MAGA vs MCGA

October 17, 2018

Make America Great Again was Donald Trump’s misleading campaign logo. I wonder how many people know that Trump sold each hat for $25 and made a profit estimates at $8 for each hat. Millions of these hats have been sold. Trump, of course, trademarked MAGA. CNBC reports, “Trump submitted his application to trademark the phrase ‘Make America Great Again’ back in November of 2012. He has profited from the decision politically and financially ever since.”

Make China Great Again is also a reality. Did Mao or any president of China since Mao trademark MCGA and earn a profit from the logo?

How does China’s current President Xi Jinping compare to Donald Trump?

To discover the answer, let’s compare what we know about these two world leaders from reliable sources.

Xi Jinping


Here is how a boy sent to the countryside to shovel sewage and feed pigs became the most powerful president in China’s modern history.

Xi Jinping is the son of Chinese Communist veteran Xi Zhongxun.

Jinping was exiled to rural Yanchuan County as a teenager following his father’s purge during the Cultural Revolution, and lived in a cave in the village of Liangjiahe, where he organized communal laborers. After studying at the prestigious Tsinghua University as a Worker-Peasant-Soldier Student, Xi rose through the ranks politically in China’s coastal provinces.

Jinping was governor of Fujian province from 1999 to 2002, and governor, then party secretary of neighboring Zhejiang province from 2002 to 2007.

Following the dismissal of Chen Liangyu, Jinping was transferred to Shanghai as party secretary for a brief period in 2007.

He joined the Politburo Standing Committee and central secretariat in October 2007, spending the next five years as Hu Jintao‘s presumed successor. Xi was vice president from 2008 to 2013 and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 2010 to 2012.

After becoming China’s president, Jinping has introduced far-ranging measures to enforce party discipline and to ensure internal unity.

His signature anti-corruption campaign has led to the downfall of prominent incumbent and retired Communist Party officials, including members of the Politburo Standing Committee. Described as a Chinese nationalist, he has tightened restrictions over civil society and ideological discourse, advocating internet censorship in China as the concept of “internet sovereignty”.

Donald Trump

Compared to Xi Jinping, there is no shortage of information about Donald Trump. With several biographies, one official, there is too much information going back decades about the toxic malignant narcissist that became president of the United States.

Donald Trump has a history of making racially controversial remarks and taking actions widely seen as playing upon racial anxieties in the United States. Trump has denied accusations of racism by saying, “I am not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview”.

Donald Trump was born into a wealthy family. His father Fred was born in 1905 in the Bronx. Fred Trump’s net worth was estimated at $250 – $300 million. The family company, “E. Trump & Son”, founded in 1923, was primarily active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments. In 1971, Donald Trump was made president of the company, which was later renamed the Trump Organization.

History of Discrimination and Racism

In 1973, Trump and his company Trump Management were sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for housing discrimination against black renters, a lawsuit which, according to Trump, he settled without an admission of guilt.

In 2011, Trump became the leading proponent of the already discredited “Birtherism” conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the US, and he repeated the claim for the following five years.

He was accused of racism for maintaining, as late as 2016, that a group of black and Latino teenagers were guilty of raping a white woman in the Central Park jogger case, although an imprisoned serial rapist had confessed in 2002 to raping the jogger alone, and DNA evidence confirmed his guilt.

Trump’s History of Corporate Welfare and Business Failures

The New York Times reports, “A Trump Empire Built on Inside Connections and $885 Million in Tax Breaks.”

Thought Co.com explains, “Why Donald Trump’s Companies Went Bankrupt: Details About the 6 Donald Trump Corporate Bankruptcies.

“Donald Trump has portrayed himself as a successful businessman who has amassed a net worth of as much as $10 billion. But he has also led some of his companies into bankruptcy, maneuvers he says were designed to restructure their massive debt.

“Critics have cited the Trump corporate bankruptcies as examples of his recklessness and inability to manage …”

USA Today reports, “Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills. Among those who say the billionaire didn’t pay: dishwashers, painters, waiters …”

“Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will ‘protect your job.’ But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

“At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work.”

