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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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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China’s Xinjiang Challenge

September 12, 2018

Xinjiang is a province in the Northwest corner of China. It is also an Uyghur Autonomous Region. This area shares its border with Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

In the next video, you will watch 3,000 years of Chinese history in a minute and discover that China first ruled over the Xingjian area during the Tang Dynasty more than 1300 years ago. When the Tang Dynasty collapsed a few centuries later, China lost control of this area and it wouldn’t be reoccupied and ruled by China again until the Qing Dynasty in the early 18th century (1720s). When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in China in 1949, China continued to rule over Xinjiang.

The BBC reports, “Most Uighurs are Muslim and Islam is an important part of their life and identity. Their language is related to Turkish, and they regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations. … But development has brought new residents. In the 2000 census, Han Chinese made up 40% of the population, as well as large numbers of troops stationed in the region and unknown numbers of unregistered migrants.” …

“The region has had intermittent autonomy and occasional independence, but what is now known as Xinjiang came under Chinese rule in the 18th Century.” …

“In the 1990s, open support for separatist groups increased after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent Muslim states in Central Asia.” …

“China has often blamed ETIM – the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – or people inspired by ETIM for violent incidents both in Xinjiang and beyond the region’s borders.

The ETIM has been linked to Al-Qaeda and is allied with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan along with the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek i Taliban Pakistan).

The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party Organization for Freeing Eastern Turkistan, and the Islamic Party of Turkistan were outlawed by Kyrgyzstan’s Lenin District Court and its Supreme Court in November 2003. Kazakhstan, Russia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, China, the United States, and Pakistan outlawed the group.

Foreign Policy Magazine reported in 2017 that “the Islamic State pledges to attack China next. ISIS tries to curry favor with China’s repressed Muslim minority groups. The Islamic State is now setting its sights on China, releasing on Monday a half-hour video in which they pledged to ‘shed blood like rivers’ in attacks against Chinese targets. Experts say it’s the first threat the terrorist organization has leveled against China.

“Ethnic Uighurs have carried out terrorist attacks already, including a May 2014 attack in the Xin­jiang region’s capital of Urumqi that killed 43 and wounded 90. But for the most part, Uighur extremists carry out attacks on a much smaller and less coordinated scale. That likely won’t change, despite newfound ISIS-backing, Gladney said.”


Xinjiang is rich in coal, natural gas, and oil.

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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What if China and America Stopped Trading

July 25, 2018

After establishing relations with the United States and imposing the One-Child Policy, China, in 1986, opened the country to foreign investments and encouraged the development of a market economy and private sector.

China also started the long process to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). It took China another 15 years of diplomatic struggle to became a full member of the WTO. To join, China had to significantly change its economy. These changes were difficult steps for China and conflicted with its prior economic strategy. Acceptance into the WTO meant China had to engage in global competition according to rules that it did not make

The BBC reported, “China’s formal membership comes exactly one month after the 142 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ratified its application at the world trade talks in Doha in the Gulf state of Qatar, and the Chinese government formally approved the deal.”

What happened to China after joining the WTO?

WTO.org said, “in 2001, China’s trade in goods was valued at $0.51 trillion, ranking 6th in the world, but by 2014, it reached $4.3 trillion, growing over 8 times.”

By 2016, China was exporting $2.27 trillion in goods and importing $1.23 trillion,” and OEC report said.

China’s top five export destinations were the United States at $436 billion (19% of the total), $250-billion (11%) to Hong Kong, $148 billion (6.6%) to Japan, $99 billion (4.4%) to Germany, and $87.2 (3.8%) billion to South Korea.  If we subtract the United States, China exported $1.834 Trillion worth of goods to the rest of the world.

China also buys products from the United States and other countries. It’s top four import countries were the United States at $122 billion (9.9%) in goods, $121-billion (9.8%) from South Korea, $120 billion (9.8%) from Japan, and $83.7 billion (6.8%) from Germany.

If we subtract what China buys from the United States, China imports good worth $1.08 Trillion from the rest of the word, and did you notice that China has a trade deficit with some countries?  If we focus on just South Korea, China bought more goods than it sold by $33.8 billion.

What goods does China want from other countries? China’s highest value imported goods are electronic circuits and micro-assemblies, crude oil, iron, cars, mobile phones, and then soya beans.

In 2017, China exported $2.2 trillion of its production. The EU exported $1.9 trillion that year.

There is also a common misconception that the United States doesn’t make anything anymore, and it doesn’t help that Donald Trump, a malignant narcissist, and serial liar, reinforced that thinking during the presidential debates in 2016.

What do the facts say?

The Balance reports, “2017, total U.S. trade with foreign countries was $5.2 trillion. That was $2.3 trillion in exports and $2.9 trillion in imports of both goods and services.” China exported $2.2 trillion to the world that year, less than the United States exported from its manufacturing sector.

How many jobs in the U.S. does that $2.3 trillion in exports support and how many jobs are at risk in the United States due to Mr. Trump’s trade war?

CNN Money says, “analysts say that tens of thousands of American workers are likely to lose their jobs—and upwards of two million jobs are at risk—more or less as a direct consequence of the Trump administration’s trade policies, and the retaliatory tariffs that follow.”

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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Climate Change and Development in Tibet Creates Lifestyle Challenges

July 17, 2018

In 1949, 99 percent of Tibetans were mostly illiterate serfs. Serfs have always been treated as an inferior element in society. As serfs, most Tibetans depended entirely upon the few landowners for survival. In this system of serfdom, peasants could be traded, punished without due process of law, and made to pay tribute to the lord with labor. When China occupied Tibet, all those serfs were freed just like they were throughout China.

