The China Monologues

China, the largest creditor of the United States, has been in the news of late. On Sunday the CBS news program 60 Minutes had a story about a Chinese company called Huawei, a company that makes internet and networking equipment like routers, switches, and has the capability to build things like 4G networks. Huawei has become the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world.

I’d never heard of Huawei before but apparently my iMac already has. As I write this post the text “Huawei” is already recognized by my inline spellchecker dictionary.

A U.S. congressional report recently released worried that Huawei and ZTE Corp., another Chinese company, have become too powerful and are a potential threat to U.S. national security. The report was produced over the last 11-months by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee and concludes that the companies could be working with the Chinese government for non-commercial reasons.

The primary concern seems to be that complicated computer networking equipment could be used for espionage or attacks against the United States. The companies deny such allegations but there is some speculation that if the Chinese government ordered them to do so, they would not have the ability to say no. For example, Huawei has a Communist Party office installed in its headquarters in Shenzhen.

Criticisms about Huawei are vehemently called “rumors” by the company and include allegations of intellectual property theft of source code from routers and switches, security concerns that company is compliant to demands from the Chinese government and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and that the company has suspect treatment of its workforce and customers.

I’m not going to go into detail about these “rumors.” If you are interested, more information is readily available by searching the internet. Perhaps some Huawei equipment will even help with the process.

Since the U.S. inquiry and the report expressing concerns about over-reliance on a foreign entity for technology now considered vital to our existence, China and the companies have responded by claiming innocence and with some potentially ominous sabre rattling. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the Chinese government itself has entered the fray by warning that U.S. concerns could harm U.S.-China relations.

I have two other points to make regarding this brouhaha that I feel are telling.

In the name of greed U.S. corporations have shipped manufacturing overseas to China for cheap labor rather than allowing U.S. workers to do the job. In return, it is believed that Chinese companies have reverse-engineered technologies for their own gain. Additionally, this year, a new wrinkle was added when there was speculation that computer chips made in China for U.S. companies might contain “backdoors.” The warning came from researchers at Cambridge University and included computer chips potentially used by the U.S. military, weapon systems, nuclear power plants and public transportation.

Other experts disputed the danger posed by the backdoor, stating that backdoors in computer technologies are “common” but “rarely malicious” and that the one identified by Cambridge was probably benign.

If this all sounds rather paranoid, it should be noted that China has been working hard for years on its own computer chips to avoid reliance on U.S. technologies out of concerns that foreign-made chips should not be part of their defense systems and military equipment. The chip project is sponsored by the Chinese government. Link: People’s Processor.

Secondly, China doesn’t want to be reliant on U.S. companies for its own fleet of commercial airplanes, either. China has a plan to develop their own large commercial aircraft by 2020.

… experts said the latest plan appeared to be plausible given the technological prowess China has gained from building parts for foreign makers.

Source: New York Times

Ironically, the concerns raised about a backdoor in a computer chip made in China were specifically related to a Boeing 787 aircraft. Link: The Guardian. The concern may or may not have held up (followups to this story are hard to find) but the report itself is enough to indicate the potential for problems with technology issues in U.S.-China relations.

Perhaps we should listen to China. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. China doesn’t want and/or trust U.S. computer chips for their own military. China doesn’t want to be reliant on U.S. companies like Boeing for their commercial aircraft needs. China is the largest creditor of the U.S. Lastly, China wants Chinese companies like Huawei to maintain a dominance on technologies upon which the U.S. is extremely reliant.

If that’s the way China sees it then perhaps a little prudence and wariness on our part isn’t such a bad thing after all. After all, we’re the home of caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

56 responses

  1. The term caveat emptor dates back to Roman times. — A provision of Roman law which gave the seller of a house the legal right to keep quiet about any defects of a house which he was selling. The seller of the house I bought certainly kept quiet about a few things.

    We definitely should beware of products, Chinese and otherwise. For example, there is a long list of crap that the Chinese have sold to us and to each other. (lousy turpentiney pine nuts, crappy sheet rock, faulty airbags, poisoned pet food) Not that U.S. companies with totally U.S. made products are completely off the hook. There is at least an illusion that there’s some integrity or redress for wrongs.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Cathy! I knew you’d show up and bust me on my attribution of caveat emptor. I know we’re not truly the home of that phrase, but we’re the ones who turned it into an art form.

      1. Catherine Sherman

        I knew when you were elevated to the big time that I was going to get hammered for this comment. (Not by you, of course.) There should be a Latin phrase for “commenter beware”! Congratulations for being Freshly Pressed from the Freshly Chided!

