Taiwan and China Are Reuniting. Now!

President Xi Jinping targets making China a developed country by 2050 and achieving unification with Taiwan by 2049

Beijing has also recently waived the entry permit requirement for Taiwanese planning to travel to China, while establishing a pilot free trade zone in Fujian province and encouraging young Taiwanese to start businesses there.

Lee Kuan Yew claims that unification is inevitable

Lee Kuan Yew at the release of his previous book, Sept. 16, 2013. (File photo/Xinhua)

Lee Kuan Yew at the release of his previous book, Sept. 16, 2013. (File photo/Xinhua)

In his latest book, One Man’s View of the World, Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew says that Taiwan’s unification with China is only a matter of time and that efforts to separate the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will only make the process more painful for the people of Taiwan. Unification has become a political taboo in Taiwan and as the former Singapore leader has been a friend to the country in the past, his frank remarks are difficult for many to accept. Moreover, the painful process of unification with China, as Lee describes it, is a reality the Taiwanese have already witnessed due to political disputes between pro-independence and pro-unification camps and the loss of its global competitiveness.

Three questions arise from Lee’s prediction in his book: Do people want unification? Will we see unification? Should there be unification? Whether one supports unification or independence for Taiwan has become akin to a religious belief that leaves little room for a rational exchange of views between parties on opposing sides. Calling Lee’s remarks interference in Taiwan’s internal affairs, pro-independence supporters mostly dodged issues raised in his statements rather than responding to them. Regarding the probability of Taiwan’s unification with China, Lee said the decision would not be made by the will of Taiwanese people but as a result of economic factors and the international situation. Lee said further that gradual and inevitable economic integration will serve to bring Taiwan and China closer and to become codependent. He also said that it was unrealistic for pro-independence supporters to pin their hopes on an intervention by the United States if war with China should break out. Read more…

Taiwan to submit letter of intent to join AIIB

This means that Taiwan will have to ask China’s permission to join. What will China request in exchange? I’m guessing it will only be a small, technical concession. The concession – whatever it turns out to be – will have later implications for reunification, of course.

53.9% of the interviewed support the government of Taiwan to negotiate with China based on the 1992 Consensus under which Taipei and Beijing acknowledge there is only one China, but agree to disagree on its definition.

Cars with Taiwanese license plates hit the road in Fujian

MAKING ROOM FOR TAIWAN

U.S. imperialists invaded China’s territory of Taiwan and has occupied it for the past nine years.

Taiwan and China Shake Hands

A short while ago it sent its armed forces to invade and occupy Lebanon. The United States has set up hundreds of military bases in many countries all over the world. China’s territory of Taiwan, Lebanon and all military bases of the United States on foreign soil are so many nooses round the neck of U.S. imperialism. The nooses have been fashioned by the Americans themselves and by nobody else, and it is they themselves who have put these nooses round their own necks, handing the ends of the ropes to the Chinese people, the peoples of the Arab countries and all the peoples of the world who love peace and oppose aggression. The longer the U.S. aggressors remain in those places, the tighter the nooses round their necks will become – Mao Tse Tung, September 8, 1958, at the Supreme State Conference.

Reuniting with Taiwan has been China’s core strategic goal for 60 years. Now the vagrant province is on the glide-path to reunification during President Xi’s tenure. Happily, China has been reabsorbing wayward provinces since Jesus walked the earth and it’s a familiar ritual whose celebrants know their roles.

For all but the terminally deluded like Taiwan’s ex-President Chen Shui-ban, currently languishing in jail for his naivety, reunification was always a foregone conclusion. The Jovian pull of China’s gravitational field is irresistible.

It’s so strong that, during my annual visits to Australia the country’s leading businesspeople – on the front pages of the national press and on their mainstream TV – loudly advocate replacing Australia’s US alliance with a Chinese one. Australia’s continued alliance with the US is a ‘hindrance’ they say, and a ‘danger’.

The same tractor-beam that attracts big, distant Australia draws tiny, close Taiwan closer each day. Heads of both of Taiwan’s major political parties – urged on by their leading industrialists – have already pilgrimaged to The Forbidden City and pledged allegiance to the Emperor.

Like repentant schismatics over the centuries they were sent back to their island-province laden with gold, fine silks, and even finer promises. Promises to upgrade the wealth and status of the Taiwanese elite, to grant privileged access for every Taiwanese industry, and promises to continuing to stream millions of wealthy mainland tourists to keep the island’s hotels and stores filled to capacity. More than 3 million of them will arrive this year, and the program is just getting started.

