Printing Books in China

July 9, 2013

I read a post on another Blog that complained about printing books in China for the American market, and this was my response.

If American’s stopped buying products made in China, Americans at home would lose jobs.  Since companies like Wal-Mart have most of its products manufactured in China, Wal-Mart might go out of business or shrink—which might be a good thing.  But many low wage people that work for Wal-Mart in the United States would be unemployed like American autoworkers during the recession.

Most Chinese products are manufactured for American companies.  Most of Apple’s products are manufactured outside the country like iPods in China. Try to buy a car—any car—that’s 100% manufactured in the United States.  Does it matter where the jobs go?  They are still gone. People in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, etc. are manufacturing goods that are sold in the United States. China isn’t the only country that does this.  Yet China seems to get all the blame. Why?

Many products may be built in other countries but an American puts them on the shelf, sells them and gets paid for it. When you buy an e-book, where is it manufactured?

Discover Doing Business in China

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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 love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel, Running with the Enemy, was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

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From China to India for Enlightenment

February 19, 2013

I mentioned Hsuan-tsang (Xuanzang) when I wrote about China’s Three “Journeys to the West”. However, in that post I did not go into detail about the real Buddhist monk who made the journey.

While doing some research about his life, I discovered an intellectual discussion at Philosophy and Marxism Today.  If this topic interests you and you want to learn more about Buddhism I recommend reading this conversation between Thomas Riggins and Fred.

Thomas starts with, “I’ll start with background based on Chan’s introductory remarks.

“Hsuan-tsang (596-644) was quite a character. He entered a Buddhist monastery when he was thirteen. Then moved around China studying under different masters. Finally, he went off to India to study Buddhism at its source and with Sanskrit masters.

“He spent over ten years in India, wrote a famous book about his journey, and returned to China with over six hundred original manuscripts.

“He spent the rest of his life with a group of translators rendering seventy five of the most important works into Chinese. All of this work was sponsored by the Emperor of the newly established T’ang Dynasty (618 – 906 AD).”

The book I have on Hsuan-tsang says he lived from 602 to 664 AD.

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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 love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s Stick People – the rural urban divide

December 25, 2012

I’m always looking for information about China, and I learned something new from The Economist’s May 6, 2010 issue. Click the link to read the entire piece or read this summary. I bought the magazine.

China has two classes—rural and urban.  The urban people have prospered for the last thirty years as China built a middle class.  Most rural Chinese have not been able to benefit from the booming economy and are getting restless.

Rural land outside China’s cities usually belongs to collectives. When Mao won China, the Communists divided the land among villages—not individuals. Individuals do not hold title to farmland and cannot sell land that no one owns.

China saw what was happening in India when farmers sold their plots to developers.  Rural people in India flocked to the cities and built sprawling slums. To avoid that, the Chinese government created a system to keep rural people on their farms.  Another motivation was fear of another famine like the one that struck China from 1959 to 1961 killing millions from starvation. If farmers left the fields for a better lifestyle in cities, that nightmare might return.

An experiment was tried in rural areas outside Chongqing to see if the land can be divided among individuals while increasing food production. Since the government still hasn’t figured out how to make the transition smoothly, don’t expect rural land reforms to happen quickly.

Read about China’s middle class expanding

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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“For All the Tea in China” – a book review

October 23, 2012

If you are interested in a real-life collision between the West and China early in the 19th century, then I highly recommend Sarah Rose’s nonfiction work. You will discover that the British Empire and its merchants were successful, because they were more ruthless and devious than anyone else on Earth.

You may be interested in the list of wars that involved the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1701 – 2011. Be prepared for shock and a dropped jaw. The price of an empire is blood, lots of spilled blood.

At its greatest extent, the British Empire was known as the largest in history, and it covered more than thirteen-million square miles (20,921,472 square kilometers), which is about a quarter of the Earth’s total land area, and she controlled more than 500 million people—a quarter of the world’s population.

The English language, which the British Empire spread, is the second most-widely spoken language in the world today—in reality, the standard language of the world.

What financed the brutal expansion of this empire?  According to For All the Tea in China, drugs paid for the empire.  The British Empire was a thief and the largest drug cartel in human history.

