Tag Archives: Chairman Mao

More Facts Q&A about China

Is it true the Chinese have only one child? Well, yes and no. Rich people can have a 2nd child or even more but they have to pay fees. Farm families can have more than 1 child. Childless couples can adopt but the minorities (like Mongolians or other ethnic groups) are limited in the number of adoptions Preference is given to Han Chinese. Even with all these laws, the Chinese still have 2.3 children per household. Because men earn so very much more money than women, a couple that has a girl child can, after a few years, have a boy to support them in their old age. They have no social security but they do often have small pensions. Forced abortions are not as frequent now, but women will often abort a baby girl. Consequently the ratio of men to women is 118:100. The Chinese do not have disabled children if they can help it because there are no social services in most cities for them.

Are Chinese children smarter than American kids? Chinese children study much harder. They go to school longer hours, and frequently they attend private school several times a week. They have no team sports or after school activities. They stay in college 2 more years than we do. So they appear smarter. But in school they have limited information. They focus on math, science and languages. There is almost nothing about Western history, social sciences, culture and much of what they are required to read is falsified or distorted. For example, a recent textbook I saw about America indicated that all black people live in abject poverty. Every attempt is made to picture our nation as cruel and so awful no one would want to be here, however, the Chinese still say what they want is “to come to America” more than any other wish.

So how do they field sports teams? Gifted athletic children are taken from their homes at an early age and put in sports schools away from their families and trained for sports performance. These children are as young as 5 years old. They can go home a few times each year.

What do they do for fun? People work many longer hours than Americans, and except for construction jobs, these jobs are all low-effort. They have a 2 hour lunch which they use for a nap; all businesses have beds for noontime naps. They have TV, games, and they play sports with their families. I saw people playing badminton on the street (no net, no court) on their lunch hour. They like to hike.

Do Chinese have freedom of speech? In their personal lives the Chinese speak freely, otherwise all information is tightly controlled. NO one is permitted to criticize the government in any way. TV, radio, textbooks are all confined to what the government (Communist) wants people to know. This also applies to religion. The law says there is freedom of religion but in actual fact, not so. Google blocks any search for democratic ideals, truth, or facts. You could probably not locate your own church’s website online. Anything critical of the Beijing government, that mentions the protesters in Tibet and other areas of China, and violations of human rights are blocked.

Are Chinese all very short? They used to be but with so much more food and better nutrition they are growing taller each year. They are still several inches shorter than American kids of the same age.

Is it true that American manufacturers have sweat shops and pay low wages? Some companies in the big cities are shameful employers; others are run much better. No employee has any benefits other than a vacation and wages which means products are very cheap.
Why doesn’t China stop pollution? I read that it is killing people. You are right; pollution is killing the waterways, the air quality, and then the people. 20% of San Francisco’s pollution comes from China. Very strict laws are simply NOT obeyed and government employees do not enforce them. In every town there are local officials who ignore Beijing’s commands on literally everything.

Do the Chinese ever come to America? No, not often. A non-business Visa is nearly impossible to acquire. Visitors to America must pay a $50,000 fee to the government when they leave China and if they stay here the money reverts to the government. Even then 30& of the Chinese do stay in America anyway. Some students enter with fewer restrictions. It helps to have contacts in government to get out of China.
Are Chinese different from Americans? Yes, very. The Chinese are highly focused and motivated. They are not friendly but they are very kind They have many false assumptions about the West but they do want to know Westerners. This limits to some extent their ability to get to know and understand Westerners.

Is it true the Chinese have only one child? Well, yes and no. Rich people can have a 2nd child or even more but they have to pay fees. Farm families can have more than 1 child. Childless couples can adopt but the minorities (like Mongolians or other ethnic groups) are limited in the number of adoptions Preference is given to Han Chinese. Even with all these laws, the Chinese still have 2.3 children per household. Because men earn so very much more money than women, a couple that has a girl child can, after a few years, have a boy to support them in their old age. They have no social security but they do often have small pensions. Forced abortions are not as frequent now, but women will often abort a baby girl. Consequently the ratio of men to women is 118:100. The Chinese do not have disabled children if they can help it because there are no social services in most cities for them.

Are Chinese children smarter than American kids? Chinese children study much harder. They go to school longer hours, and frequently they attend private school several times a week. They have no team sports or after school activities. They stay in college 2 more years than we do. So they appear smarter. But in school they have limited information. They focus on math, science and languages. There is almost nothing about Western history, social sciences, culture and much of what they are required to read is falsified or distorted. For example, a recent textbook I saw about America indicated that all black people live in abject poverty. Every attempt is made to picture our nation as cruel and so awful no one would want to be here, however, the Chinese still say what they want is “to come to America” more than any other wish.