Taiwan’s banks and insurance companies, savvier marketers than their mainland rivals, get access to China’s conservative, under-insured, increasingly wealthy consumers. Doors closed to foreigners will be opened for Taiwan.

New legislation already promise such obscure benefits as access to China’s inland waterways, the cheapest freight access to the heartland. Soon Taiwanese vessels will sail thousands of kilometres up the Yangtze and the Yalu to deliver Taiwanese cargoes. No outside country – Japan or South Korea – can dream of such access. There’s an exhaustive list of concessions and every item on it has an assigned ‘minder’, a mainland bureaucrat responsible for ensuring that good things happen for Taiwan.

In addition to the gravitational pull two recent developments have accelerated the convergence.

President-elect Xi’s campaign to clean up mainland corruption (currently no worse than Taiwan’s, according to Taiwanese investors) adds significantly to the attraction of reunification. Xi is an uncommonly moral man (“a Chinese Mandela” according to Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew). If he can do for China what he did for Shanghai – which has been exemplary in its honesty and efficiency since Xi’s cleanup – it will be a powerful attractant to island Chinese who share mainlanders’ longing for moral leadership.

Japan has hastened reunification by playing its familiar role as aggressor. On a clear day Taiwanese can see the Diaoyu Islands. Taiwanese regard them as ‘theirs’ just as passionately as mainlanders do. They know that only China can enforce their sovereignty in the face of Japan’s grab. The threat to the Diaoyus has done more to weaken the Taiwan independence movement than any event since 1947.

It also helps that Xi has family in Taiwan. Given his genial image a ‘family’ visit to Taiwan is easy to imagine around, say 2020.

Reunification is all over bar the shouting.

The already muted shouting will be reduced to grumbling until Taiwanese public sentiment catches up. Then it’s a matter of implementing the already-agreed negotiation terms. Taiwan is getting a deal so good – Keep your own system while we make you richer – that nearby Okinawans will eye it enviously (see this, for example: http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/10609).

In addition to privileged access to continental China, Taiwan will enjoy a ‘peace dividend’. Most of the island’s $20 billion annual defence budget will be plowed back into shiny new infrastructure. Taiwanese pilots will get new Chinese fighters, their generals promotions and decorations. That’s why Taiwan isn’t pushing for F-16s any more.

The Taiwan schism is the last wound still suppurating after our attacks on China began 200 years ago. Its healing will allow China to accelerate its social reform program and greatly relax its posture in the region and in the world. The celebration will make the Beijing Olympics look like a sideshow.

Signs include:

2013/02/21 22:13:31
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait will soon begin a new stage of interaction in the wake of power transition in the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to local media reports.
Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang has confirmed that its honorary chairman, Lien Chan, will depart for Beijing Feb. 24 for a four-day visit at the head of a delegation of KMT officials and business executives.
Media reports said Lien, a former vice president of the Rwan), is visiting Beijing at the invitation of the CPC’s upper echelons and that he wil

The following comment by a Taiwanese reader on guancha caught our attention.

作為一個贊成統一的台灣人,針對這次選舉結果,想跟觀察網的朋友做如下分享:

1. 這次選舉雖然國民黨潰敗,民進黨大勝,並不意味著多數台灣人趨向支持獨立;根本影響這次選情的原因是:一、馬英九當選總統六年以來的執政無方,政策傾向財團與既得利益階級,根本罔顧台灣多數中產階級與基層民眾的需求與感受。二、連戰所代表的國民黨政商既得利益階層推出自己的兒子連勝文出來競選台北市長,更是加深台灣民眾對國民黨壟斷瓜分兩岸和平紅利的印象,一般老百姓根本無法從中得利,但卻看到這些遊走兩岸的政商人物每個都賺得肥油油的,自然會反彈不願意將票再投給國民黨,這也是為何國民黨連在居絕對優勢的台北市都會選輸的原因!

2. 北京需要重新檢討對台政策,特別是調整目前透過國民黨及富商階層作為對台政策代理人的做法。我之前有建議過,今晚還是要在這邊呼籲,希望中央能考慮是否直接在台灣發展基層組織,聯合台灣左統派,發展在台灣的統一力量!