Sarah Rose wrote a fascinating story of Robert Fortune (1812 – 1880) and one of, if not the largest, acts of corporate espionage and theft in history. This nonfiction book is about how the British stole tea plants and the method of producing tea from China and successfully transplanted this industry in India.

For example, if you drink Darjeeling Tea from India, you are drinking a product that was stolen from China by Robert Fortune in the early half of the 19th century.

But there is much more to this story than the theft of tea from the country that may have invented it almost five thousand years ago. In fact, China is considered to have the earliest records of tea drinking, with recorded tea use in its history dating back to the first millennium BCE.

However, first, I want to dispel a misconception I discovered from a two-star Amazon reader review that said, “I was a little skeptical about her comment in the notes ‘As this is a work of popular history, not a scholarly undertaking, I have avoided the use of footnotes and tried to steer clear of mentioning sources in the body of the text. Nevertheless, this is a work of nonfiction …’ “

That unfair review left off the rest of Sarah Rose’s quote that said, “Nevertheless, this is a work of nonfiction, and anything in quotes comes from a letter, memoir, newspaper or other contemporaneous sources.

“I have relied heavily on Robert Fortune’s four memoires (listed at the end of this post), his letters to the East India Company and other company documents housed in the British Library. Over five hundred books and documents were consulted in putting this project together.” (pg. 251, hardcover)

On page 227 of the hardcover, Rose wrote, “By the time the Chinese realized that Fortune had stolen an inestimable treasure from them, it was many years too late to remediate their loss. His theft helped spread tea to a wider world at lower prices.”

In addition, “Tea likewise revolutionized Britain’s capital and banking systems and influenced the rapid growth of trade networks in the Far East. It was instrumental in extending the reach of British colonialism as the empire expanded to include countries such as Burma, Ceylon, East Africa and others where tea could be grown …”

On page 178, we discover, “It was through drug-based commercial enterprises such as the tea and opium trade that Britain became the greatest of all hegemonic empires. The British campaign to sell opium in China was tremendously profitable. … Britain’s all-conquering naval fleet was able to be constantly improved with newly minted capital from the sugar, tea and opium trades. Without opium, the India trade would not have flourished and without India, Britain’s post-Napoleonic global ascendency could well have collapsed.”

However, these few quotes do not do justice to Robert Fortune’s adventure in China. He successfully passed himself off as a citizen of the Qing Empire dressed in mandarin robes. He even had a queue, a braid of hair worn hanging down behind the head, sewn to his scalp and had his head shaved to match the style of the time.

“He eventfully became proficient enough with speaking Mandarin that he was able to adopt the local dress and move among the populous largely unnoticed. By shaving his head and adopting a ponytail, this rather gruff Scotsman was able to effectively blend in. So well in fact, that he was able to enter the forbidden city of Souchow (now Wuhsien) unchallenged.” Source: Planet Explorers.com

Besides being nonfiction loaded with facts, this book was also an adventure and/or spy thriller based on a real person and his mission of intrigue—if caught, he would have been executed. To pull off the biggest heist of all time, Fortune traveled to areas of China that no foreigner had ever visited before, and his only companions were Chinese that he had bribed to work for him.

Today, tea is the most popular drink in the world in terms of consumption. Its consumption equals all other manufactured drinks in the world – including coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, and alcohol – put together. In fact, China is still the leading tea producer in the world: in 2010 China produced 1,467,467 tons (32.5%) compared to second place India at 991,180 tons (21.9%). Third place went to Kenya at 399,000 tons (8.83%).

In addition, consumption of tea in 2010 grew at a faster rate than global production. In the United States alone in 2011, the US tea industry gross revenue through all foodservice and retail outlets was greater than $27-billion (and twelve countries consumed more tea than the US). For a comparison, ticket sales for the US domestic movie market were only $10.28-billion in 2011.

Tea is more popular than Hollywood.