      2. Thanks. Now we’re equals. Ha! Perhaps if you compare my entire existence to your smallest toenail. :)

        The fact is I agreed with you quite a bit. When I think of Made in China what comes to mind is mostly not good. I think of bad stuff in food, plastic crap that we don’t want or need yet still breaks, etc. i deliberately avoid Chinese-made dog treats. And it still seems like even the best stuff, like iPods and iPhones and iPads, has slippery slope juju that comes with.

        I have to admit I rankled a bit about China’s umbrage during this last “security” dust up. (WordPress picked that tag, not me.)

    2. Before you condemn CHINA for faulty products, you should read what the China Law Blog has to say on the subject. The China Law Blog is hosted by American lawyers that are specialists in Chinese law and they operate offices out of Seattle.

      The Blog has quite a following and has a very high global and US search engine rank with almost 1600 sites linked in. 76.9% of the visitor traffic to this Blog is in the US.

      Disclosure: I am not a lawyer, I do not know Harris & Moure in Seattle and I have no financial stake in their law firm. However, I have read a few of the posts on the China Law Blog and they are informative and go a long way to dispel some of the myths about China.

      http://www.chinalawblog.com/

      According to Dan Harris, one of the partners of this law firm, faulty products from China are more the fault of the Americans that went to China and signed sloppy contracts with Chinese factory owners.

      Harris says there are several layers of quality in China and if the contract is not specific about the quality of the product to be manufactured and sold in the US, the Chinese managers will give them the lowest quality and the lowest price per unit to manufacture it and that probably explains why these products you mention were of a poor quality. Therefore, Americans doing business in China that are in a hurry to make cheap products with a HUGE profit margin may have signed sloppy contracts that do not go into enough detail to insure the quality of the product.

      The manager and/or owners of the Chinese factory were only doing business the Chinese way. If an American client signs a contract for a cheap product then does not keep track of the manufacturing process to insure the product is of an acceptable quality, is that the fault of the American or the Chinese manager that grew up in a society with where it is acceptable to have grades of quality for cheap/poor to expensive/high quality and you get what you pay for.

      However, if a contract is written properly, then the quality of the product may be of a high quality. Since most of Apple’s products are manufactured or assembled in China, and then sold globally and are considered of a very high quality by millions of uber loyal fans willing to wait in long lines for days to buy the latest release of an iPod or iPhone, we know that China is capable of producing high quality products but it all depends on the contract that the American client signs with the Chinese company that makes the product.

      1. Lloyd, thanks for your input. I took a look at your website and I’m flattered you stopped by. You are clearly out of my league.

        I did allude to “greed” in my article, but that was just a drive by and perhaps I’ll-advised.

        My main point had to do with the apparent philosophy at hand: You buy from me but I do not wish to buy from you.

        As far as concern about Chinese-made products goes, I guess that comes in two flavors (in my point of view): U.S.-involved and standalone.

        I think companies like Apple (and perhaps Intel) demonstrate that it is possible to produce a quality product there. There may be a human cost in this, though, like ongoing issues at Foxconn possibly indicate. There is also at least some espionage risk of industrial secrets that comes with the company you’ve hired being so intimately involved with the production process. I’m not speaking to likelihood, just that its possible. And perhaps that there is also historical precedence.

        I’m not certain that workforce quality is the primary driver to a quality product, though. Highly specialized assembly line tasks require notoriously little training.

        When it comes to standalone, I’d recommend honey as one example of China’s involvement in our markets. There is history of Chinese companies deliberately working to circumvent our laws and be deceptive with labeling, possibly injuring U.S. consumers, domestic honey producers, etc.

        I know this is all not as simple as it appears to laymen like me but its not entirely spun from whole cloth, either.

      2. Shout Abyss,

        Of course there is “greed” in China. It’s human nature for some of us to be greedy no matter Chinese or American. ENRON comes to mind as one example. A much LARGER example of greed that is still having repercussions on the global economy was what happened in the US under President G. W. Bush in 2007 – 08. We will still be paying for it decades from now.

        My question is: Who is responsible for examples of greed in China? The CCP or some manager in a factory that cut corners to make more money for himself. In China, the usual punishment for anyone caught doing what happened with the tainted infant formula or the drywall incident is a death sentence.