3. 如果民進黨不能在兩岸關係上給台灣民眾一個放心穩妥的答案,2016的台灣總統選舉綠營未必就能再次獲勝,泛藍勢力也會在島內安定的訴求下,再次集結整合,台灣走向獨立的可能性微乎其微。

4. 在台灣島內,多數人民的首要矛盾問題是經濟與民生問題,但這6年來國民黨在馬英九的領導下完全無能無所作為;統獨問題作為次要矛盾問題,在我的認識,許多台灣人都抱持著鴕鳥心態 — 既或是傾向獨立的綠營支持者,很多人心底也都知道或默認,統一是遲早與無法抗拒的,只能持著消極抵制心態應對。而對大陸人來說,在台灣問題上,統獨是首要矛盾問題,台灣的經濟與民生問題是次要問題。而當台灣人因為自己的首要矛盾問題票投綠營時,會讓許多大陸人認為台灣走向獨立之路,或是刻意想與大陸對抗,這是許多大陸人不了解台灣社會實際情況所產生的誤解與誤讀,希望觀察網的朋友對此點有重新的認識。

Here is my quick translation:

As a Taiwanese who supports unification, I want to share the following thoughts regarding the recent Taiwanese elections with readers on guancha.

1. Even though the KMT has been handed an utter defeat and the DPP candidates won triumphantly, the results do not necessarily mean that Taiwanese are somehow turning pro-independent. The fundamental reasons for the DPP success are: 1. Ma Yin Jeou’s failures over last six years to provide anything of value to Taiwan’s middle and lower class and the perception by the vast majority of Taiwanese people that its administration is beholden to the vested interests and wealthy. 2. The perception that KMT is corrupt when the KMT selected the son of Lian Zhan [rich Taiwanese KMT politician] to run for the Taipei Mayoral elections. Many Taiwanese see only a few wealthy and connected – including the rank and files of KMT – benefiting from Taiwan’s current relationship with the Mainland, with most average Taiwanese locked out of the Mainland’s economic development.

2. The central government in Beijing needs to reassess its hands-off policy on Taiwan. It currently relies on the KMT and cross-strait businesses to cultivate its image and message in Taiwan. The central government needs to be more directly involved – perhaps through more grassroots organization in Taiwan – to foster a new type of political awareness, message, and image in Taiwan. As I have suggested before, the central government must foster more pro-active, people-to-people contacts to promote unification with Taiwan.

3. If the DPP does not come up with a coherent policy toward the mainland – dropping its pro-independence officially once and for all – then its chance of winning the 2016 Presidential election would be next-to-nil.

4. For most people on Taiwan, the most important and pressing issues of the day is economics. The Taiwanese middle class has has its income stagnate for some time, and many today blame their various problems (high unemployment, income stagnation, etc.) on Ma’s policy over the last six years. The issue of independence / unification for Taiwanese is secondary. Most Taiwanese understand that unification is inevitable but do not necessarily see a need to rush. On the other hand, from the Mainland’s perspective, the independence / unification issue is paramount. Economics is secondary. This dichotomy in perspective may lead to misunderstanding – including misunderstanding what the most recent results really means.

Ma less trustworthy than Xi Jinping: poll

By Chen Hui-ping and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer/ Taipei Times

SHAKY SUPPORT:More than half of the respondents said they do not trust President Ma, compared with 34.4 percent who said they are skeptical of the new Chinese leader

And this:

 

Taiwan allows Chinese banks to buy bigger stakes in local lenders | TODAYonline-
Taiwan will ease rules to allow Chinese banks to buy bigger stakes in local banks and permit more Chinese firms to invest in its financial industry, the island’s financial regulator said on Monday, marking a major advance in cross-strait ties.

And this:

BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will meet with Wu Po-hsiung, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) later this month, a mainland spokeswoman announced on Sunday.
Wu will lead a KMT delegation from Taiwan on a visit to the mainland from June 12 to 14, according to Fan Liqing, of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.
Xi will exchange views with him on issues such as relations between the CPC and KMT as well as mainland-Taiwan ties, Fan said.
The spokeswoman said the meeting will be “an important activity” in the high-level exchanges between the two parties under new circumstances.
A press release posted on the KMT official website on Sunday also praised the upcoming meeting as a “new beginning” and said both sides are attaching great importance to it.
KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou will meet with some of the delegation members before they leave for the mainland, the release said.
It described the meeting as a “constructive dialogue” that indicates the two parties’ emphasis on the KMT-CPC platform and their commitment to maintaining and advancing the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.

