Reinventing China through Synergistic Cultural Innovation – Part 2/2

Through microblogging, there is a strong connection between Yang Lan and China’s next generation, since owns Sina Weibo, a sort of Facebook-Twitter social network with more than 56% of China’s microblogging market. Sina Weibo adds 20 million new users monthly. Ten thousand are overseas Chinese in North America. It is estimated that the site has about three billion page views daily.

Yang Lan says, “My generation has been very fortunate to witness and participate in the historic transformation of China that has made so many changes in the past twenty to thirty years.”

In the video, she uses several examples of how microblogging is changing China. She says the public’s reaction shows a general distrust of government, which lacked transparency in the past. She explains how the younger generation, which calls itself a tribe of ants, is different. Most of this generation is well educated with a literacy rate better than 99% and 80% of city Chinese go to college.

In addition, social justice and government accountability is what these young people care most about, and the power of microblogging gets the word out — any accusation of corruption or backdoor dealings between authority or business arouses a social outcry and unrest.

“Fortunately,” Lang Yan says, “we see the government responding more timely and more frequently to the public’s concerns.” She closes her lecture with, “Our Younger generation is going to transform this country while at the same time being transformed themselves.”

Return to Reinventing China through Synergistic Cultural Innovation – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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14 Responses to Reinventing China through Synergistic Cultural Innovation – Part 2/2

  1. william wallace says:

    Half adult male population of CHINA addicted to tobacco &
    its added highly addictive chemicals / which brings a future
    of grave suffering / as govt incapable of dealing with future
    medical needs of the people / via the vaiety of illnesses as
    brought through tobacco addiction / which killing in millions.

    To say the CHINESE govt responds more frequently to the
    people’s concerns in saying the younger generation being
    well educated is laughable. Their heads are full of western nonsense that material gain only brings satisfaction peace
    which utter nonsense as folly /to exchange basic humanity
    a respect for nature a respect for life // in gain of material
    junk / material junk that only gives more stress as concern
    destroying land sea & air destroying basic human respect.

    It for the govt of CHINA in understanding in going headlong
    into the illusion of material gain as a solution in bringing an
    peace of mind / as a joy to the heart. / Be pure & utter folly.

    There must be retained ones spiritual need foremost that
    that is placed before a illusion of material trinkets flashing
    lights which being but a entertainment for children in their
    growing up / not to be accepted as adults as being reality.

    The higher of material expectations /then the greater will
    be that of disappointment. / The greatest treasure is that
    one being at peace within oneself / one but aware of the
    breath of life // which sustains life // each breath in giving
    that which beyond all material value /thus one should not
    seek in the illusion for joy for peace /when peace is within.

    Of course CHINA its people need in seeing development
    yet do not get lost in material illusion // its as is a illusion
    approaching the future needs balance. There a western
    saying “Don’t Throw Baby Out With The Bathwater” / as
    in a rush of material progress /don’t lose your humanity.

    Look as the USA as learn from their mistakes // don’t go
    making the same similar errors in bringing the people to
    their knees. Not in prayer but in shame of doing wrongs.

    It for the CHINESE Govt to face the problem of tobacco
    addiction / its at staggering levels & can’t go unheeded.

    People must be informed educated of its danger / that
    help provided for all whom need it /in support breaking
    tobacco addiction. If present situation at such levels of
    tobacco addiction continue / then truly t’will bring a dire
    future for its victims for famlies & future govts of CHINA.

    • I am aware that about 400 million Chinese men smoke. In fact, drinking and smoking has become part of the business culture when it comes to the business lunch or dinner. The brand of cigarettes smoked in China are also a status symbol.

      However, the Chinese government cannot stop people from smoking any more than the US government can stop the 40 million Americans that still smoke or stop the 75% of fat and obese Americans (more than 200 million) from making poor lifestyle choices leading to being fat or obese leading to lifestyle diseases that cost billions to treat while shortening lifespan. The US tried to control alcohol consumption during prohibition and that turned into a costly street war with criminal gangs and mobs. It was so devastating and costly that eventually the law was repealed.