So how do they field sports teams? Gifted athletic children are taken from their homes at an early age and put in sports schools away from their families and trained for sports performance. These children are as young as 5 years old. They can go home a few times each year.

What do they do for fun? People work many longer hours than Americans, and except for construction jobs, these jobs are all low-effort. They have a 2 hour lunch which they use for a nap; all businesses have beds for noontime naps. They have TV, games, and they play sports with their families. I saw people playing badminton on the street (no net, no court) on their lunch hour. They like to hike.

Do Chinese have freedom of speech? In their personal lives the Chinese speak freely, otherwise all information is tightly controlled. NO one is permitted to criticize the government in any way. TV, radio, textbooks are all confined to what the government (Communist) wants people to know. This also applies to religion. The law says there is freedom of religion but in actual fact, not so. Google blocks any search for democratic ideals, truth, or facts. You could probably not locate your own church’s website online. Anything critical of the Beijing government, that mentions the protesters in Tibet and other areas of China, and violations of human rights are blocked.
Doesn’t loss of human rights bother the Chinese people? Yes it does, but only a few years ago they were starving. Chairman Mao’s foolishness caused 30 million people to starve to death. Their standard of living is so much better now they don’t want to contest the government. But this will change.
Do they earn more money since they work so much longer? No, average wages are $100-$150 per month. Government (Communist) workers earn 3 to 5 times that much. Farm families earn less than that and 65% of the Chinese are still rural.

I have heard that China is now a capitalist country. The Chinese will say no, but I have to agree. The nation is one giant yard sale on weekends as people earn extra money. The epidemic of corruption by officials is the big problem. Bribes are demanded to do the smallest thing at all levels. If anything destroys China it will be corrupt officials. Resentment against these people is growing alarmingly and there have been unpublicized protests.

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Why Americans need not fear China

My time in China as “Meiguo Laoshi” (American teacher) has put me in the path of many Chinese of all ages, skills, ambitions and opinions. I enjoy their energy, their focus, their refusal to be westernized only so far, and their calm resolve to carve out fruitful lives in spite of the smog of political oppression. I’ve also made friends close enough to share their frustrations. They cautiously tell me of threats and evils going back many years, of human rights violated yet granted in a Constitution not upheld, and vacuous press reports about events that are mis-or-not-reported at all. Meanwhile my friends at home often ask me, what real danger does America face from China? I’ve spent several years molding my answer.

First and foremost, the Chinese are not team players and are reared to be intensely competitive one-on-one. The modern world is based on mutual security and satisfaction, not Slap Down WWF economics where there are bloodied winners and losers. The New Flat Earth a la Thomas Friedman demands win-win for everyone with a manageable, general peace. Team play will continue to be a challenge to them. When you watch the coming Olympics notice the clues that the Chinese excel at individual sports, not team sports; even gymnastics is a group of A+ individuals, not really a team.