And this:

Director of cross-strait offices uses high-level forum to unveil initiatives to deepen economic, cultural and social exchanges
  • e7b561c09d934e673d4322183adcb6fb.jpg
Yu Zhengsheng (centre) joins other delegates at the fifth Straits Forum, where the initiatives were announced yesterday. Photo: Xinhua
Beijing has unveiled a basket of initiatives to deepen economic, cultural and social exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, following a high-profile meeting last week between President Xi Jinping and Wu Poh-hsiung, the honorary chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang.
Wu, who is believed to act as a proxy for Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, also expressed Taiwan’s desire to join Asia’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and to participate in other global activities.
The director of the mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun, said yesterday at the opening of a week-long high-level forum on cross-strait exchanges in Xiamen, Fujian province that the mainland would announce 31 measures this week to cultivate cross-strait interactions.
Among the six measures that he disclosed was the access that Taiwanese would be given to 10 categories of accreditation tests on the mainland, as well as the establishment of 10 cross-strait cultural exchange centres on the mainland.
Further, the mainland’s Supreme People’s Court will grant legal status to civil arbitration agreements formulated by arbitration committees in Taiwan.
and this:

THE Chinese mainland has promised to guarantee social welfare for former Kuomintang soldiers who fought Japanese aggressors about seven decades ago.The move is considered part of the mainland’s recognition of the contribution by those soldiers in defending the country’s territory and protecting its people in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression during World War II.KMT soldiers injured or disabled in the war, as well as those who joined the People’s Liberation Army, should enjoy the same treatment as other former service people, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement.The government is also providing social assistance to those who were released from the military after the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and did not join the PLA, it said.

Taiwan and China hit a major milestone in bilateral ties on Sunday when their respective heads of cross-strait affairs met for the first time and addressed each other by their formal titles, according to Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council and local scholars.

Chang Wu-ueh, a noted expert on China, said the demeanor of Wang Yu-chi, minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun during their meeting in Indonesia has set a precedent for more officials to use their formal titles in future bilateral meetings.

The meeting means a future visit by Wang to China or one by Zhang to Taiwan is no longer inconceivable, said Chang, who heads the Graduate Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University in New Taipei. Read more here….

Mainland-Taiwan submarine cable to start operations

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s communication administrative authority has approved the first submarine communication cable directly linking both sides of the Taiwan Straits, enabling the cable to come into commercial service.

Communication operators in Taiwan told Xinhua on Monday that once put into use, the cable will be capable of carrying cross-Strait communications with a bandwidth of 6.4Tb/s. Operators in Taiwan previously had to use international cables in Japan or the Republic of Korea to connect with the mainland, and the new direct link will improve the quality and speed of cross-Straits communications.

The cable will also facilitate the cross-Straits market for e-business, mobile communications and cloud services.

Yen-Sung Lee, chairman of Taiwan communication operator Chunghwa Telecom, said the cable is expected to enhance the communications market as well as exchanges between people on the two sides.

Taiwan Mobile said in a statement that data collected by the company revealed that the cross-Straits broadband communications market has been growing at an annual rate of 20 to 30 percent in recent years.

The statement said the company is planning to cooperate with mainland partners to explore cloud computing business on the mainland.

A senior executive with Far Eastone, another Taiwan communications company, believes the market demand for telecommunication integration solutions may double next year.

Construction of the cable finished in January with investment from communication operators on both sides. With a length of 270 km, the cable connects the city of Fuzhou in Fujian province on the mainland and Tamsui in Taiwan.

 Xi Seeks Political Solutions on Taiwan After Closer Trade Ties – Bloomberg

China and Taiwan should resolve their long-standing political disagreements, Chinese President Xi Jinping said yesterday, as he seeks to address a six-decade division after forging closer economic ties. China is willing to hold talks with Taiwan on an equal basis under the “One China” principle, Xi said in a meeting with Taiwanese envoy Vincent Siew while the two were attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “We cannot hand those problems down from generation to generation,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.

Taiwan announces landmark China visit
Officials set date for talks next month, paving the way for first high-level meetings in six decades. A leading politician in Taiwan has plans to visit mainland China next month for the first official contact between the rival states in six decades.Taiwan’s chief policymaker on China announced his impending visit on Tuesday in a press briefing.

Wang Yu-chi, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, is scheduled to fly to the mainland on February 11 to meet his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, leader of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.

“The trip has crucial implications for further institutionalisation of the ties between the two sides of the Straits,” Wang told a press briefing.
– Al Jazeera, Jan 28, 2014

 

China’s top Taiwan official to make first visit to island
Thu, Jun 12 23:33 PM EDT
image

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top official in charge of relations with Taiwan will make his first visit to the island later this month, state media said, following large-scale protests there against a controversial trade pact.

Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, will become the first head of the body ever to visit the self-ruled island, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday.

He will spend four days in Taiwan, Xinhua said, and apart from visiting capital Taipei will also go to three other places, including Kaohsiung in the heavily pro-independence south of the island. China says it will not countenance an independent Taiwan.