      Reuters ran a recent piece April 2012 “As America’s waistline expands, costs soar…”

      Reuters reported, “The nation’s rising rate of obesity has been well-chronicled. But businesses, governments and individuals are only now coming to grips with the costs of those extra pounds, many of which are even greater than believed only a few years ago: The additional medical spending due to obesity is double previous estimates and exceeds even those of smoking, a new study shows…

      “The U.S. health care reform law of 2010 allows employers to charge obese workers 30 percent to 50 percent more for health insurance if they decline to participate in a qualified wellness program. …

      “For years researchers suspected that the higher medical costs of obesity might be offset by the possibility that the obese would die young, and thus never rack up spending for nursing homes, Alzheimer’s care, and other pricey items. …

      “Smoking added about 20 percent a year to medical costs,” said Mayo’s James Naessens. “Obesity was similar, but morbid obesity increased those costs by 50 percent a year. There really is an economic justification for employers to offer programs to help the very obese lose weight.”

      Blaming any government (US or China) for the choices of individuals serves no purpose. The government is not supposed to be our parent as if we were all children. In addition, how much freedom do people lose when a government passes laws that make it a crime to smoke or get fat?

      What is next — demand that governments lock people up that smoke and are fat until they stop smoking and lose weight?

      Cocaine, heroin, meth, etc are all illegal drugs but criminals still smuggle them into countries because people buy them and this war on illegal drugs in the US has put more people in prison in America than any other country.

      Prostitution is illegal in most countries but that doesn’t stop the profession from existing. Child pornography is illegal is most countries including China and America but that doesn’t stop it from being an illegal growth industry with 50% of porn produced in the United States.

      Back to China. If 400 million Chinese smoke cigarettes, that must mean that 900 million Chinese do not smoke cigarettes.

      13% of Americans smoke.
      75% of Americans are fat and/or obese

      About 30% of Chinese smoke
      On the other hand, China doesn’t make the list of nations that have obesity problems. The US is number one.

      Before an American complains about the poor lifestyle choices of Chinese, they should look at their own country first.

      I notice that you are from Edinburgh in the UK. Let’s see how the UK does with the smoking number and obesity.
      According to Nation, the UK is #3 in the world for obesity at 23%.

      Ahhhh, what a revelation, the UK beats out China with about 38% of its citizens smoking cigarettes.

      “Today, tobacco consumption is recognised as the UK’s single greatest cause of preventable illness and early death, with an estimated 102,000 people dying in 2009 from smoking-related diseases including cancers.”

      It also helps to look for the source of the explosion of cigarette smoking in China.

      My God, it’s America.

      It was reported in 2000 that US placed tobacco imports to China high on priority list for liberalisation.

      At about the same time the US government was cracking down on tobacco use in the United Sttaes, it was pushing the imports of American tobacco to China.

      “a news report described how the United States secretary of state for agriculture welcomed the opening of the Chinese market for American tobacco1 after negotiations by the World Trade Organisation between the United States and China.”

      “One explanation for this increase (of smoking in China) has been the aggressive penetration of the Chinese tobacco market by Western, particulary United States, cigarette compaines over the last 15 years.” …

      “Entry into the Chinese market would not have been possible without the aggressive role adopted by the U.S. government…”

      Click to access Parker21U.Pa.J.Int’lEcon.L.211(2000).pdf


      In conclusion, in the 19th century, the West fought two wars with China and crammed Opium alongside Christianity down the throats of the Chinese even against the will of their leaders. In the 21st century, the West added tobacco to those crimes.

      The West better hope the Chinese are forgiving and willing to live and let live. If they harbor a grudge, the West may be doomed.

      • merlin says:

        It would be interesting if the govt ran a ban on sweets. I wonder if the prohibition days would return with races against the police on backroads over a bottle of Pepsi. Actually I’ve heard some cities are banning the sale of large sized soft drinks.

