5 thoughts on “Trump Lies, China Thrives

  1. How do you compete with a country with hundreds of millions of dynamic, intelligent, hardworking people whose business DNA runs through more than 4000 years of their recorded history and has always been ruled by a “government” which answers to no one, not even to itself?

    The Chinese word for “commerce, trade or business” is 商 which is also the name of the Shang Dynasty, 商 朝 (circa 1600 — 1100 BCE)

    The reason why the word for commerce or business was taken from a specific Dynasty from almost 4000 years ago was because the people from the Shang Dynasty period were considered very good businessmen and so the word for commerce or business, was taken from that Dynasty.

    So you either work with or for China or you bomb it back to the Shang Dynasty or preferably beyond.

    I was in a European city some years ago and I bought a very inexpensive though reasonably good quality pair of shoes. From the price I suspected it must have been made in China though it had a “Western” sounding brand name. I asked the shopkeeper, (of ethnic Indian origin), whether it was so, and he answered that if China stopped producing shoes he’ll have nothing to sell. That was some years ago.

    The adventure of shopping these days is to hunt for goods that is not or not yet being made in China. Good Luck.

    • I believe both of you’re right. In fact, measurement units in ancient time were called shang 商. According to the Liji (礼记, Record of Rites), the legendary Yellow Emperor created the first measurement units. But these measurement units were first unearthed from Shang Dynasty tombs. Qin Shi Huang unified China and later standardized the measurement units so that commerce could flourish.

      One thing is certain, these measurement units are closely related to mathematics. As anywhere else on earth, mathematics and commerce are closely related. Even music is related to mathematics. Most Chinese traditional music uses a pentatonic scale, with the intervals in terms of lu 律. The notes of this scale are called gong 宫, shang 商, jue 角, zhi 徵 and yu 羽. By starting from a different point of this sequence, a scale with a different interval sequence is created, similar to the construction of modes in modern Western music.

  2. The “discoveries” that Mr. Friedman made on his visit to Beijing are well known to anyone doing business in or with China, and have been reported widely before Mr. Friedman’s op ed. Many years ago, I remember reading an article in Business Week about a factory in the Midwest it could fax a sample design of a fabricated metal product he needed to China and within 48 hours would receive several prototype design samples. He further stated he could buy the finished product from China cheaper than he could buy the materials, and shipments would arrive in 24 hours. This is not news and should not be from Mr. Friedman who supposedly knows all about traveling the world. But of course, we’re like a child who lost a game, crying going home that the opponent didn’t play fair. Truth is, we can’t admit that someone can do something better than us. Our ego got bruised. We’re number one, remember?

    So, the rich and well off are unable to expand their businesses in China? Mark Zuckerberg can’t introduce Facebook? Visa and MasterCard are just now getting into the Chinese Market? And Friedman says “This is not fair.” Boo-hoo. China lifted its population out of poverty, while protecting its own economy from usual popular “trade” practices of Western nations upon poor countries, i.e., list of African and Latin American countries. Friedman seems to be more upset that we Americans, frankly, didn’t get to pillage and extract all of China’s resources for our own benefit. A lot can be said about China, but even more so about the economic policies of the US. We can’t be angry that China is doing well when we’ve drunk our own poison and dug our own grave.

    We lost because of bad governance and bad policies, Democrat and Republican alike, dated back many, many years. When China is busy building, America is busy bombing, selling “democracy” to the rest of the world but not products. We engaged in pointless, unending wars for nothing in places we didn’t have a stake. How many trillions did our economic leaders place abroad as we lost jobs so they could make bonuses? Pathetic. The money for our 21st Century MagLev network has been dumped into all the “Color Revolutions”, into Afghanistan and Iraq. And Syria, too.

    I get a kick of all this whining that China does not compete fairly, that the Chinese government subsidizes some of their businesses. Americans conveniently choose to forget about the US subsidies to agriculture, oil, sugar, etc., crying foul except when the US has the same practices. The US and Europe wrote the WTO rules, not China. China competes within the WTO rules. To win. To benefit itself. Period. China is making use of every advantage it can get to better itself. As they should. And Americans are complaining foul when they don’t know how to compete to better themselves.

    The issue is, in my opinion that may upset some people, that our democratic system as of today is ill-equipped to compete. We need some reforms. We’ve to get agreement from 60 old men from the Senate and 240 unruly attention seekers from the House before every play. It took Obama administration 8 years on one pipeline, when the same period China built 60,000 miles of highways, high speed rail and pipelines, and all the stations, cities, airports in the end points. They’re building a massive high speed train network, so the majority of their citizens can travel, or be moved for economic reasons, around their whole country, for business or pleasure, in comfort and low cost, and with little effect on the environment. Imagine the huge growth economy gains if just Los Angeles and San Francisco were so linked by a west coast corridor with trains every hour.

    China has 60 high speed trains between Shanghai and Beijing a day! In California we’re still struggling to get a high speed train track built eventually between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Meanwhile, there’s one always late passenger train a day each way between the Cities meandering on a single track, competing with freight trains. There’re jobs bringing our infrastructure up to date if there were a government mandate and funding to support such a movement. China has eaten our lunch, but we can still pull ourselves up if only there were the public will and leadership. This country is becoming an idiocracy for sure.

    I’ve businesses in China and I go there at least once a year. I got to meet and befriend some prominent business people and politicians there. I even got the opportunity once to meet and had a brief conversation with Premier Li Keqiang. Each time I left China with a great sense of awe at the expanse of their long term planning abilities. This is a country whose population was starving a few decades ago, when American families were teaching their kids to clean up their plates and not to waste food because China was starving. Look at China now. All because of a clear, consistent and sustained shared values goal to succeed. Yes, they know their air is bad. They’ve made great commitment and striking improvement to clean up their air, unlike Trump withdrawing from the Paris accord. Yes, there is corruption inside their 80 million party employees and outside of it, too, but that has not particularly slowed down the scale of their commitment to make China Great. And they’re just as committed with their anti-corruption programs. We, too, have our share of corruption in America, and Trump is allegedly involved. Let’s not the pot calling the kettle black on this issue.

    Look at the Trumpanzees in America today. These are the children growing up when their parents were telling them China was starving. They’re still stuck with The Left vs The Right dichotomy of Cold War mentality. They want to bring back the 30s and the 50s era. They live in the yesteryears instead of looking and planning into the future. Expect them to Make America Great Again?

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