Frozen in China but the sky is Blue

January 1, 2020

Tourism is an important industry in China and if you prefer colder weather, like me, the place to go for winter fun is Harbin.

CNN Travel reports, “China has invested heavily in bringing commercial and tourist traffic to more remote regions of the country. ……… The city of Harbin hosts the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, the biggest of its kind in the world. Every winter, visitors come from across China and the world to see the mammoth creations, which this year included a Buddha statue made from 4,500 square cubic meters of snow, and a 3-D light show reflected against the ice for dramatic effect.”

The festival originated in 1963. … In 2001, the Harbin Ice Festival was merged with Heilongjiang’s International Ski Festival and got a new formal name, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.


Sneak Preview of Harbin Snow and Ice World 2020

“More than 100 activities and events will be held in Harbin … The activities and events fall into several categories, namely ice and snow tourism, ice and snow culture, ice and snow fashion culture, ice and snow trade, and ice & snow sports.” ꟷ Ice Festival Harbin.com

The Atlantic reports that more than a million tourists visit Harbin to see the massive ice and snow sculptures.

China Daily.com reports, “The festival officially starts in January 5th every year, but the locals begin to celebrate the festival in the third week of December of the previous year because most of the ice lanterns, ice and snow sculptures are completed by this time. Depending on the weather conditions and activities, the festival usually last until the end of February.”

As of 2015, China is the fourth most visited country in the world, after France, the United States, and Spain, with almost 57 million international tourists per year. In 2017, tourism resulted in revenue of about USD 1.35 trillion, 11.04% of the GDP, and contributed to direct and indirect employment for more than 28-million Chinese.

The Chinese also like to travel outside of China. According to The Telegraph, in 2018, almost 150 million Chinese visited other countries. But domestic tourism adds up to almost 5.5 billion trips annually.

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 Accident that led to Fireworks, Rockets, Cannons, Bullets, and Bombs

December 25, 2019

Do you know who is responsible for discovering what led to the fireworks we enjoy in the night sky on major holidays, like New Year’s Eve or the Lunar New Year?

Smithsonian says, “Around 200 BC, the Chinese unintentionally invented firecrackers by tossing bamboo into the fire, but it took another thousand years before true fireworks came alive. … Like many inventions, firecrackers fireworks were created by accident … and by the search for immortality.”

It would take more than a thousand years before this modern technology of war that was invented by accident ended up in the west.

Smithsonian also tells us in another piece, “The first known use of the military rocket occurred in 1232 when the Chinese used fei huo tsiang (flying fire lances) against Mongols besieging the city of Kai-fung-fu.”

If you Google ‘who invented the rocket,’ you will discover that Google gives credit to American Robert Hutchings Goddard, who did not invent the rocket. Goddard only improved on what the Chinese had already created almost seven hundred years earlier. The Chinese invented the first rocket that was powered with gunpowder. Goddard invented the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926, a different type of propellant that was easier to control.

After those ancient Chinese alchemists accidentally discovered gunpowder, “Centuries of trial and error refined the gunpowder formula, and alchemists likely stumbled upon the property of propulsion.”

When the fireworks soar into the sky around the world this New Year’s Eve, you will be witnessing “over 2000 years of danger, invention, and beauty wrapped into a simple package.”

When the sky lights up in splashes of color remember to give credit to “Emperor Wu Di of Ancient China’s Han Dynasty (156-87 B.C.).” Antiquitynow.org

Emperor Wu Di wanted to live and rule forever like many powerful men with a god complex, so he ordered his Taoist alchemists (the religious scientists of his empire) to research and discover a potion or elixir for eternal life. During that search for immortality, they discovered gunpowder.”

[yotube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkaxdGRgQgA]

A god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility.

Answer this question if you can: What modern-day world leader claims he is the “Chosen One”?

Often mentioned in science fiction and fantasy films and novels, the Chosen One is allegedly the sole person chosen by destiny to stop an impending disaster that threatens all life, save the world from a supervillain, and stop corruption.

If you have correctly answered the last question, you should know what the Bible says about God’s Chosen One: Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus …”

Modern-day mortal supervillains that have a god complex share characteristics of real-world dictators, gangsters, and terrorists, with aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.

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, the Enemy of your Enemy is NOT always your Friend

December 18, 2019

According to Global Research, “The ancient idea that ‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’ originated in the 4th century B.C. in India.  Kautilya –  the ‘Indian Machiavelli’ – wrote about the idea in the Sanskrit military book, the ‘Arthashastra’.”

I have experienced and witnessed how “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” works.

Have you ever played or seen a game of four-way chess? When I was a faculty co-sponsor for a high school student chess club for several years, I often played four-way chess with three students, who thought I was the better player, formed an alliance to clear as many of my chess pieces off the board as possible until I was no longer a threat. Once that was achieved, two of the other three players would then form an alliance to take out the strongest remaining player. The smartest/sneakiest player was the one that used “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to his/her best advantage and almost always won in the end.