        Obesity is such a problem, that I nearly went into shock when I got off the plane in LAX. It’s such a big change from seeing athletic chinese to the feeling that I’m going to be steamrolled in the airport by half a dozen American 500lb’ers.

        Medical costs a problem? Only for insurance companies and individuals footing the bill because of illnesses such as Diabetes due to our crappy American diet combined little to no exercise. Sadly, our medical researchers are focusing their efforts to cure diabetes so we can continue enjoying our obese lifestyles without worry instead of focusing on other medical issues. One I’m always worried about is heart disease as my grandfather went through numerous surgeries for heart attacks throughout his lifetime. Our greasy, fatty diets combined with drenching our cereal w/ milk for breakfast each day is causing a calcium/grease buildup in our circulatory system. So far the only means to solve the issue is to go through surgery in which a wire is shoved up through an artery in the nether regions in order to place a device inside the blocked artery that blows up like a balloon to widen the affected artery to allow blood flow again. Of course, this is only a temporary solution as over time the blockage builds up again. Also, another growing problem is the multitude of cancer cases. Of course, the final major issue I find in our healthcare system is we pride ourselves on longevity when compared w/ previous generations, yet in reality we’ve made baby steps as we’re still stuck at 100 (if anybody is lucky to get around all the diseases afflicting us today).

        So what is the problem with higher medical costs for the obese? I see an increase in paychecks for doctors specifying in dealing w/ obese patients, but sadly a decline in Alzheimer’s care and nursing homes across the US. We are a nation of nursing homes. Other nations such as China don’t have nursing homes for the elderly, as such they fear being left alone and without care in later years. Chinese tradition follows the elderly live with the young. Imagine life living with your parents or next door when you’re 30+ yrs old. Besides the insanity, these care facilities provide jobs and paychecks to people. A lot of times they are staffed by college students studying nursing or the medical field. If the situation continues, our lifetime could become shortened and we wouldnt be able to pride ourselves on longevity due to “modern medicine”.

        We do have a problem with the prison population and what really is horrible is it’s a living hell for anybody that goes through it. The people locked up on drug charges are not your friend and will more than likely stick anybody that say’s otherwise with a knife made out of their plastic dinner plate. The reason they are so cruel in there is because that’s how they grew up on the street. They were trained to be killers in order to compete with rival gangs for territory to sell their wares (prostitution, drugs, arms, etc). Those that are not gangsters were fools caught with an open bottle/can in their car or a bag of weed in their back seat. The only way to solve the issue is to get at the heart of the addiction. Drug dealers see an easy way to riches, while the abusers want that relaxing high to travel to their own world of fantasy to get away from the stress of reality. As long as money is involved, people will be greedy and always follow the illegal ways to riches because the legal ways bottleneck through Uncle Sam’s security check pt and he’ll be standing there asking you to take off your shoes and leave a chunk of dough in the basket labeled taxes on the table as you’re passing through the security scanner.

      • The news this morning reported that Obama Care was upheald by the Supreme Court. And Obama Care requires overweight people to lose weight or pay more for health care—a lot more.

        “In a move that could significantly expand insurance coverage of weight-loss treatments, a federal health advisory panel on Monday recommended that all obese adults receive intensive counseling in an effort to rein in a growing health crisis in America….

        “The new guidelines were met with cautious support by many physicians at the front lines of the nation’s struggle against excess fat.

        “Dr. Jack Der-Sarkissian, a family-medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center, called them a “long-overdue” prod to physicians to help their patients control weight gain, which raises the risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health threats….

        “Obesity and obesity-related diseases already are responsible for an estimated $147 billion in annual health care spending. Widespread adoption of the panel’s recommendation would increase that spending, at least initially.”


  2. merlin says:

    One microblog site I always use famous with Chinese Americans is ChinaSmack. It has some great posts such as “what women think of their husbands” or something. One that’s up now is a comic post for summer. One of my favorites is a little girl’s drawings of how to be sneaky around a Chinese Tiger mom.