        In the US, when something like this happens most of the time no one goes to prison. Criminals in the US that commit similar crimes, and that happens all the time, often receive probation and a fine. I’m thinking of the American tobacco industry knowing that smoking caused cancer years before all the huge court cases and big tobacco still added adding chemicals to tobacco to make the cigarettes more addictive.

        The fallout from the Wall Street global financial crises in 2007 was nine million lost jobs in the US. About 20 million in China. No telling how many more people that live on the edge lost jobs in other countries.

        Have you seen the documentary “Too Big to Fail”? It documents one of the BIGGEST examples of greed in recent history that makes anything that has happened in China the last few decades shrink to the size of a pea in comparison.

        The issues at Foxconn are not as horrible as they appear in the Western media. In fact, when there was a rash of suicides a year or so back, I crunched the numbers against the total number of employees Foxconn has working for it and the suicide rate at Foxconn was lower than the average for China. I wrote about it on my Blog. If you are interested in that post, I’ll see if I can find the link.

        Of course Chinese companies (how many, I have no idea) deliberately work to circumvent the laws of the US. Companies in China do that against China’s laws too.

        In fact, US companies do this all the time and that is the reason why the US government has departments such as the FDA. In fact, there are examples of US companies being deceptive with labeling or hiding facts from the public. Ford Mortar Company did it with the Pinto in the 1970s.

        I also would be surprised if China wasn’t using privately held Chinese companies as a front to spy on other countries. The US has done it before. Have you ever heard of Operation Mockingbird as one example? Or, go see Argo, a movie that was released today about the hostage crises in Iran when Carter was president. If you go to see Argo, pay close attention to the information that appears on screen as the movie is starting. It is all true.

        Then you may be interested in reading “Dereliction of Duty” by H. R. McMaster about the Vietnam War.

        The number of deaths from the Vietnam War did not just happen in Vietnam. The US dropped more bombs in Laos than it dropped in all of World War II, and the US also dropped about a quarter million cluster bombs in Cambodia—some are still there.

        No one knows the exact number of casualties caused by that war but estimates say that total dead on both sides range from 1.3 million to 2.7 million and wounded at about 2 million and that is just the military casualties. Civilian deaths in Vietnam are estimated at 411 thousand to two million; Cambodia at 200 thousand – 300 thousand, and Laos at 20 thousand to 200 thousand.

        Here’s a pull quote from the New York Times review of ‘Dereliction of Duty': “What gives Dereliction of Duty its special value is … McMaster’s comprehensive, balanced and relentless exploration of the specify role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff … A devastating indictment of Johnson and his principal civilian and military advisers.”

        The blurb on the front cover of the paperback says, “Lyndon Jonson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.” Was that the only time the US lied to start a war? I’m not thinking of Iran and President Bush’s lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction and the claims that Saddam was working with Al Qaeda when in fact he was an enemy of Islamic Terrorists. Saddam was a monster but he was also the enemy of our enemy.

  2. Wow. I have to admit I was drawn to your post by the hilarious picture, but I was definitely rewarded with more then I bargained for. This is somewhat terrifying information, thanks for helping spread awareness. Time to call our representatives

    1. Thanks. I do find it a bit odd that their message seems to be: “We don’t want your stuff but please buy ours.”

      Trying to find images for this post was hard. So I went with lame Engrish jokes which are amazingly plentiful on the web. I hope that means people aren’t disappointed after clicking in because of the picture.

      1. To set your mind at ease a bit, I clicked in because of the funny picture as well. I, for one, wasn’t disappointed by the post. I’m a tech writer at a government contractor that does information security industry (for one more week anyway). I can say this much – you’re not the only one wondering about it.

      2. Ugh for poor editing at the end of the work week. Subtract “industry” from that last comment and it makes a bit more sense. ;)

  3. China loves iron ore.

    We are selling parts of Australia to them, 1 shipload at a time.

    1. The journey to superpower status requires materials to power the consumption-driven society. It also requires vehicles (so long bicycles), a healthy appetite for a meat-based diet, and drive-thru. My prediction: As China grows in affluence so will their waistlines.

  4. If they don’t like something from outside then I don’t like their products as well.
    If you just check products they are mostly “Made from China” and dang they don’t last that well.

    1. I’ve read blog posts about lifestyles where people try to exist only on domestically-made products. These days that is quite the challenge. Those posts are worth a read if you ever get the chance to look them up.

      I once wrote a post about the “chip clip” I bought at the grocery store. It was supposed to be an easy way to keep my bag of potato chips fresh. It broke apart the first time I squeezed with enough pressure to actually put it on a bag. That’s a little phenomenon I like to call “They Got Your Money.”