Donald Trump’s Sexual Misconduct

The Business Insider offers a timeline of Trump’s many marriages and rumored affairs. “Trump has been plagued by allegations of affairs and sexual Misconduct throughout his three marriages to Ivana Trump, Marla Maples, and Melania Trump.”

Trump’s History of Lies

The New York Times says, “Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. Updated: The president is still lying, so we’ve added to this list, taking it through Nov. 11, and provided links to the facts in each case.”

Politic Fact lists “All False statements involving Donald Trump.” Page 1 of 10

The Washington Post reports, “President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days.”

Trump’s attacks on the media and the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution

The Economist reports, “Donald Trump’s attacks on the media may have backfired.”

“BASHING America’s legacy media organizations may be Donald Trump’s most consistent hobby. America’s president has re-purposed the term ‘fake news’, which originally referred to online political-disinformation campaigns, to apply to all unfavorable coverage of his administration, regardless of its veracity. Since his inauguration, he has used the term in 258 different tweets—one out of every 16 messages he has sent on the platform as president.”

After learning about these two world leaders, it is obvious that only one of them will lead his country to become a great world power.  There will be one winner and one loser. What do you think, will it be MAGA or MCGA?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China and Japan Continue to Face-Off in the East China Sea

October 10, 2018

The conflict between China and Japan in the East China Sea has been brewing for a long time and most if it is Japan’s fault. To understand why this is happening, one should know China’s history with Japan.

It started when “Massive changes were unleashed in Japan by the Meiji restoration – a period of radical modernization – in 1868, and out of these emerged the desire for wealth, power and prestige as a way of redressing the imposition of unequal treaties that had been placed upon Japan by western powers in the past.”

The Japanese also thought they were racially and spiritually superior to the Chinese. After Japan’s invasion of China in 1937, movie houses were among the first establishments to be reopened, and a favorite topic of Japanese film makers for over a decade depicted them as superior both racially and morally.

Japan’s warrior culture dates back to the twelfth century, but Japan was no match for China where gunpowder was invented in 904 AD. The first true rockets were also invented in China and used in combat in the 13th century, more than a hundred years before they were first used in European warfare.

With Japan’s culturally superior attitude, it is also arguable that the Japanese were envious and jealous of China during the 1,500 years China was the wealthiest and most technologically advanced country in the world up until the 15th century.

That decline didn’t happen overnight. It took about four hundred years for China to become vulnerable, and in 1840, Japan joined the British, French and Americans to gang up on China during the Opium Wars.

In 1870, Japan once again took advantage of China’s growing weakness and annexed the islands of the Ryukyu Kingdom that had also, like Korea and Tibet been one of China’s tributary states. A Ryukyuan envoy even begged England for help, but the British ruled that the islands should belong to Japan instead of China.

Like Tibet, Korea had been a tributary state of China for centuries, but Japan saw an opportunity and in 1884, Japanese and Chinese troops clashed in Korea, a conflict that ended in a lopsided stalemate in Japan’s favor.

A decade later, Japan tried against and fought their first war over Korea. China was defeated in 1895 losing Korea as a tributary and a large portion of Eastern Manchuria.

Then there’s World War II. On July 7, 1937, Japan invaded China and occupied most of that country for eight years. The Chinese estimate that that the Japanese military murdered more than 10,000,000 Chinese civilians during World War II. An additional 2.2 million deaths were Chinese troops. — Hawaii.edu

My own father-in-law lived in Shanghai and was 12 years old when he witnessed a Japanese officer behead his 12-year old cousin who had just reached the front yard on his way home from school. Thousands of Chinese of all ages and both sexes suffered the same fate when Japanese officers wanted to see how many heads they could chop off. Many more were gunned down for no other reason than they were Chinese.

Japan has never apologized for The Rape of Nanking and other atrocities that happened during World War II resulting in millions of Chinese deaths.

U.S. News & World Report says, The Chinese have resented the Japanese ever since Japan conquered and occupied China in the 1930s and 40s. The Japanese prime minister’s annual visits to a Tokyo shrine for Japanese war veterans always reminds the Chinese of Japan’s wartime brutality and continued lack of remorse.

