Barbara Walters on North Korea and China

November 29, 2010

Recently, Barbara Walters talked to President Obama about North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island near the DMZ.

Obama said South Korea was one of America’s most important alliances (in Asia), which has to be true since South Korea has many Christians (about a third of the population). It also has a strong open market, capitalist economy and a democratic government.

However, although China is considered North Korea’s only friend and ally, the two countries are different today.

First, China left the autocratic Maoist revolutionary form of government behind soon after Mao’s death.

Second, China is a republic that appears to be moving toward democracy and has an open market economy similar to South Korea’s.

I said in a previous post, “China’s reluctance to put public pressure on Pyongyang to step off the warhorse might be because the Chinese feel it would be like pressuring a family member.” Source: China and North Korea

That may no longer be the case.

Austin Ramzy writing for TIME says, “The news, delivered at a rare Sunday press conference, was that China was calling for emergency consultations between itself, North and South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Russia… it was a welcome call for calm by the North’s key ally.”

Many in the world should be glad of China’s relationship with the Hermit Kingdom. If it weren’t for China, there would be no one North Korea would listen to.

Walters also was in China with President Richard Nixon in 1972, and she paints a picture of China about thirty-eight years ago that vividly offers a contrast to today’s China.

Then in April 2009, Walters asked Jiang Zemin (China’s third president after Mao died) what happened to the famous “tank man” of the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.

Walters says, “Did you execute him? We heard he was arrested and executed.”

Zemin replied that he did not know what happened to the man. Then he said he thinks the man was never killed.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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China Following Tradition — Part 4/4

November 6, 2010

Deng Xiaoping was China’s George Washington. What he did was what Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted. China is a republic that combines Western thought with Chinese tradition.

However, the task to create China’s Republic fell to the Communist Party so China is a Socialist Republic.

In China, Piety is important and advice from elders is often followed as if it is law. Due to this, elder statesmen such as Jiang Zemin have great power in the government even after they no longer have a political title.

After all, this is Chinese tradition.

The Economist mentioned disagreements among Chinese leaders over what the country’s priorities should be—both on the economy and on political reform.

Whatever the final decisions will be after 2012, the consensus will allow Chinese tradition to guide them and not Western thought.

The changes “some” want will not arrive in a hurry if the wisdom of the I-Ching, The Book of Changes, is followed, which says change should come slowly.

In fact, China has proven it is a republic because none of China’s first four presidents are the sons of previous presidents and eventually death removes the elders. China’s presidents did not inherit that title due to heredity as kings do or the leader of North Korea.

As Deng Xiaoping died, so will Jiang Zemin, who is the elder statement today.

If Hu Jintao lives longer than Jiang Zemin, he will be the elder statesmen offering advice from behind closed doors, which Deng Xiaoping must have done up until his death.

Return to China Following Tradition — Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China Following Tradition — Part 3/4

November 6, 2010

In Part 2, I explained why China was not a monarchy or a dictatorship. In this post and the last one in this series, I will show why China is becoming a republic as Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted by combining Western thought with Chinese tradition.

After Mao died, The Communist Party worked for several years to draft the 1982 Constitution, which included term limits of two five-year terms.

If you have read the Chinese Constitution carefully, it is obvious that America’s Constitution was used as a model.

However, these two documents are not the same as many Western critics and Chinese activists claim regarding freedom of the press, speech and religion.

If the Party leadership is not happy with China’s president, he can be removed after one five-year term. There is even an article of impeachment in the Constitution.

China’s first president was Li Xiannian (1983 to 1988). He served one, five-year term. Then he stepped down.

From 1988 to 1993, Yang Shangkun would be China’s president for one five-year term. Deng Xiaoping (born 1904 – died 1997) was the Chairman of the Communist Party from 1983 to 1993, which was ten years—what China’s 1982 Constitution calls for.

Due to how the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 was handled, Yang had to step down at the end of his first, five-year term. The only other way to remove him would have been through impeachment.

In 1993, Jiang Zemin became President and Chairman of the Communist Party.

Then in 2003, Hu Jintao became President and Chairman of the Party. His term ends in 2012.

China has now had four presidents serve out their terms according to China’s 1982 Constitution.

Return to China Following Tradition — Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China’s Capitalist Revolution (Part 9 of 9)

July 6, 2010

Because of what happened in Tiananmen Square, foreign investors pulled out of China. Western businessmen fled. Foreign leaders and Deng’s Western friends criticized him.

The Maoists were back in power. Jiang Zemin said private companies had benefited from the reforms but in the turmoil, they supported the students against the government. We need to destroy them.