      Hey! Maybe that’s the “potato” talked about in the picture of that sign! :)

  5. I case tou’re intereated, Huawei also has locations here in the U.S. I periodically drive past one in Silicon Valley (CA).

    And it was the pictures that drove me to this post, too. When I visited China in 2004, I found the English translations of signs and a few items in the stores to be very entertaining.

    1. Thanks! I think the 60 Minutes story mentioned one in Houston, too.

      Do I actually think things like routers, switches and 4G networks could be used as a method of attack? These days I don’t know what to believe. I guess anything is possible. And, as a computer programmer myself, I know that backdoors are possible. I just usually never bother with them. My last boss locked me out and trust me, I was totally fine with that!

      I do admit that the idea is possible, though. If it did happen it wouldn’t surprise me.

      I think the poor English translations just represent laziness or trying to do things on the cheap. Maybe I could move to China and become an English proofer. Yeah. Sign me up!

  6. I went on a trip to China last year. It was interesting and sometimes frustrating. I don’t really share the so-called paranoia, but then again, I’m from South Africa. As a new member of BRICS, we are supposedly on good footing with China. Of course, there is the problem that Chinese textiles have virtually overrun our local textile industry.
    Anyways, I don’t have much to contribute to the discussion, but I did find it interesting what wonderful quality things I bought for really cheap at Chinese markets. We tend to speak in a derogatory fashion of “Made-in-China” because, as another commentor pointed out, we get a lot of substandard products from them. In South Africa we export our very best to other rich nations. China, it seems, keeps their best products to themselves.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate the firsthand report of your experiences there. I’ve never been. As an American who buys things like iPods and iPads, I believe the people who make these things should have safe working conditions, living wages, respect, dignity and a modicum of rights. My view of “Made in China” is that it is usually a means to circumvent such things. I mean, if not, why not just made stuff here in the USA?

    1. Thanks. I try to connect-the-dots between seemingly random items in my posts. Here it feels like China wants its cake and eat it, too. That rubs me the wrong way. If you want so desperately into our markets why are you, at the very same time, so frantic about avoiding our stuff?

  7. All I could think about while reading this was Transformers and computers coming to life with claws.

    But this was an interesting read. I did not think that China wouldn’t want US to make their airplanes because of those reasons but because they can already do it themselves. Very interesting. Thank you!

    1. I suspect that China desperately wants to make their own airplanes because they don’t like depending on foreign countries for their needs. Who would? Here in America we talk about stuff like that all the time. So they don’t want to be beholding. They want to have control over their own destiny. Like you, I don’t think security concerns is a primary driver of their ambition to make their own passenger jumbo jets. But, perhaps, also just a wee smidgen of a superiority complex.

  8. Reblogged this on Mr Talktalk and commented:
    Nigeria beware, because it time…..

  9. wow this article was not what i thought it would be! silly images! but really brilliant read.

    1. Yeah, I feel bad if anyone feels tricked upon arrival. Finding images for this post was challenging and, obviously, I took the cheap way out. As a Guru of Negativity I’m not usually quite this serious. Heck, I didn’t even resort to profanity. Not even once! :)

      I guess that’s one of the dangers of your blog being all willy nilly and not maintaining a cohesive theme.

      But I’m still glad you stopped by! You can call me “brilliant” any time you want! :)

  10. Countries like China have a very nationalistic policy towards their economies. Do what’s best for China. Our American (along with other 1st world countries) corporations are on a race to the bottom. The “bottom” being the cheapest labor possible to maximize profits.

    1. Your “race to the bottom” comment resonates with me. I can’t help but wonder what international commerce would look like if all the participants said, “I will act in the spirit of the golden rule.” Treat others no worse than you’d ever treat yourself.

      Of course something like that will never happen.

  11. Really well written! I used to work for a non-profit that advocated for human rights in China, and technology was a big topic around the office. Actually, an org called the Tibet Action Institute was established in response to a lack of understanding of safe online practices. (https://tibetaction.net/) They have some funny little videos if you ever get a chance to check them out.
    Anyway, I found your post to be both fascinating and informative, and I especially loved the photos you used.
    best, e.v.