After World War II, China asked for the islands in the East China Sea to be returned, but the United States rejected China’s request and gave the islands to Japan, the country that invaded China and bombed Pearl Harbor bringing China and the United States together as allies to fight Japan.  Why did the United States stab China in the back?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Competition vs Harmony

October 3, 2018

China is a collective culture vs. Europe and North America with cultures based on individualism, and understanding Confucianism helps explain how China’s collective culture works.

Religion

China has never been dominated by one religion like Christianity dominates Europe and all of the Americas or Islam dominates the Middle East and most of North Africa.

Philosophy

In China, Confucianism developed during the Spring and Autumn period from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE). His philosophy concerns the fields of ethics and politics, emphasizing personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, traditionalism, and sincerity. Over time, Confucianism replaced Chinese Legalism.

Chinese Buddhism entered China from India during the Late Han Dynasties. By the time of the Tang dynasty five-hundred years after Buddhism’s arrival into China, it had transformed into a thoroughly Chinese religious philosophy dominated by the school of Zen Buddhism. Neo-Confucianism became highly popular during the Song dynasty and Ming Dynasty due in large part to the eventual combination of Confucian and Zen Philosophy.

In Europe and the Americas, there is Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, John Lock, et al.  In the West, instead of one major philosopher, there are many. Western Philosophy refers to philosophical thinking beginning with Ancient Greece and Rome, extending through central and Western Europe and, since Columbus, the Americas.

The Basics of Philosophy says, “Very broadly speaking, according to some commentators, Western society strives to find and prove ‘the truth’, while Eastern society accepts the truth as given and is more interested in finding the balance.”

Westerners put more emphasis on individual rights while Easterners focus on social responsibility.

Individualism vs. Collectivism

China is a collective culture vs the west that is based on individualism, and this difference might explain why China was the wealthiest, most technologically advanced civilization on the planet for about 1,500 years up until the 16th century.

Objectivism 101 explains, “Collectivism … sees the group as the important element, and individuals are just members of the group. The group has its own values somehow different from those of the individual members. The group thinks its own thoughts. Instead of judging the group as a bunch of individuals interacting, it judges the group as a whole, and views the individuals as just members of the group.”

In individualism each individual is acting on his or her own, making their own choices and are not guided by the collective, and to the extent they interact with the rest of the group, it’s as individuals.

Collectivism views the group as the primary entity and most if not all individuals are expected to conform. Harmony is considered the foundation of a collective culture while divisiveness is the foundation of individuality.

But first, China Mike says, “To understand the Chinese mind, you need to start with Confucius (552-479BC). Arguably the most influential person in Chinese history, Confucius and his teachings continue to exert a deep influence on society even in modern China today. … Confucianism is a complex system of social and political ethics based on filial piety, kinship, loyalty and righteousness. His teachings cover a wide range—from how a ‘true gentleman’ should behave in his daily life (down to how he eats with proper decorum) to how a ruler should govern (with a benevolent concern for the well-being of his subjects).”

Note: When I started iLookChina in January 2010, I set a goal to write and publish three blog posts a day until I reached 1,000 posts, and then I slowed down. More than seven years later, iLookChina has now published 2,355 posts with more than one-million words. That’s why I have decided to slow down some more. Starting today, I will be posting once a week on Wednesdays. To the more than twenty-thousand amazing people that follow iLookChina, thank you.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Uphill War to End Pollution in China

September 26, 2018

In 2017, National Geographic reported, “More than a million people are thought to die a year from air pollution in China, but now the country is fighting back with innovative solutions.”

“Three years ago, at the Communist Party’s annual congress, Premier Li Keqiang declared war on air pollution in China. At the party congress this past March, he renewed his vow ‘to make our skies blue again.”’ Among Li’s main weapons: Reducing the production of steel and of coal-fired electricity. To replace coal, China is rolling out the world’s biggest investment in wind and solar power.”

The result: a year later, DW Made for minds reports “Over half of world’s new solar capacity is in China.” … “Despite being the largest investor in renewable energy, China has faced an uphill battle transitioning from coal, which is used to generate roughly three-quarters of its power, according to the International Energy Agency. China burns more coal than any other country worldwide and bears the title of top greenhouse gas emitter.

“Still, the country (China) is seen as a potential leader in the fight against climate change after US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the Paris accord struck in 2015.”