China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since Nationalist forces, defeated by the Communists, fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has never ruled out the use of force to bring it under its control.

But in recent years the two sides have built up extensive economic ties, and in February they held their first direct government-to-government talks, in China, a big step towards expanding cross-strait dialogue beyond trade. Read more at Reuters..

Labor Relations in China

What are Labor Relations in China Like?

Andrew Batson’s Excellent Blog Provides a Glimpse:

Finally, China starts to tackle the high cost of hiring

There was a lot of news out of China last week–stock markets tanking, interest rates being cut, etc–so it’s understandable that some other interesting developments slipped through with little notice. This one is worth highlighting as I think it may well mark the beginning of an important longer-term shift in China’s labor market and policies: the State Council lowered employers’ required contributions to two social insurance programs, injury and maternity insurance, a move it said would save firms 27 billion renminbi a year (see the China Labour Bulletin for an English-language summary). Yes, I know this sounds boring and technical, so why is it important? Because it starts to address one of the biggest but least-known issues in China’s job market: the very high costs employers face to hire workers.

It is not a very well-known fact that China has some of the toughest labor regulations in the world, and some of the highest required contribution rates to social insurance programs. As a result, the “labor wedge”–the percentage of the total cost of an employee that comes from things other than wages–in China is around 45%, as high as in a number of European countries (this is according to an estimate by John Giles in a World Bank paper; see chart below).

laborwedge2

This fact does not square with the widespread perception of China as a nation of sweatshops employing hordes of migrant workers, and indeed is a relatively recent development stemming from the 2008 Labor Contract Law. But China’s problem with these generous worker protections is ultimately the same one that many other developing countries have encountered: strong legal protections and generous insurance programs are so expensive that in practice they only become available to part of the workforce. Effectively China has two labor markets: one for urban white-collar jobs with all the legal protections, and one for blue-collar jobs held by rural migrant workers that generally lack the full set of benefits. As John and his co-authors summarize the issue in their 2013 paper:

China’s urban social insurance system carries heavy burdens for both employers and workers, and may carry significant implications for China’s long–run competitiveness. Moreover, this high implied labor tax wedge likely encourages informalization of the labor market: employers under-report wages and game the system in numerous ways, while workers have incentives to opt out of participation in social insurance schemes. As in other developing countries, high mandated contribution rates provide strong incentive for employers to evade compliance through the use of labor dispatch services and under-reporting of employment and wages.

The IMF in its last Article IV report on China also, very correctly in my view, highlighted this issue and urged the government to change:

Social contribution rates, which are high and very regressive, should also be reduced as they distort the labor market, make growth less inclusive, and favor informal over formal employment.

So economists have for years been flagging this issue as an area where “structural reform” is needed. Having a relatively high cost of employment should, other things being equal, discourage employers from hiring. But there’s been little evidence that this was in fact a real problem over the last few years–instead, it was much more common to hear complaints and anecdotes about labor shortages. So the very high rates of social contributions did not seem like they were imposing much of a cost on the economy: the job market stayed tight and wages continued to grow rapidly. While high hiring costs may have lowered employers’ demand for workers relative to what it otherwise would have been, this effect was not big enough to seriously affect the balance of the labor market.

That has all changed in recent months, as the economy has continued to weaken. With employers finding growth in demand for their products continuing to soften, it’s hardly surprising that their demand for additional workers is also softening. Public data on China’s labor market is limited, but there is much labor data that is collected but not published, and this seems to have been enough to get policymakers worried. The State Council has warned of “growing pressure on employment,” and rolled out a whole series of measures designed to assist the unemployed, such as tax breaks for hiring new workers, cheap loans for small businesses, and support for laid-off workers to start their own companies. The most recent of these moves, the small cut in some social insurance costs, may indeed be a needed reform, but, as is so often the case, the timing of reform is being driven by the economic cycle.

We therefore seem to be at a tipping point in the labor market that is causing the government to look again at the cost-benefit analysis of its labor policies. And as China’s economic growth continues to slow in coming years, I expect the costs of its current set of labor policies will become increasingly apparent. So the balance of its policies should shift more toward encouraging employment, and preferring higher rates of enrollment in social insurance programs to higher benefit levels. European countries have often been criticized for preferring labor policies that reward people who already have jobs at the expense of people who want jobs. China’s latest move is a clear if marginal shift in the other direction: it would prefer that 27 billion renminbi not go to improve the welfare of people who already have jobs, but instead be spent on hiring new workers.