I think Putin is that type of player, the sneakiest one that will manipulate the other players to help him win the game. To win, Putin will even turn countries against each other.

China must not forget that its history with Russia has not always been friendly.

Before 1600, China and Russia were on opposite ends of Siberia, which was populated by independent nomadic tribes.

But by 1640, Russian settlers reached the Amur River basin and settled in territory that belonged to China.

From 1652 to 1689, China’s armies drove the Russian settlers out, and after 1689 China and Russia made peace and established trade agreements. By the mid-1800s China’s economy and military power were no longer a match for Russia and Europe’s colonial powers. Taking advantage of the situation, Russia annexed the Amur basin and Vladivostok and stole that area from China.

During Russia’s 1917 Communist Revolution, there were two factions, the Reds vs the Whites. The Reds won. China-backed the Whites, and to punish China, in 1923, the USSR supported the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalists) and its leader Chiang Kai-shek instead of the Chinese Communist Party. It should be noted that Chiang Kai-shek also had the support of the United States.

China and Russia fought two border wars in the next ten years, and Joseph Stalin the leader of the USSR continued to give support to Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government. Stalin also told Mao Zedong to cooperate with Chiang Kai-shek. Instead, Mao attacked the Chiang’s Nationalist government.

After World War II, the Soviets no longer needed to be friends with the United States and switched sides and backed the Chinese Communist Party under Mao. With this help, Mao won the Civil War in 1949. The U.S. was still supporting Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang.

Political tension between China and Russia emerged after Stalin’s death in 1953. In 1961, the unstable alliance ended when Mao accused the Soviets of revisionism. Then the two countries started to compete for control over foreign communist states and political movements around the world.

In 1969, there was a brief border war between the two countries, and President Nixon’s intervention saved China from a Soviet nuclear attack.

In 1979 China invaded Vietnam, which was an ally of the USSR. China also sent aid to the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in the USSR’s war in Afghanistan.

In two-way or four-way chess, the players cannot trust each other even when they are allies. Every player must keep their eyes on the board because some players cheat.

Russia’s leaders have a long history of Anti-Americanism, dating back to the early days of the Cold War. In some of the latest Russian population polls, the United States and its allies consistently top the list of Russia’s greatest enemies.

Because President Donald Trump started a trade war with China, he destroyed the goodwill that President Nixon created by stopping Russia from destroying China with nuclear weapons. Trump’s trade war turned China into an enemy of the U.S., and Russia’s Putin is using that to his advantage until the United States is no longer a global threat.

Can China trust Putin after Donald Trump is gone and hopefully in prison?

Did Trump start his trade war with China because Putin told him to do it?

The Moscow Project reveals “12 Ways Trump has Supported Putin’s Foreign Policy Agenda”.

The Washington Post reports, “Amid trade war, Trump drops the pretense of friendship with China’s Xi Jinping, calls him an ‘enemy’”

When the next U.S. president ends the Trump (Putin) trade war with China, what will Putin do next?

Will Putin turn against China?

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 Unleashed, Again

November 27, 2019

While the United States is struggling to survive the arrogant, corruption, lies, ignorance and incompetence of President Donald Trump, Wharton warns us, “China and the U.S. are battling to be the leader in 5G technology, a fight it seems that Chinese tech companies are winning.”

While Donald Trump’s followers obsess about abortion while keeping a quarter of America’s children in crushing poverty, Kara Swisher warns us in the next video that, “Next tech innovation will come from China, not the U.S.”

While Trump’s Republicans are spreading the fear of socialism, American farmers are going bankrupt thanks to Trump’s infamous trade war with China and the world, in the next video, Richard Aguilar warns us, “China (a socialist-capitalist country) is innovating advanced technology in farming.”

“China has been continuously advancing in the field of technology and … you will see how China is transforming agricultural production in their country with the use and help of their technological advancement.”

While Donald Trump’s arrogant, ignorant, and corrupt Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is doing all she can to destroy the U.S. public education system, the same schools that helped make America the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world after World War II, Rebecca Fanning, the author of Tech Titans of China, says, “U.S. awareness of China’s tech industry as a whole is limited, and this oversight could ultimately prove costly to the U.S., if it persists.”

Fanning’s new book reveals “How China’s tech sector is challenging the world by innovating faster, working harder, and going global.”

If you don’t believe China is capable of racing past the United States because it is not a democracy like the United States, learn from Joseph Needham by reading The Man Who Loved China.

For more than fifteen-hundred years starting with the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, China was the most innovative and wealthiest country in the world up to 1644 AD’s Qing Dynasty. For instance, during those centuries, the Chinese invented paper, the stirrup, the crossbow, silk, tea, gunpowder, the printing press, the development of canal locks (that make the Suez and Panama canals work), and hundreds of other innovations.

I think the reason the United States is falling behind China is because the U.S. is no longer a Constitutional Republic and democracy with a clear separation of church and state. Instead, the United States is fast becoming a theocratic kleptocracy thanks to Citizens United and corrupt, manipulating liars like Donald Trump, the kleptocrat, and Betsy DeVos, the theocrat.