What else is China doing? “In the recent decades, many efforts have been made by the coastal scientists and engineers for the explosion of tidal stream energy in China, as tidal stream energy is considered as one of most promising resources of marine renewable energy.”

CNBC reports “From China to Brazil, these are the world titans of wind power … China maintained its position as a wind energy powerhouse, installing 19.7 GW, while the European Union added 15.6 GW of capacity. The U.S. installed a little over 7 GW of capacity.” … China as the “driver of global market growth for most of the last decade.” The “largest overall market for wind power since 2009,” … more than double any other market.”

The New York Times reports, “China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity. … China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation …”

In addition, the South China Morning Post says, China pips US in race to start the world’s first meltdown-proof nuclear power plant. China has 20 nuclear power plants under construction, more than any other country on earth.” … “Compared with current technology, the AP1000 reactor is theoretically 100 times safer, requires 80 per cent less piping, 85 per cent fewer control cables, and need a third fewer pumps.”

Compared to China’s efforts, what is the United States doing to clean up its environment?  The New York Times reports, “Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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What’s happening in the South China Sea is all about Natural Resources

September 25, 2018

There is nothing new going on in the South China Sea except recent interference and meddling by the United States in what has been a regional issue for more than two thousand years.

China’s historical claim over the South China Sea and the Spratly Islands has a long history, which is documented in detail by Dee Woo.

  • 200BC around – China discovered the Spratly Islands
  • 220 – Nansha (Spratly) Island was settled by Chinese monks, building up a monastery on that island.
  • 789 – The Tang Dynasty, China included the Nansha Islands into its administrative map
  • 990 – Spratley Islands became a part of the Northern Song area in Hainan
  • 1121 – Kublai Khan controlled most of the islands during China’s Yuan Dynasty

Woo’s final piece of evidence is a link to a 64-page document titled, China’s Sovereignty over the South China Sea islands: A Historical Perspective, which is archived at the Oxford Journals.

China’s leaders argue that they and other nations in the region can work out their differences without intervention from the United States. They allege the U.S. is intruding and attempting to make this an international issue.

The South China Sea is bordered by ten nations and includes some of the world’s most important shipping lanes and fisheries. Another motivation to possess this territory is the critically important mineral resources found there, including oil (with reserves thought to be the fourth largest in the world).

In fact, Oil Price.com explains How Oil Drives the South China Sea Conflict. “While Western geologists seem to only recently appreciate the area’s oil and gas potential, the Chinese have known it for years. Perhaps, that’s why they even refer to the South China Sea as a Second Persian Gulf and will undoubtedly continue to not only build there but defend it with rhetoric and if push comes to shove, by force.”

Historically, the South China Sea dispute is no different from any the United States has been involved in since defeating the British Empire and becoming a nation. Another example is when the U.S. paid France for the Louisiana Purchase, while millions of North American natives still lived where their ancestress had lived for thousands of years.

How can anyone buy and sell something that they never occupied or owned? The answer is that it happens all the time.

The Atlantic reports, “Europeans arriving in the New World met people all the way from the frozen north to the frozen south. All had rich and mature cultures and established languages. … Sites in the Yukon that straddle the U.S.-Alaskan border with Canada give us clues, such as the Bluefish Caves, 33 miles southwest of the village of Old Crow.

“The latest radio-dating analysis of the remnants of lives in the Bluefish Caves indicates that people were there 24,000 years ago. These founding peoples spread over 12,000 years to every corner of the continents and formed the pool from which all Americans would be drawn until 1492.”

In 1941, Europeans invaded North and South America and waged war against the people already there, and the United States continued that brutal practice after 1776, against Native Americans because of the resources and wealth that came with the land.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  What China is doing in the South China Sea is no different than what the Europeans did in North and South America.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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In 2012, China achieved a Milestone

September 19, 2018

In 1950, soon after the Chinese Communist Party and its military won the long Civil War (1927 – 1950), almost 500 million Chinese lived in rural areas with 70 million (12 percent of total population) living in urban areas. The UN estimated that by 2030, 875 million people will live in China’s cities.