The fact that China is moving relatively early to make this adjustment–before there has been a big increase in unemployment–to me is a hopeful sign that it could be more flexible in navigating this transition than some other countries. That may not be the most obvious conclusion, since China is after all a Communist country that one might expect to have a strong ideological commitment to social-welfare institutions. But the “socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics” of the past three decades has in fact never been particularly keen on socialist labor market institutions, as a whole host of workers’ rights groups will tell you.

Can You Trust China’s Media?

Can You Trust China’s Media?

Can you – or anyone – trust China’s media? 80% of Chinese do, according to Edelman and Pew surveys over the years. And remember that the Chinese are smarter than us (as Henry Kissinger ruefully observed). How much to we trust our own media?  Well, here are some examples from the UK’s wonderful BBC and the USA.

Under the Guardian headline, Russia Today’s interview on immigrants detention centres in UK faces inquiry we find that it is the sixth ongoing investigation into RT and the third to relate to its coverage of events in Ukraine. Gosh ! Sounds bad. But, reading from EU’s own laws (Relevant legislation includes, in particular, sections 319(2)(c) and (d), 319(8) and section 320 of the Communications Act 2003, and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.) should tell us about their “impartiality” from the start:

This section of the Code does not apply to BBC services funded by the licence fee, which are regulated on these matters by the BBC Trust. Ah yes, so the law applies to “foreign media” but not to BBC, which naturally is regulated by its own rules. Foreign media must be “duly impartial”, but BBC is on a different set of rules. So, the rule of “impartiality” starts out by being partial to BBC?? Rather paradoxical.

Of course, in the US, people are fast realizing that our media are simply untrustworthy. In fact, our trust of our media is lower than that of Soviet Russians’ trust of Pravda before the fall of the Berlin Wall:

Trust in US Mass Media Returns to All-Time Low

Six-percentage-point drops in trust among Democrats and Republicans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans’ trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

Americans' Trust in the Mass Media

Prior to 2004, Americans placed more trust in mass media than they do now, with slim majorities saying they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust. But over the course of former President George W. Bush’s re-election season, the level of trust fell significantly, from 54% in 2003 to 44% in 2004. Although trust levels rebounded to 50% in 2005, they have failed to reach a full majority since. (Gallup Polls)

 What About British Trust in their Media?

A 2009 survey by the polling company Ipsos MORI found that only 13 per cent of the British public trust politicians to tell the truth: the lowest rating in 25 years. Business leaders were trusted by just 25 per cent of the public, while journalists languished at 22 per cent.

So…before you wonder about the trustworthiness of China’s media, ask yourself how much do I  trust my own?

Here’s a video about Social Media Landscape in China:

 

China’s One-Child Policy: A History

Most of what we read in the Western press about China’s “one-child policy” is based on myths and silly speculation. Here is a quick primer on the policy and how it came into being:

To understand Chen’s case, it is important to have a broader perspective on that policy objectively.  Lawrence W. Green wrote the following abstract for an article in the Journal of Public Health Policy which provides that:

After years of urging China to take more aggressive action to control its population, the United States government withdrew support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities on the grounds that that agency supported China’s new policy. The policy provided for the achievement of a norm of one child per couple through economic incentives and rewards, and family planning services including abortion. Charges of forced abortion in the Western press led to withdrawal of the U.S. funds by the Agency for International Development. In this analysis of the policy and its implementation, the alleged incidents of forced abortion were found to be isolated cases of overzealous local functionaries trying to meet quotas. Publicity and public education surrounding the policy and campaigns to implement it provide the best assurances that most people would know that they have options and should not be subjected to coercion for abortion. The Chinese government has implemented new safeguards to prevent and punish cases of attempted abortion against the will of couples. 1

That perspective must be understood, for Western press frequently bashes China whenever the “one-child” policy makes news. For example, in The Telegraph’s latest article about Chen, it referred to the Chinese family planning policy as:

China’s draconian family planning policy

The use of negative emotive words like ‘draconian’ to describe everything ‘China’ or ‘Chinese’ in fact fits the larger pattern of a Collective Defamation in the Western press.

(1) the actual name in Chinese is not “one child policy”, it’s “family planning policy”. Someone in the West came up with the “one child policy” name as a way to imply that Chinese law would not allow more than 1 child per couple (which is in itself a lie, since people can have more than 1 child, they just have to pay fines).

(2) the actual “family planning policy” was conceived with multiple versions, with 1st version in the 4th 5-year plan of 1970 PRC, which had specific targets for population growth, and went into effect in 1971. The 1st version had no fines at all for having more than 1 child per couple, but instead provided incentives for couples who merely PROMISED to have only 1 child.