    1. I think one point is that any technology you don’t understand can be scary. Computers, the light switch on the wall, the toilet, or your car. I call this type of stuff “behind the curtain,” meaning that most of us are at the mercy and goodwill of others when it comes to these things. If your mechanic tells you something in your car needs to be fixed and you have absolutely no idea if it is true or not, what are you going to do? As a computer nut, I’ve often found that I have this same sort of power over other people. Fortunately for them I only use my power for awesome. As we all know, not everyone strives for that standard.

      I also believe in human rights for the Chinese people, and everyone else, too. I actually dare to hope that one day all humans on Earth will have equal rights and access to things like clean drinking water, food, and work with dignity and respect. I know I’m foolish.

      1. Not foolish at all! Glad to hear you use your power for awesome! Keep it up!
        best, e.v.

  12. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing! “You are my love my angle. Don’t treat me like a potato” haha, awesome. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. Thanks. It’s my first time. And no, I don’t mean to imply there will ever be a second time. :)

  13. Intel opened a $2.5 billion dollar chip factory in China in 2010. The reason Intel is building computer chips in China is because China’s education system turns out more than enough highly educated individuals with the skills to work in an Intel plant and help develop future chips.

    Intel has eight chip factories in the US, one in Ireland, one in Israel and one in Dalian, China. The one in China makes one of the highest quality chips that Intel manufactures.

    Intel also has assembly/test sites in Costa Rica, Arizona (US), China, two in Malaysia and one in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    1. “The reason Intel is building computer chips in China is because … ” of things that are totally unrelated to nonexistent environmental protections, worker protections, and the fact that you can pay people peanuts and treat them like garbage while they build your stuff, we promise.

      1. Fire and Air,

        I take it you have not read Peter Hessler’s book, “Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip”. There is a section in this memoir where he spends time in a factory town in China getting to know the workers and what you claim that these factories “Pay people peanuts and treat them like garbage” is often wrong and misleading.

        In fact, these people, Hessler discovered, often have a higher quality of life in the factory towns than they did in the rural villages working as peasants in the fields. In addition, they earn enough to send money home to parents and grandparents to improve lifestyles in the rural villages.

        In fact, the Chinese that move from rural to urban China to work in factories seem much better off than the Americans that did the same thing during the industrial revolution in the US.

        I also may safely assume you know next to nothing about the birth and evolution of America’s middle class in the US.

        In America until The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, children sometimes as young as three worked sixteen hour days in factories for nickels and dimes. In many cases, half of the factory work force was children. Poor parents in America (and there were many of them) often sold children to coal mines and factories where the children did not go to school and worked very long hours six days a week until maybe age 18 and/or 21. Then they often lost his job to an easier to control and lower paid child and adult left illiterate.

        Even adult workers in the US during this era were paid peanuts and treated worse than garbage before organized labor unions appeared and started to gain a strong following.

        To judge China’s current environment without taking into account that Europe and the US went through the same exact evolution is an example of hypocrisy and ignorance.

      2. Fire and Air,

        You may also want to catch up on what is happening environmentally in China. Environmental protections in China are no longer nonexistent. Do your homework and make sure you leave nothing out. Do not cherry pick the facts.

        If you expect China to wave a magic want and fix all the environmental problems overnight, then you will be disappointed. Even the US after more than four decades of struggling to clean up its environment, America still has a long way to go.

        China’s goals to clean up its environment started in the last few years and to move things along, Green Peace was invited to present and advise China’s leaders on what needs to be done. In fact, Chinese Green Peace advocates are often given the freedom to spy on factories to catch polluters that are breaking China’s environmental laws and then turn those factories in to the Central Government.

        In addition, the CCP has reached out to the population of China to turn polluters in.

  14. It’s clearly time for some government-owned business(es) in IT technology, because everything else will eventually be produced by cheap Chinese labor anyway…oh the irony.

    1. Tae,

      Actually, the CCP plans to cut back on relying on manufacturing and foreign trade. The goal of the CCP is to build a large consumer middle class of 600 – 800 million (it is currently about 300 million) that will buy products made in China in China and create a domestic market economy that will power China’s economy so she will not have to depend on foreign trade.

      For example: when the tsunami of the 2007-08 financial crises rolled out of New York/ Wall Street and swept across the world, it is estimated that 20 million Chinese lost jobs in manufacturing because orders for good from China dropped in the US and Europe.

      A few decades ago, China saw what this did to Japan’s economy during one of America’s financial melt downs (The US has an economic crisis about every twelve years in one or more sectors of its economy). Trade with the US dropped drastically and Japan, then a leading manufacturing center as China is today, went into a financial nose dive that it hasn’t completely recovered from to this day.