The Telegraph reported, “China’s urban population now exceeds the number of rural dwellers for first time in its history, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

“Just over 680 million now live in cities – 51.27 percent of China’s entire population of nearly 1.35 billion.

“Most have moved during two decades of boom in search of economic opportunities, and the historic mass migration from fields to office and apartment blocks ends the country’s centuries-long agrarian status.” …

“With 75 per cent of Chinese expected to be living in cities within 20 years, the demand for more transport, energy, water and other vital infrastructure is set to test resources and city planners.”

For a comparison, in 1940, 11 percent of the population of the United States lived in urban (cities) areas. It wouldn’t be until 1920, that the urban population in the U.S. reached 51 percent to outnumber the rural population.

The rural to urban shift in population took China sixty-two years to achieve vs eighty years for the United States.

How do people travel in China vs the United States?

The first railroad to enter commercial service in China was the Woosung Railway, a 9 ¼ mi (14 km) railway from Shanghai to Woosung (modern Shanghai’s Baoshan District) which opened in 1876.

As of 2015, China had 121,000 km (75,186 mi) of railways, the second longest network in the world, including 19,000 kilometres (11,806 miles) of high-speed rail (HSR), the longest HSR network in the world.

In the US, The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first passenger and freight line in 1827 and this signaled the beginning of railroad construction.

Today, the U.S. had 163,562 miles of active railroads, but Forbes asks, “Why Doesn’t The United States Have High-Speed Bullet Trains Like Europe And Asia?”

In 2017, the United States had 5,136 public airports (statista) compared to China’s 229 (statista).

China’s railways are among the busiest in the world.  In 2014, railways in China delivered 2.357 billion passenger trips. The U.S. has about 31-million railroad passenger miles a year.

How about air passengers in China vs the United States? The answer is 551.56-million in 2017 for China compared to 988,234,460 in the U.S (bts.gov).

What method of long distance travel is more efficient?

The World Bank says, “When it comes to realistically traveling 350 miles, your most efficient choices,  in the following order … are to travel by bus, train, or (you guessed it) airplane.

Small Business Trends offers more details: “Trains can use 50% less fuel per passenger than planes for the same trips, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bus travel is an even eco-friendlier alternative, emitting even less carbon dioxide than trains on short and long trips, according to the EPA.”

No wonder the United States pollutes more per person than China.

The Union of Concerned Scientists report that the United States produces 15.53 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per person annually. China produces 6.50 metric tons per person.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Cyber Warfare is Evolving and China is taking the Soft approach while Russia follows the Hard path

September 18, 2018

The Washington Post reported, “Our research shows that nations such as the United States and Israel prefer to infiltrate enemy networks and precisely target and attack key military and government systems.” …

“China also primarily hacks other nations’ systems for military and industrial espionage purposes.”

Former President Obama said, “Every country in the world, large and small, engages in intelligence gathering.”

Russia, however, “stands out from other nations in uniquely using cyber methods to distort, gaslight and alter the views of the target population. Other authoritarian states use cyber methods to rig their own elections. But Russia remains rare among great powers in its targets and methods.” …

“U.S. intelligence services have concluded that Russia is conducting political warfare to alter the hearts and minds in its rival power’s population. That’s a far cry from what any other nations are attempting.”

Even China isn’t doing what Russia is doing to manipulate democratic elections and brainwash a rival country’s people unless we count “Crazy Rich Asians” a film financed by a US-based Asian film investment group Ivanhoe Pictures that partnered with Nina Jacobson to product the film that became #1 at the U.S. box office in August, 2018.

However there is a vast difference between Russia deliberately invading a democracy’s election system and programing voters to not vote and/or vote and elect liars, frauds and criminals like Donald Trump and what the Chinese are doing through major films to change the perception of China and its people from a negative bias to a positive one.

The Economist reports, “China is spending billions to make the world love it.”

“The (Chinese Communist) party borrowed the idea of soft power from an American academic, Joseph Nye, who coined the term in 1990. Mr. Nye argued that hard power alone was not enough to wield influence in the world. It had to come from ‘the soft power of attraction’, too. China was acutely conscious that it lacked it.”

Meanwhile, Russia under Putin continues to use a virtual sledge hammer in an attempt to end democratic freedoms.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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