Tibet is part of China. Rural Life in China reported, “A typical family of seven described by Business Week in 2000 lived in a four-room house, used 0.64 of an acre for growing rice, used 0.59 an acre for growing other crops and owned four pigs, one horse, and 20 ducks. Their expenditures were $546: $217 for food, $96 for transportation, $72 for fertilizer and pesticides, $48 for medicine, medical services, $36 for local taxes; $7 for road building and improvement; $4 for power station maintenance; $6 for education and culture and $60 for cloth and clothes.”

Did you notice there was no mention of rent or a mortgage payment? My mortgage payment in the United States is almost 38 percent of my income and a friend and his family of three pay more in rent for less space in the same area. But in urban China,, renting or owning a home is not free. Tibet is mostly a rural area of China.

“Since 2006, the Tibetan government has mandated that Tibetan farmers, herders, and nomads use government subsidies to build new homes closer to roads. New concrete homes with traditional Tibetan decorations dot the stark brown countryside. But the base government subsidy for building the new homes is usually $1,500 per household, far short of the total needed. Families have generally had to take out multiple times that amount in interest-free three-year loans from state banks as well as private loans from relatives or friends.” [Source: Edward Wong, New York Times, July 24, 2010]”

Even the lives of Tibetan Nomads that makeup about a quarter of the population is changing. “Tibetan nomads have a lot in common with Mongolian nomads. Tibetan nomad culture is quickly disappearing as more Tibetans each year are being relocated off of the grasslands.”  But that might have more to do with climate change.

Nature.com reports, “A comprehensive environmental assessment of the Plateau of Tibet has found that the region is getting hotter, wetter and more polluted, threatening its fragile ecosystems and those who rely on them.

The plateau and its surrounding mountains cover 5 million square kilometers and hold the largest stock of ice outside the Arctic and Antarctic; the region is thus often referred to as the Third Pole. And like the actual poles, it is increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, but rapid development is putting it doubly at risk and is also changing lifestyle choices.

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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The Most Popular Drink in the World originated in China and was stolen by the British

June 12, 2018

Tea is the most popular drink in the world second only to water. Its consumption equals all other manufactured drinks combined including coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, and alcohol, and China is still the leading tea producer in the world.

If you are interested in a real-life collision between the West and China early in the 19th century, I highly recommend reading Sarah Rose’s heavily researched nonfiction book For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History.

In this book, you will discover that the British Empire and its merchants were successful, because they were more ruthless and devious than anyone else on Earth. When China’s last Dynasty collided with the British Empire, the Qing Emperors probably had no idea who they were dealing with.

The British Empire was the largest in history, and it covered more than thirteen-million square miles (20,921,472 square kilometers), which is about a quarter of the Earth’s total land area, and it controlled more than 500 million people, a quarter of the world’s population at the time.

What financed the brutal expansion of this empire?  In the 19th century the British Empire was not only a thief, but the largest drug cartel in human history. After all, it was the British that forced Opium on China and fought two Opium Wars to make that happen. How do you think the British paid for the expansion of their empire?

The real-life main character in Sara Rose’s fascinating, true, fact-based story is Robert Fortune (1812 – 1880) who successfully pulled off one of, if not the largest, act of corporate espionage and theft in history. This nonfiction book is about how the British stole tea plants and the method of producing tea from China and successfully transplanted this industry in India where the British were also growing the opium they were selling to the Chinese.

If you drink Darjeeling Tea from India, you are drinking a product that was stolen from China by Robert Fortune in the early half of the 19th century.

But there is much more to this story than the theft of tea from the country that has the earliest records of tea drinking dating back to the first millennium BCE, because this nonfiction book reads like a spy thriller. If caught, Fortune would have been executed by the Chinese. To pull off the biggest heist of all time, he disguised himself as Chinese and traveled to areas of China that no foreigner had ever visited before, and his only companions were Chinese that he had bribed to work for him.

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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China was the Most Innovative Country in the World for Fifteen Hundred Years: Part 3 of 3

May 10, 2018

Another Chinese inventor during the Song Dynasty created a machine known as the Cosmic Engine, the ancient world’s astronomical computer.

Su Song was the inventor.  The Cosmic Engine was so complicated that for centuries no one (even Westerners) understood how it worked. Today, few westerners know that it existed.

However, records show that the Cosmic Engine was created in 1092 AD.

The Cosmic Engine calculated time—not just hours and minutes but weeks, months and seasons reflecting how the earth moves around the sun. It also calculated how the earth and planets moved through space.

The Cosmic Engine was five stories tall and its working innards were complex.

Today, we know exactly how this device was created since Su Song left detailed blueprints and directions describing how it was built. Song’s Cosmic Engine worked from the eleventh century until enemies of the Song Dynasty destroyed it.

Using Song’s blueprints, the Science and Technology Museum in Beijing built a fully accurate reconstruction. Another reconstruction exists in London.

This ingenious device led to the invention of Western clocks hundreds of years later, and we now know that many of the inventions and discoveries the modern world was built on originated in ancient Imperial China.

The Confucian method of meritocracy was (and still is) the engine that led to the creation of all of the Chinese innovations mentioned in this series of posts and this is only a sample.

The Chinese system of meritocracy then and now makes it impossible that anyone as weak or ignorant as George W. Bush or Donald Trump could ever come close to a position of top leadership.

Return to Part 2 or start with Part 1

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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