The Chinese consume too many years learning 6,000 Chinese characters (both modern and traditional) for which other nations have no stomach. Then they must learn English, the language of money worldwide which puts them three years behind a similarly motivated child anywhere. By concentrating on language, math, and science they are generally ignorant of history and social systems, those very lessons they now need. Chinese rote learning perfects old tasks but trains no one to think outside the box in the years when they are the most teachable.
Chinese stubbornness is a constant frustration. Anything they want to do, whether you approve or not or whether it is right or wrong is justified by saying, “This is the Chinese way.” Bribes are wrong and destroy public confidence in the process but that is the Chinese way. Emperors had concubines so I can have some extra girlfriends. This is the Chinese way. Landlords exploited the peasants, and that led to the debacle of the 20th century. Now they have substituted foolish emperors and wicked landlords with faceless functionaries lolling in pristine concrete office buildings. So for all their 4,000 history of which they are so proud, virtually nothing has changed except the names on the backs of the players jackets. It’s the Chinese way.
The Chinese have a fatal flaw, their obsession with saving face. It is political correctness at the extreme and a form of self deception to keep an uneasy peace. No one is benefited by covering up the truth especially when it involves global policy decisions. If you never do wrong, or are wrong, you never need to be forgiven and an unforgiving nation is one that cannot or will not change.
But how can China change? Chairman Mao outdid the venality of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Edie Amin, and countless other 20th century genocidal maniacs and yes, it is embarrassing to have this bloody past but mistakes are the learning tools for a better future. As long as China wears the ancient Emperor’s Clothes so well, she can hardly expect to need new ones and she will handle the future cautiously.
The Chinese believe the customer is never right. My personal horror stories of doomed transactions entail someone insisting on his way when it was inappropriate. The toy recalls, which Beijing bureaucrats foolishly call Protectionism, hopefully taught an important lesson about quality control. It’s okay to lose face because you retain customers. Without customers China is dead; given the low rate of wages she cannot afford to sell only to herself anymore. They believe all things Chinese are better, know better, and do better. But this is bravado. Every nation produces a ruling class – the world’s brains. Never count the other guy out.
Finally, as my Chinese tutor put it, China needs a moral code, not merely secular humanism based loosely on ethics, a voluntary system of honorable dealings with others. It is a flawed concept because it is only Carrot – Enlightened self-interest – without a Stick. Morals, based on accountability to a Just God, are the Ultimate Stick, and with that stick public and private governance is possible.
What China does have is guns, missiles, planes, trained military and nervous leaders so we must be cautious about a war. But to assume that millions of mindless citizens will die for China is also wrong. Communism is not native to China. It was imported by the Soviets and at great cost. 30 million died at the hand of Mao and his psychotic ambitions. There are many in China now too savvy to “die for China” when it means only “die for the self-indulgent bureaucrats” in control. Corruption is the crack in the dike, and a people who are raised to compete on an intense personal level cannot justify huge profits for those who do not work. At the very least, Man, you should earn your bribe!
Western capital economics offers the individual an alternate sense of worth. If there is ever a war to be fought it will be in the spirit of the Chinese man and woman who sense, deep down, that communism does not compute. It can be tolerated and adjusted to but it can no longer demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Now if you want to be fearful, fear the spinelessness of Americans. We have a whole different set of problems with a weak president and an unpopular Congress given to piling up debts on us. THAT is our new sacrifice.

How China and the USA are alike

China and the USA are almost total opposites in culture but there is a sad list where they share common grief with the potential for national failure.

• First is “political correctness” another way of hiding the truth. Chinese call this saving face. When your “face is saved” you can be sure a problem is NOT being addressed. Future success is always based on facing and solving problems.
• The government silences its critics. China’s censorship is harsh in the extreme. In the USA we only have biased, lazy newsmen, like NBC, who simply filter the truth for falsities or nonsense. Then there is outright ignorance. Back in the 30s the only researcher in China was Edgar Snow whose glowing view of Mao Zedong helped formulate a mild and wrong approach to the Communist manipulator through the NY Herald. The minute Mr. Snow got smart his access to Mao stopped. China has been in the censorship business for a long time. Public acquiescence to government policy in both nations is based on false or inadequate knowledge. Fortunately many horribly biased newspapers are closing their doors. And NBC has the lowest ratings of them all.
• This is also called “managed news” and the Chinese don’t like it either. The White House and Congress have mastered it. Happily we have the Internet now where we can get information and even though much of that is stupid, at least the stuff is there. This week while we have focused on pirates in the sea, President Obama has turned over the tax code revision to someone besides our Congress.
• Lack of accountability in government: As our government gets larger avoiding correction is harder because it is too big to police. It is possible however, that egregiously higher taxes will prompt a more vigilant public. We learned a few years back a local Mayor had embezzled a lot of money. He avoided prison but the population of the town went down in the last census. People will vote against corruption with their feet. In China of course it is corruption that is causing the problems. All of government is behind closed doors.
• Our educational system has for 60 years been a disgrace which generates a lot of attention and money but no correction. The Chinese people, having the same problem, started sending kids to weekend private schools. But the teachers fought back by opening their own schools, then extorting money from parents by threatening bad grades. This means really good schools find competition hard. However, the yearly exam will expose the uneducated child. But waiting 16 years to learn you have been scammed leads to disillusionment and cynicism for the Chinese.
• China and the USA both have too many laws, and when the sheer number of laws increases, so does non-compliance.
• Both nations suffer from over-regulation where people hired by politicians tell others what to do. They are not controlled by open elections nor disciplined by the courts. Consequently they are the real, faceless oligarchy and they can keep innocent citizens in endless litigation.
• Moral collapse has been decried for decades. America has lost her moral footing; China has not had one for a long time. China has ethics, an agreeable system of getting along with other people. Morals mean that you eventually answer to God for your behavior. Regardless, when a system of acceptable behavior is not upheld poison seeps throughout the culture. Some current music can only be called reprobate. China keeps that stuff out, but has nothing to replace it, so prostitution, divorce and AIDS are major problems swept under the news rug.
• Then there is the redacting of history – another word for “making history comport with my illusions.” Fortunately US watchdog groups are reviewing textbooks for silliness and lies. In the USA, for example, Stalin murdered more people than Hitler, and Chairman Mao more than Stalin, but people focus on Hitler as the world’s bugaboo. Of course they are all the same, tyrants.
• China has mastered this; it weakens the Chinese people because of how little they know. Last spring, after I brought in a large number of students to our school in China, the teachers were praising my efforts. “Tao Lee, they said, “you are amazing.” I said, “That is because I am a capitalist!” Their jaws dropped in shock. They have been taught that capitalists are evil. I continued. “We know how to make money.’” It never occurred to them that capitalists are people who know how to make money, the ultimate goal of all Chinese.
• China made a Faustian bargain last century – to sacrifice freedom and be rid of wicked landlords and violent warlords. They woke up to find the Communist party controls all land, and spends lavishly on armament. In the USA a soft life is what we want and we now have a government who has promised all things to all men – except of course, happiness. It is a lousy trade.