The fertility rate in China dropped dramatically from 1970-1979, but it was not enough. China still had a 1% population growth, so the 2nd version of the policy went into effect in 1979-1980, with punitive fines.

(3) What many Western critics call “one-child policy” actually refers to ONLY the 2nd version of the policy, from 1980 onward, while ignoring the previous decade of the policy from 1970-1979. the intent of this was to paint the policy as a complete failure with great cost, because from 1980 onward, China’s fertility rate dropped only slightly, from 2.7 per couple to about 1.9 per couple (babies in lifetime).

However, the 1st version of the policy dropped fertility rate of China from 5.7 per couple to 2.7 per couple in less than 10 years.

The Chinese are Smarter Than Us

“The Chinese are Smarter Than Us,” said Henry Kissinger (Nixon’s China Game), and he’s right. Look at what Anatoly Karlin has to say about that:

Analysis Of China’s PISA 2009 Results

This Featured, Post about China, Human Biodiversity, IQ, Psychometrics, Sociology was written by Anatoly Karlin on August 13, 2012 .
As human capital is so important for prosperity, it behoves us to know China’s in detail to assess whether it will continue converging on developed countries. Until recently the best data we had were disparate IQ tests (on the basis of which Richard Lynn’s latest estimate is an IQ of 105.8 in his 2012 book Intelligence: A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences) as well as PISA international standardized test scores from cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the problem was that they were hardly nationally representative due to the “cognitive clustering” effect. The Chinese did not allow the OECD to publish data for the rest of the country and this understandably raised further questions about the situation in its interior heartlands, although even in 2010 I was already able to report a PISA representative saying that “even in some of the very poor areas you get performance close to the OECD average.”

As regards Chinese intelligence
Happily (via commentator Jing) we learned that the PISA data for Zhejiang province and the China average had been released on the Chinese Internet. I collated this as well as data for Chinese-majority cities outside China in the table below, while also adding in their PISA-converted IQ scores, the scores of just natives (i.e. minus immigrants), percentage of the Han population, and nominal and PPP GDP per capita.

Reading Math Science Average (native) IQ (native IQ) %汉族 GDP/c (n) GDP/c (P)
China* 486 550 524 520 ~ 103.0 ~ 91.6% 5,430 8,442
China: Shanghai 556 600 575 577 589 111.6 113.4 99.0% 12,783 19,874
China: Zhejiang 525 598 567 563 ~ 109.5 ~ 99.2% 9,083 14,121
Hong Kong 533 555 549 546 557 106.9 108.6 93.6% 34,457 49,990
Macau 487 525 511 508 514 101.2 102.1 95.0% 65,550 77,607
Singapore 526 562 542 543 550 106.5 107.5 74.1% 46,241 61,103
Taiwan 495 543 520 519 534 102.9 105.1 98.0% 20,101 37,720
* Twelve provinces including Shanghai, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu totaling 621 schools, 21,003 students. Results have been released for Shanghai, and later on for Zhejiang (59 schools, 1,800 students – of which 80% were township-village schools) and for the 12-province average.

(1) Academic performance, and the IQ for which it is a good proxy, is very high for a developing nation. Presumably, this gap can largely be ascribed to the legacy of initial historical backwardness coupled with Maoist economics.

(2) The average PISA-converted IQ of the 12 provinces surveyed in PISA is 103.0. (I do not know if provincial results were appropriately weighed for population when calculating the 12-province average but probably not). We know the identities of five of the 12 tested provinces (Shanghai, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu). They are all very high-income and developed by Chinese standards. Furthermore, these five provinces – with the exception of Tianjin – all perform well above average according to stats from a Chinese online IQ testing website.

TIBET AND CHINA

A Brief History of the Sino-Indian Border Dispute and the role of Tibet.

And…

SOME HISTORY OF TIBET AND CHINA

Tibetan society became Buddhist after the Chinese Princess Wencheng (and, though there is no evidence for it, the Nepali Princess, Bhrikuti Devi who is credited with founding the Jokhang Temple – the oldest Buddhist temple in Tibet) introduced Buddhism to the Tibetan elite. The Princess and her entourage, which numbered about 500 people, intermarried with the local elite and from the Princess established the Songsten Gampo blood line, which survives to this day.

Until 1959, most Tibetans were indentured serfs (chapa) or slaves (langsheng) who were bought and sold. Tibet was the last country to officially abandon slavery, and then only because it was forced to do so by the Chinese Government.
Most of our information about Tibet comes from expatriate slave-owners and nobles who refused to free their slaves and left Tibet in 1959. The US Civil War demonstrates the powerful attraction that slavery holds for the owners.