Deng Xiaoping was forced into retirement and his policies were reversed. Peasants were encouraged to reform collectives and private business was banned from competing with state enterprises.   The Maoists decided to clean house and close China’s doors to the West.

Desperate to save his reforms, at 87, Deng set out to save his reforms.  He went to Shanghai to encouraged supporters there to speak out.  When they did, the Maoists wanted to know who was criticizing them in the newspapers. Deng said he was responsible—don’t attack anyone but me.  Then Deng met with his old comrades in the People’s Liberation Army and the army announced they would protect Deng’s reforms and anyone who resisted would be dealt with.

Deng said, “Without reform and the Open Door policy, economic growth and improved living standards —any path for our country will be a dead end.” Deng’s call to arms worked.  In 1994, Jiang Zemin switched sides to support Deng. It was okay to get rich again.

Deng Xiaoping died in 1997. The country he inherited from Mao was the one of the world’s poorest. Today, it is one of the wealthiest.

Return to China’s Capitalist Revolution Part 8 or start with 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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Investing BIG in Education

April 21, 2010

China is making HUGE investments in education. In 1998, then-President Jiang Zemin called for a massive increase in enrollment in higher education. Since then, high school and college enrollments in China grew. Source: FP-Foreign Policy, April 14, 2010

Tsinghua University's east gate

In China, more than thirty percent graduate with degrees in engineering or technology. In the United States, only five percent of university students graduate in these fields, while U.S. universities produce more psychologists.

That is why President Obama has encouraged American students to study science. Source: White House

What’s going to happen if American students do not start working hard to become engineers and scientists?

Tsinghua University

In 2040, the Chinese economy will reach $123 trillion, or nearly three times the economic output of the entire globe in 2000.  It’s a fact that people with an education in engineering and science earn more and are more productive.  China and India combined are turning out more than 600,000 engineers a year—ten times that of the United States. Source: Rocketry Planet

To see the results of this push in education, discover Adding to Honor in One Lunar Leap

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Deng Xiaoping’s 20/20 Vision

February 5, 2010

True, under Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), China suffered but that isn’t the whole story. During Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, thirty-seven million died—many from starvation. Mao’s form of communist socialism did not work.

On June 30, 1984, Deng Xiaoping said, “Given that China is still backward, what road can we take to develop the productive forces and raise the people’s standard of living? … Capitalism can only enrich less than 10 per cent of the Chinese population; it can never enrich the remaining more than 90 per cent. But if we adhere to socialism and apply the principle of distribution to each according to his work, there will not be excessive disparities in wealth. Consequently, no polarization will occur as our productive forces become developed over the next 20 to 30 years.”

Deng Xiaoping on the cover of Time Magazine

Deng Xiaoping may have been right. Bruce Einhom writing for Business Week, Countries with the Biggest Gaps Between Rich and Poor, October 16, 2009, listed the top countries with the biggest gaps. America was number three on the list. China wasn’t on the list—yet.

What does this mean for America? (CBS/AP)  The Census Bureau reports that 12.5 percent of Americans, or 37.3 million people, were living in poverty in 2007, up from 36.5 million in 2006.

After 2000, the situation in America deteriorated quickly (with President George W. Bush in the White House)—all of the gains in middle-class economic security since WWII were erased within a few years.

PBS reported in “Middle Class Squeeze” (December 13, 2002), the shape of income distribution in America is changing and many are finding it increasingly difficult to afford housing while keeping up with necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and health care.”

What does capitalism, Chinese style, look like? Under Deng Xiaoping’s economic policies, China became the world’s factory floor.

Prior to 1979, the year China opened its economy to world trade, it was rare to find anything made in China. Since then, exports from China have increased 10,000%, and this year China’s economy become the second largest in the world as Japan slipped to third place.

In the last decade, something happened in China that Mao thought he had destroyed. China grew a middle class. During a trip to China in 2008, we saw the Chinese middle class everywhere we went. Instead of the majority of tourists being foreigners, they are now Chinese.

A middle-class family in China usually owns an apartment, a car, eats out and takes vacations. National Geographic in the May 2008 magazine, said, “they owe their well-being to the government’s (Deng Xiaoping’s) economic policies…”

Current estimates show China’s growth will continue and grow between five and eight percent a year. China’s real GDP growth accelerated on a year-over year basis by a full percentage point, rising from 7.9% in the second quarter to 8.9% in the third quarter (reported Oct. 22, 2009).

Learn about China’s Expanding Middle Class

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


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