      The US still ranks number two in the world for manufacturing, and the US still produces more natural gas, coal and oil than China does and the US has more reserves of these products. Contrary to some opinions, the US still has a very large steel industry that actually sells US steel to China and Europe.

      And some US companies that moved manufacturing to China are returning to the US. I read recently that at least a half million jobs have already come back to America from China and more are following. Experts predict as many as five-million jobs will return. The reason is recent increased labor costs in China and the implementation of environmental laws designed to clean up China’s environment that will increase the cost of manufacturing in China—one of the reasons so many factories in the US moved to China was to escape the cost of being more environmentally friendly. Now that China means to start cleaning up its environment, those golden POLLUTION days in China may be over

      If you are interested, you may want to read this Op Ed piece in The New York Times on the subject of labor costs in China — Chinese Labor, Cheap No More:

      “In the past, China’s migrant workers were just thankful not to go hungry; today they are savvy and secure enough to start being choosy. Higher salaries, basic benefits, better working conditions and less physically taxing jobs are only the beginning of their demands, and for many factories, these are already too costly to be tenable.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/opinion/chinese-labor-cheap-no-more.html?_r=0

      1. Thanks for the information Lloyd. My guess is that part of the equation is also that salaries have been at least in relative decline in the US?
        I think a similar phenomenon happened in Germany (my home country) within the last decade. Bevor many jobs were outsourced to more eastern countries like Poland, “recently” this trend has turned around – or at least that’s what it seemed like in my area.
        Thanks for the link as well, I’ll check that out.

  15. Interesting post and I enjoyed the pictures along with it.

    1. Thanks! I’m so glad you stopped by!

  16. I forgot to mention how much US debt China holds. In fact, China does not hold as much as many people may think.

    “At the end of September 2012, debt held by the public was approximately $11.311 trillion or about 72% of GDP. Intra-governmental holdings stood at $4.848 trillion, giving a combined total public debt of $16.159 trillion (100.39% of GDP).

    “As of July 2012, $5.3 trillion or approximately 48% of the debt held by the public was owned by foreign investors, the largest of which were China and Japan at just over $1.1 trillion each.

    “The largest holders of the US national debt were the central banks of China (holds about 8% of the total federal National debt), Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Russia.”

    I do not think China is America’s landlord with only an 8% share of that debt. The American public holds 24% of that debt in T-bills, so we “the people of America (those that own T-bills)” are the single majority stock holders and landlord of the US government.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

    Note: These are details we will never hear from Romney or Ryan because it would not help their campaign to be elected President and VP of the US. It serves Romney and the GOP better to twist the facts and even lie and mislead in an attempt to make Obama look bad.

  17. 這怎都沒中文哩?

    1. Chinese spam? A rare treat! :)

  18. Really good piece. There is of course a lot more going on than security concerns, as these are legitimate ways for the US to curb free trade without looking like that is what it is doing. I reblogged a piece I found about the role of the CCP in US companies in China ( http://alleyeseast.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/90/ ) and have some broader discussion for anyone who is interested http://alleyeseast.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/chinas-impending-collapse-3-little-hints/

    1. Hey, Dan! Thanks. And I read the three little hints. And that stuff about the Communist Party entwining with foreign multinationals is disturbing Good stuff!

      I remember seeing a news report about a dam project in China. Long time residents were forcibly removed from their lands by the government and not compensated. We think eminent domain is bad? As least we get lowballed by the government on fair value.

      China is definitely following some of the trends of the affluent. There is the paradigm shift from bicycles to automobiles and everything that comes with. More meat consumption, more sedentary lifestyle, growing waistlines, etc.

      These always seem to be the things that come with affluence and the good life.

      As always be careful what you wish for. :)

  19. Wow!! For a demotivational blog you sure pack a lot of fun :) I’mma follow you now.. Congrats on the FP!!

    1. Remember, young one, that even the most satisfying streak of failures can be interrupted by the occasional accidental success. You have to remain strong, push through them, and get back to your zone.

      Welcome aboard!

      1. Thank you for your advise! I feel I must bow now! So here I goes… *bows* Glad to be on board! :D

  20. This is not good. I guess no more posts on Chinese food. ;)

    1. I had a dish the other night I really enjoyed. It was called “Chicken Three Ways.” So good. Of course, you really needed three stomachs to jam it all down and get it in there. I love leftovers.

  21. I like that photo of that sign that says, “You are my love my angle don’t treat me like potato.” LOL!!!

Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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