Let's remember what we are dealing with ...

 News reporting is so uneven.  No mass shooting in the US is censored information in China - in fact, the news is prominently featured.   From China Xinhua News on Twitter -

China Xinhua News

@XHNews

 Shootings this weekend at a Texas Walmart and a bar in Ohio have left 30 people dead. Retail employees are taking to social media to say they're terrified to go to work. Workers fear getting shot at their workplace

Soft power?  We don’t need no stinking soft power.

 

Update at August 28 - the affronts to human dignity, scholarship, free speech, trade fairness and personal expression now seem to come on a daily basis.  China under Mr. Xi is really carving a new international image, and it is neither "peaceful rise" nor "responsible stakeholder in the community of nations." 

No Wechat conversation is safe.  Anytime. Anywhere.  What Chinese are (not) talking about (4)

 Wechat is almost universal.  It is ubiquitous in China, and among the Chinese diaspora and their foreign friends and families.  Its functionality for social media, news, and buying things makes it a better choice than any combination of applications available in the west.  It is Twitter, Facebook, Googlemaps, Tinder and Apple Pay all rolled into one. And it is free.

Free does not mean without cost, of course, and in this case, the cost is the Chinese government being ready, willing, and able to monitor what you say, what you text, what you watch, what videos you post.  In China and outside.  If you think the long arm of Chinese government censorship doesn't reach into the US - well, you would be wrong. 

Money Talks in the Clash of Civilizations

What else would you expect?

You remember Samuel Huntington’s article in Foreign Affairs in 1993 –

The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be, in Kishore Mahbubani’s phrase, the conflict between "the West and the Rest" and the responses of non-Western civilizations to Western power and values…. The third alternative is to attempt to "balance" the West by developing economic and military power and cooperating with other non-Western societies against the West, while preserving indigenous values and institutions; in short, to modernize but not to Westernize.

Take a look at the three maps below. 

Give Me Liberty! in Hangzhou

There is a saying – with guanxi, you can do anything.  Without guanxi, you can do nothing.  Sometimes, with guanxi, you can get Liberty! in China.  A story about ordering textbooks in China.

Update at August 13 -

I wrote a bit about Epoch Times in the post below, mostly about Chinese getting their news from China news sources like public wechat.  Epoch Times is most decidedly anti-CCP, and published by organizations related to Falun Gong, the same people who bring you Shen Yun, the extraordinary dance and performance troup that has been wow-ing Americans for a decade.

In the last two weeks, Epoch Times has been bombarding YouTube with two minute (two minute!) video advertising in advance of a video one is watching.  The ads offer subscriptions to the newspaper, promising to expose the lies of the mainstream media in vilifying Donald Trump.  Here is a screen shot from one subscription ad.  "Honest news" is what they tout.

Donald Trump reads it every day.  'Nuff said.  Chinese can get their "honest news" from Beijing or Falun Gong.  Truly, only no news here is good news.

 

What Chinese are Talking About (3) - Love Mr. Xi, Love Mr. Trump

We know that mainlanders, particularly those in CCP, have a fondness for Mr. Trump.  There are several reasons – Chinese historically have been willing to defer to strong leaders, and Trump projects arrogance, if not wisdom.  It was clear before the 2016 election that if Trump won, Mr. Putin would win and Mr. Xi would also win.  Events bear this out.  There is no adversary so easy to fool as one convinced of his own superiority, particularly one with such poor justification.  Flattery and artifice will get you … everywhere.  For Chinese interested in foreign policy, all they need do is sit back and wait.  Trump’s unforced errors – TPP, belittling allies, cozying up to dictators, removing US from environmental treaties, threatening friends and foes alike – make Chinese arrogance and Mr. Xi’s own unforced errors look positively innocuous.  What’s not to love about someone willing to play the fool for you?

Recent

  • News: IP theft - no more worries

    News: IP theft - no more worries

     

    Just a brief note -  the FBI has more than 1,100 China IP theft  cases pending against Chinese entities or individuals.  Not a typo - 1,100.

     For American companies not doing business in China - we should not say, no exposure to China - the FBI investigations may still be something of a bulwark against theft.  Although, one notes, most of the investigations and arrests are in arrears of the crime.

    And back nearly a year ago, Mr. Xi promulgated a new IP theft policy which threatened Chinese businesses that steal.  The policy was announced within hours of a Xi-Trump meeting last December, and comprised a coordinated efforts across 38 Chinese government agencies with 38 different punishments.  The insincerity of this announcement, coming immediately upon the leaders' meeting, was palpable.  If you want to believe, you may.  I wrote about this at the time in Everything new is old again

    But with a new Chinese government policy, IP theft in China is no more.

    Now comes the latest entry in China's bid to become the first panopticon state - the cybersecurity law that permits government access to all information, IP or otherwise, stored on any server available to any foreign business operating in China.  China Law Blog has details - China's New Cybersecurity System - There is NO Place to Hide.  From the blog post -

    This result then leads to the key issue. Confidential information housed on any server located in China is subject to being viewed and copied by China’s Ministry of Public Security and that information then becomes open to access by the entire PRC government system. But the PRC government is the shareholder of the State Owned Entities (SOEs) which are the key industries in China. The PRC government also essentially controls the key private companies in China such as Huawei and ZTE and more recently Alibaba and Tencent and many others. See China is sending government officials into companies like Alibaba and Geely and China to place government officials inside 100 private companies, including Alibaba. The PRC government also either owns or controls China’s entire arms industry.

    Simply put, the data the Ministry of Public Security obtains from foreign companies will be available to the key competitors of foreign businesses, to the Chinese government controlled and private R&D system, and to the Chinese arms industry and military.

    The takeaway on this is that the fear of IP theft in China is no more.  What used to be considered theft, done by stealth, is now a legal process.  As Steve Dickinson from China Law Blog says, welcome to the new normal.   And anyway, remember - information wants to be free.

     

     

     
  • Deer in the headlights

    Deer in the headlights

     

    Aggressive moves by the Xi Jinping government have sensitized the world to skullduggery, lying, theft, and threats to foreigners in their own country by Chinese organizations in business and government. Infiltration of politics and government in Australia and New Zealand has become a recurring story. 

    Unfortunately, such actions can bias some people against Chinese everywhere.  So - what to make of Gladys Liu?

    Read more ...  
  • China censorship by extortion in London

    Update at October 7, 2019 - The NBA self-censors for China

    The NBA is a business - we know that.  But the NBA has been the professional league in which players and coaches have had the most freedom to speak their minds about issues of rights and morality.  Now, apparently, that freedom of speech stops at the Chinese border.  The New York Times has the story - NBA executive's Hong Kong tweet starts firestorm in China.

    Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted an expression of support for protesters in Hong Kong.  This upset the Chinese Basketball Association, and some Chinese fans, who see Hong Kongers as only hooligans and destroyers of Chinese harmony.  Morey's tweet suggested that he "stands with Hong Kong."  He has now apologized to the NBA's largest international market.  The NBA has disavowed his comment, although it did suggest weakly that he had a right to say what he said.  Of course, the Chinese league commented with the old trope, that Morey had hurt the feelings of all Chinese people (who are basketball fans). 

    Read more ...  

Resources

Economics Blogs

Party News

Australian National University ANU and related

History, Language and Culture Basics

Contemporary Economics, Governance, and Law

Economics and Cultural History - Interpretation

Work on contemporary China, academics and journalists but in the popular media

Work on contemporary China, mostly in the popular media

Philosophy, Daoist and Confucian Studies

Political Reference Documents