Wang Xiaoyi, professor in Tibetan studies with the Central University for Nationalities, said that the society of old Tibet under a feudal system was similar to that in Europe in the Middle Ages. The wealthy class, government officials, nobles and high ranking monks accounted for less than 5 percent of Tibet’s total population but owned all the farmlands, pastures, forests, mountains and rivers, and the majority of the livestock. Serfs could be sold, transferred, given away, mortgaged or exchanged by their owners, who had the power over their births, deaths and marriages.
The serfs and slaves accounted for more than 95 percent of the population. They had no personal freedom and had to depend totally on the wealthy for their livelihood or act as their slaves from generation to generation. According to an old Tibetan saying: “What the serfs and slaves take away is only their shadow, and what they leave behind are only their footprints.”

The Chinese government felt that it had the right to instruct Tibetan slave-owners because China had exercised authority over Tibet for centuries. Indeed, Tibet has never been independent, and no country ever recognized Tibet as an independent nation.Yet the desire for independence–particularly in a country so remote and with such a unique culture–has never died. Recently there were riots in Tibet by young men advocating Tibetan independence. The uprising appears to have been more of a race riot than an independence movement, since the rioters murdered many Hui and Han Chinese and burned their buildings. For a brief, balanced introduction to Tibetan history, read Professor Melvyn Goldstein’s book, The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama. Its 100 pages quickly bring you up to date with what’s happened to Tibet in the last few centuries. Professor Goldstein has the advantage of being married to a Tibetan woman, and his father-in-law is a famous Tibetan nobleman and scholar. Another interesting source of information is the 3-part documentary, The Past of Tibet, on YouTube.

It consists of footage taken in Tibet between 1951and 1959, when the feudal system ended: Part 1Part 2, Part 3. While many Tibetans consider the Dalai Lama to be their spiritual and cultural leader, many do not. Tibet has several religions and ethnic groups, and even within Tibetan Buddhism, there are sects which do not recognize the Dalai Lama’s authority. Visiting the private homes of Tibetans–hospitable and warm people–demonstrates surprising loyalties. For example, while some homes have shrines to the Dalai Lama and spiritual figures, others devote their shrines to a most unspiritual figure: Mao Zedong. When asked why, most of these (older) homeowners will confess that they were once slaves, or the children of slaves, and that they regard Mao as many American blacks in the last century regarded Lincoln: as their liberator. Currently, the Chinese Government is attempting to placate Tibetans’ desire for independence by helping them to raise their incomes. This is an enormous and very expensive undertaking and, although it has made progress, it is too soon to judge whether or not it will be successful.

Trust and Corruption in China

Are Trust and Corruption in China Identical?

The Edelman Corporation sells trust: if you want to set up a foreign branch or overseas business, you’d be wise to ask Edelman how trustworthy your new partners and their government are. For decades, Edelman’s annual surveys have charted the trustworthiness of governments from Burkina Faso to Brazil, following governments’ rises and falls in the eyes of their citizens.

I’m proposing that we consider ‘trust’ to be a proxy for ‘honesty’, since there is no useful international measure of trust (Transparency International is neither itself transparent nor international – it’s part of the US Government’s propaganda apparatus and, in any case, purports to measure foreigners’ perception of honesty of their host countries’ governments).

After all, we don’t tend to trust dishonest people. Trust and honesty, in everyday life, go hand in hand. Edelman’s 2015 Trust Barometer survey tells us that 48% of us trust our media, and 77% of Chinese trust theirs. And 44% of us trust our institutions, while 63% of Chinese trust theirs.

Only 43% of us trust our media. 77% of Chinese trust theirs.

When it comes to trust in our Governments, there’s really no contest: 41% of us trust the United States Government, 82% – precisely twice as many – trust the Government of China.

If we equate trust with honesty, then it appears that the Government of China is TWICE as honest as our own.

If we look for evidence of this, we find that the Chinese Government took the poorest country on earth in 1967 and doubled wages every 10 years since then; provided 90% of their people with their own, mortgage-free housing, safe streets, unarmed police, leading edge infrastructure, doubled longevity, universal health care and low taxes. Since 1973, despite the USA becoming 3 times richer as a country, and tripling GDP per capita, our wages have been falling steadily, our debts rising astronomically, and armed cops kill over 1,000 unarmed, innocent civilians every year.

Who you gonna trust? Which government is more corrupt? IS the US Government TWICE as corrupt as the Chinese? The stats suggest it is.