~

China and the USA are almost total opposites in culture but there is a sad list where they share common grief with the potential for national failure.
• First is “political correctness” another way of hiding the truth. The Chinese call this saving face. When your “face is saved” you can be sure a problem is NOT being addressed. Future success is always based on facing and solving problems.
• The government silences its critics. China’s censorship is harsh in the extreme. In the USA we only have biased, lazy newsmen, like NBC, who simple filter the truth for falsities or nonsense. Then there is outright ignorance. Back in the 30s the only researcher in China was Edgar Snow whose glowing view of Mao Zedong helped formulate a mild and wrong approach to the Communist manipulator through the NY Herald. The minute Mr. Snow got smart his access to Mao stopped. China has been in the censorship business for a long time. Public acquiescence to government policy in both nations is based on false or inadequate knowledge. Fortunately many horribly biased newspapers are closing their doors. And NBC has the lowest ratings of them all.
• This is also called “managed news” and the Chinese don’t like it either. The White House and Congress have mastered it. Happily we have the Internet now where we can get information and even though much of that is stupid, at least the stuff is there. This week while we have focused on pirates in the sea, President Obama has turned over the tax code revision to someone besides our Congress.
• Lack of accountability in government: As our government gets larger avoiding correction is harder because it is too big to police. It is possible however, that egregiously higher taxes will prompt a more vigilant public. We learned a few years back a local Mayor had embezzled a lot of money. He avoided prison but the population of the town went down in the last census. People will vote against corruption with their feet. In China of course it is corruption that is causing the problems. All of government is behind closed doors.
• Our educational system has for 60 years been a disgrace which generates a lot of attention and money but no correction. The Chinese people, having the same problem, started sending kids to weekend private school. But the teachers fought back by opening their own schools, then extorting money from parents by threatening bad grades. This means really good schools find competition hard. However, the yearly exam will expose the uneducated child. But waiting 16 years to learn you have been scammed leads to disillusionment and cynicism for the Chinese.
• China and the USA both have too many laws, and when the sheer number of laws increases, so does non-compliance.
• Both nations suffer from over-regulation where people hired by politicians tell others what to do. They are not controlled by open elections nor disciplined by the courts. Consequently they are the real, faceless oligarchy and they can keep innocent citizens in endless litigation.
• Moral collapse has been decried for decades. America has lost her moral footing; China has not had one for a long time. China has ethics, an agreeable system of getting along with other people. Morals mean that you eventually answer to God for your behavior. Regardless, when a system of acceptable behavior is not upheld poison seeps throughout the culture. Some current music can only be called reprobate. China keeps that stuff out, but has nothing to replace it, so prostitution, divorce and AIDS are major problems swept under the news rug.
• Then there is the redacting of history – another word for “making history comport with my illusions.” Fortunately US watchdog groups are reviewing textbooks for silliness and lies. In the USA, for example, Stalin murdered more people than Hitler, and Chairman Mao more than Stalin, but people focus on Hitler as the world’s bugaboo. Of course they are all the same, tyrants.
• China has mastered managing ideas; it weakens the Chinese people because of how little they know. Last spring, after I brought in a large number of students to our school in China, the teachers were praising my efforts. “Tao Lee, they said, “you are amazing.” I said, “Because I am a capitalist!” Their jaws dropped in shock. They have been taught that capitalists are evil. I continued. “We know how to make money.’” It never occurred to them that capitalists are people who know how to make money, the ultimate goal of all Chinese.
• China made a Faustian bargain last century – to sacrifice freedom and be rid of wicked landlords and violent warlords. They woke up to find the Communist party controls all land, and spends lavishly on armament. In the USA a soft life is what we want and we now have a government who has promised all things to all men – except of course, happiness. It is a lousy trade.