Robert Fortune’s memoirs:

1. Three Years’ Wandering in the Northern Provinces of China, A Visit to the Tea, Silk, and Cotton Countries, with an account of the Agriculture and Horticulture of the Chinese, New Plants, etc., London: John Murray  (1847)

2. A Journey To The Tea Countries Of China; Including Sung-Lo And The Bohea Hills; With A Short Notice Of The East India Company’s Tea Plantations In The Himalaya Mountains. With Map And Illustrations, London: John Murray  (1853)

3. Two visits to the tea countries of China and the British tea plantations in the Himalaya: with a narrative of adventures, and a full description of the culture of the tea plant, the agriculture, horticulture, and botany of China, London: John Murray (1853)

4. A Residence Among the Chinese; Inland, On the Coast and at Sea; being a Narrative of Scenes and Adventures During a Third Visit to China from 1853 to 1856, including Notices of Many Natural Productions and Works of Art, the Culture of Silk, &c, London: John Murray (1857)

5. Yedo and Peking; A Narrative of a Journey to the Capitals of Japan and China, with Notices of the Natural Productions, Agriculture, Horticulture and Trade of those Countries and Other Things Met with By the Way, London: John Murray  (1863)

Discover The Tea Horse Road or learn about The Magic of Puer Tea

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Searching for Impurity – Part 2/3

May 22, 2012

Desperate to prove China’s enemies and critics right, I decided to search Google for a bigger list, which led me to Forbes.com where I learned that “all cities are positioned against New York, the base city with an index score of 100. For the Health and Sanitation Rankings, the index scores range from the worst on the list—Baku, Azerbaijan, with a score of 27.6—to the best on the list—Calgary, Canada, with a score of 131.7.”

Forbes used the Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s 2007 Health and Sanitation Rankings. As part of their 2007 Quality of Life Report, they ranked 215 cities worldwide based on levels of air pollution, waste management, water potability, hospital services, medical supplies and the presence of infectious disease.

In last place, number 25, was Port Harcourt in Nigeria. I then crawled through the list one page at a time to find cities in China and there were none. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself and click on the Forbes link and take a trip through the world’s 25 dirtiest cities in pictures.

Knowing China’s critics and bashers would be angry and disappointed and probably call me stupid, a liar and a China lover, I dug deeper struggling to find polluted cities in China that made the list—any valid list.

In September 2011, The Guardian in the UK reported, “Cities in Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia are among the worst on the planet for air pollution, while those in the US and Canada are among the best.”

China wasn’t mentioned. I was crushed.

Still desperate to find dirt and soot on China to satisfy its critics and enemies so they could bash her more, I turned to Worst Polluted.org, which used data collected over a three-year period from thousands of toxic hotspots. I then discovered that this site only listed the world’s top ten toxic pollution problems for 2011—not the worst cities. However, I downloaded the seventy-six page pdf document anyway and searched for any mention of pollution in “China”.

It looked like I may have hit pay dirt, or should I say toxic pollution, and started to copy and paste every sentence on those 76 pages that mentioned China.

Continued on May 20, 2012 in Searching for Impurity – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Searching for Impurity – Part 1/3

May 21, 2012

My goal with this post was to prove China’s critics and enemies were correct when they claim China is a horrible place to live and due to pollution—the worst country in the world.

I failed. Sorry guys. I should have only focused on air pollution and the rivers where most of China’s industries are located and stayed away from the global comparison lists.

After having read so much about “horrible” China due to its pollution, I decided to see how many of its cities made the top ten lists and was shocked to discover none made the list in 2011.

Time Magazine has a Blog called Ecocentric, and it is about all things green. Here’s that list of the world’s top-ten most polluted cities for 2011.

1. Ahwaz, Iran

2. Ulan Bator, Mongolia

3. Sanadaj, Iran

4. Ludhiana, India

5. Quetta, Pakistan

6. Kermanshah, Iran

7. Peshawar, Pakistan

8. Gaberone, Botswana

9. Yasouj, Iran

10. Kanpor, India

Did you see China on that list?  You have no idea how disappointed I was.

Ecocentric says that all of these cities have one thing in common—they are fairly poor except for number eight in Botswana, which is considered a middle income country/city. “Residents often burn heavy, polluting fuel for heat and energy—including firewood or even dung, which can produce heavy, thick smoke. Add in old, diesel-powered cars that belch black carbon and growing population density in urban slums—plus weather conditions like Ulan Bator’s extreme cold, which worsens air pollution – and you have an ugly mess.”

But what about China? After all, there is so much attention focused on China by Western Blogs and the media about China’s pollution problems, while often ignoring the same problems in the rest of the world, one would think that with more than 800 million rural Chinese living in near poverty using coal to cook and heat their homes, the air would be a thick, black pea soup one could swim in let alone breathe.

