steel are also necessary.

China hunger for iron has been epic. In 2009, India exported 106 million tons of iron to China. A July 2010 Reuters piece says, “Chinese steel producers are increasingly turning to Australia’s magnetite iron ore sector, pouring in funds to explore and develop mines once considered uneconomic…”

In 2006, China was the number one producer with 820 million metric tons of iron ore and still imported 52% from other countries like Australia (470 metric tons), India (150) and Brazil (250).  Source: Wikipedia

Now that China is nearing its goal—in about 15 years China’s middle class will outnumber the entire population of the United States—it has an excess of steel and is exporting that excess at lower prices to other countries creating stiff competition across the globe. For instance, the ISSB reports that from 2013 to 2014 China increased its steel exports by 53% from 57.9 million to 88.6 million tonnes while the United States saw a 5% drop in its steel exports.

With the United States so obsessed to be #1 in everything—except for reducing the poverty rate—its capitalist oligarchs must be obsessively stressed out and worried that they are going to lose their Imperial crowns.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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