    • LOL. Amy Chua, the infamous Tiger Mother says she was sneaky as a teen because her parents were tigers too.

      I went to China Smack to take a look and saw the one about the “Family of 7-Month Forced Abortion Victim Called ‘Traitors'” then saw recent comment “teach love not hate” that said, “I once asked a friend what the cheapest thing in china was…with no hesitation he told me humnan life.”

      I left a reply, “Yea, like in India too where about 6,000 children die of starvation daily and this has been going on since 1947 but we never hear about that do we? Why?”

      If we do the math, that’s more than 142.3 million children that died of starvation in India since the country became a democracy, but when one woman in China has a forced abortion, that story goes viral?

      Then I read “Euthanasia for Babies?” in The New York Times.

      “Infanticide — the deliberate killing of newborns with the consent of the parents and the community — has been common throughout most of human history. In some societies, like the Eskimos, the Kung in Africa and 18th-century Japan, it served as a form of birth control when food supplies were limited. In others, like the Greek city-states and ancient Rome, it was a way of getting rid of deformed babies.”

      • I wanted to add another comment.

        “Statistically, the United States ranks high on the list of countries whose inhabitants kill their children. For infants under the age of one year, the American homicide rate is 11th in the world, while for ages one through four it is 1st and for ages five through fourteen it is fourth. From 1968 to 1975, infanticide of all ages accounted for almost 3.2% of all reported homicides in the United States.”

      • merlin says:

        Actually, what’s odd is in the US we dont believe in abortion and we fight it. Of course, then when we get a kid we dont want we tend to dump it in the garbage and go to jail for long periods of time. Chinese believe in abortion. Those that dont want to go through with it will tend to put their kid up for adoption or as my friend wanted to do…throw them off with their parents and grab the nearest American for a fictitious marriage to live a lie so the parents will take care of baby until it’s old enough that she’ll take custody back. An example of a chinese going through with abortion would be another girl I met that was dumb enough to fall for the same mistake twice with a German that lied to her on multiple occasions. When she was pregnant, she wanted to hide it from her parents because her German bf that was twice her age ran out of country for work and never answered calls or emails for over a month. She eventually had an abortion, and for some reason stopped talking to me possibly because she met a rich guy from Australia and moved there. I always find it funny that in America we can still have friends that are married and it’s perfectly normal. In China, once you’re married it’s taboo to be seen with another guy other than your husband even though they have the largest population of cheating husbands and mistresses that I’ve ever seen.

      • cultural differences

        As for cheating husbands and mistresses, check out the French. In France it is acceptable to be married and have a mistress for both the husband and wife.

      • merlin says:

        France is ok for mistress/mister? What am I doing in the US? 😛 Viva la France!

      • Wait until you watch this video about the French, but don’t start packing without giving it a lot of thought such as a job and speaking French before you move there.

      • merlin says:

        I’m still surprised the Euro is strong against the dollar, even though parts of Europe are in an uproar over the economic situation. I’ve given it some thought, and after my sister told me that a plate of Italian spaghetti or pizza could break the bank, I think I’d rather stick to my tang yuan, eggplant, rice, and sashimi.

        Also I’m assuming the film, Midnight in Paris, is based on this French custom.

      • Maybe the Euro is still strong against the dollar because the US economy isn’t all that great either.

        According to Erostat, the Real GDP growth rate in the EU for the 17 countries was 1.5% for 2011 (That’s the average of all 17 countries) Some of the countries have a negative GDP.

        The dollar estimates of the 2011 GDP for the European Union was $17,577,691,000,000-US.

        The GDP Growth Rate for the US in 2011 was 1.3% with $15,094,025,000,000-US

        The two are pretty close with the Eruo slightly ahead of the US.

  3. Suz Reads says:

    I am glad to read that youth in China are using social media and that the literacy rate is so improved! Your experiences as a Westerner married to a Chinese woman sounds fascinating and I would love to win a signed hard-cover copy of The Concubine Saga so that I can read more about your amazing life and this amazing story!

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