Then I visited the top  ten list at Mibazzar.com and discovered that two cities in China’s made that list: I was overjoyed, and then I saw that the date for that list was 2007. Darn! Failed again!

Those two cities that made the list in 2007 were Linfen, China (3,000,000 people affected) and Tianying China (140,000 people affected). Wow, that wasn’t even one percent of China’s population.

Two of the cities on Mibazzar’s 2007 list were in India, one in Zambia, one in Peru, one Azerbeijan, Chernobyl in the Ukraine, and Norilsk in Russia.

Continued on May 19, 2012 in Searching for Impurity – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Democracy Club and the rest of the world – Part 1/2

April 23, 2012

Recently an e-mail arrived from a friend, and she provided a link to a CNBC.com piece about India testing an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of more than 3,100 miles.  The test was successful. This long range missile is capable of reaching deep into China and Europe.

My friend wrote, “This doesn’t thrill me. I think the international community should come down just as hard on India as on North Korea.” She was right, and the Hindustan Times reported, “North Korea violated international law by missile launch.”

So, why is North Korea’s failed missile launch different than India’s?

Nowhere in the CNBC piece was India criticized as North Korea was for its failed test of a long range ballistic missile.


This 10 minute video may “BLOW” your mind—pun intended!

Instead, CNBC reported, “India lost a brief Himalayan border war with its larger neighbor, China, in 1962 and has ever since strived to improve its defenses. In recent years the government has fretted over China’s enhanced military presence near the border.”

In addition, Srikanth Kondapalli, professor in Chinese studies at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University told Reuters, “India can now deter China, it can impose maximum possible punishment if China crosses the red line.”

It is obvious to me that there is a double standard in the world.

There is the Democracy Club and countries that feed the world’s democracies with oil and then there is everyone else.  India is a member of the democracy club and seldom if ever is criticized in the Western media even though the maternal mortality rate is 46.07 deaths per 1,000 live births (ranked #1 globally), life expectancy is 67 years at birth, 43.5% of the children at age five are underweight (the highest in the world), about 5 million children die (50 million each decade) from malnutrition and starvation annually, the literacy rate is 61% of the population, and 25% (more than 300 million people) live below the poverty line. Source: The CIA Factbook

Comparing India’s democracy to a non-democracy, such as China, reveals the double standard I’m talking about.

Before 1949, life in China was equal to or worse than India is today (life expectancy was 35 and 87% of the people lived in severe poverty).  However, according to the CIA Factbook, today, the most recently reported maternal mortality rate was 15.62 deaths for each 1,000 live births ( a third of India’s and ranked #111 globally), life expectancy was almost 75 years of age, and literacy was more than 92% while the population living below the poverty line was 13.4% (about half of India).


6,000 children starve to death in India EVERY DAY

Then there is the fact that India’s middle class is about 5% of the population (61 million), while it is estimated that China’s middle class is now more than 230 million people or 37% of the total urban population. With all of these facts for a comparison, there is no doubt that the quality of life in China’s authoritarian republic is far better than life is in India’s democracy where people are “free” to starve and be illiterate.

Moreover, nowhere in that CNBC piece does it mention that India also fought border wars with Pakistan and Nepal—India fought with Pakistan in 1947, 1965 and came close to war in 1990 all over disputed Kashmir.

In fact, soon after the conflict with China, India had a clash with Nepal over a paltry 75 square km in Kalapani.  Indian forces occupied the area in 1962, and the dispute with Nepal intensified in 1997.

Nowhere in the CNBC piece does it mention that India has 90 nuclear weapons while China has about 240.

Is India really serious about punishing China for future  alleged violations of a disputed border?

In addition, the American/Western media crucifies North Korea for having 10 nuclear warhead compared to America’s 8,500 and Russia’s 11,000.  Source: Huffington Post

Now, don’t get me wrong, North Korea’s government has earned its infamy, and I’ll spend more time with what that means in Part 2. Oh, lest I forget, North Korea has tested two nuclear bombs—one in 2006 and one in 2009. How many nuclear bombs has America tested? Watch the first video to discover that answer.

Continued on April 24, 2012 in The Democracy Club and the rest of the world  – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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