Meanwhile, China throws thieves and liars like Donald Trump in prison, and does not allow religions to have political power.

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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Thanks to Donald Trump’s GUT, US farmers lost the Thanksgiving market in China

November 20, 2019

CNBC reports, “The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.”

According to USDA.gov’s internal trade data for chickens, turkeys and eggs exported to China, in 2015, U.S farmers sold 260,102,000 pounds to China. Fast forward to 2018, and those exports fell dramatically to 122,000 pounds. If that is welcome news, send the Real Donald Trump a thank you tweet.

According to The Poultry Site.com, “Most of the world’s turkey meat is produced in just five countries: US, Brazil, Germany, France and Italy.”

Before Donald Trump, China bought most of its turkey meat from the United States.  My guess is that China is now buying its turkey from Brazil. “Although one-fifth of the size of the US industry, turkey production in Brazil rocketed by 220 per cent between 2000 and 2008. Without a doubt, this has been the most dynamic industry in the current decade with output likely to come close to 500,000 tonnes this year making this country the second largest producer in the world.”

By the time Trump arrived and declared his tariff war with most of the world, I think Brazil’s turkey producers were ready.

According to CNBC, “Struggling (U.S.) farmers are losing a huge customer to the (Trump’s) trade war – China.”

And if you think the Chinese do not eat Turkey, you are wrong. Mentalfloss.com tells us that China is #1 among the top five importers of turkey meat. According to Mentalfloss, China imported 82.8 million pounds, and that was back in 2012.

Conclusion, if you are one of the 72,000 American expatriates living and working in China and you want to eat turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving (a U.S. holiday), that turkey probably came from Brazil, Germany, France, or Italy, but not the United States where the farmers that produce turkey are probably facing failure if not already bankrupt.

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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Do people or countries pollute, that is the question

November 13, 2019

Recently, I heard someone accuse China of being the world’s worst polluter based on its total carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). When I pointed out that per capita (per person) was more important than the total and mentioned that per capita in the United States was 15.53 tons of CO2 per person vs 6.59 tons for China, he refused to back down. To him, China was guilty of being the worst CO2 polluter on the planet, because of its total, not its per person number.

Saudi Arabia is the worst polluter on the planet because its population of 34.2 million produces 16.85 tons of CO2 per person (per capita).

If Saudi Arabia had China’s population, how much CO2 would its people produce?

The United States is ranked #3 for per capita (per person) CO2 emissions behind Saudi Arabia (#1) and Australia (#2).  China is ranked #12.

There are 195 countries in the world and if you click globalcarbonatlas.org, you will easily discover the population of each country and how much total CO2 pollution each country produces.

For instance, the United States has a population of 324,459,463 and it’s per capita CO2 emissions are 15.53 tones per person. China’s per capita (per person) emissions are 42.4-percent of the United States, but because China’s population is more than four times larger, the total amount of C02 is higher. China’s population is 1,409,517,317, and it’s per capita CO2 emissions are 6.59 tons per person.

If we got rid of all the people in a country, would that country still produce CO2 emissions?

U.S. 15.53 tons of CO2 per person vs China’s 6.59 tons


Watch the video and answer this question: what country has produced the most CO2 since 1960?

If you are interested, The Union of Concerned Scientists ranks the top 20 highest emitters of cumulative carbon dioxide emissions based on each country’s total and its per capita (per person) amount. The first chart is ranked by the total CO2 emission per country. Scroll down for the second chart that ranks the top twenty by individual (per capita) CO2 emissions. … The world’s per capita average is 4 tons of CO2 per person.  That means the population of the United States produces 3.88 times more CO2 than the global average vs China at 1.62 times.

Science Daily reports, “students conducted detailed interviews or made detailed estimates of the energy usage of 18 lifestyles (in the United States), spanning the gamut from a vegetarian college student and a 5-year-old up to the ultra-rich: Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates. The energy impact for the rich was estimated from published sources, while all the others were based on direct interviews. The average annual carbon dioxide emissions per person, they found (for the ultra-rich) was 20 metric tons …

“But the ‘floor’ below which nobody in the U.S. can reach, no matter a person’s energy choices, turned out to be 8.5 tons …. That was the emissions calculated for a homeless person who ate in soup kitchens and slept in homeless shelters.”

Just in case you did not understand what Science Daily was saying: The ultra-rich in the United States produce 20 metric tons per person (per capita) and even a homeless individual in the U.S. still produces 8.5 tons of CO2 vs China’s per capita average of 6.59 tons, but to the individual I went all Rambo on, none of that matters, because China is guilty due to its country total. Since CO2 emissions are caused by individuals instead of countries, I wonder what his solution would be … to execute one billion Chinese to get China’s total CO2 emissions down. How many American’s would have to die to get that country’s per person CO2 emissions down to 4 tons per capita?

What is China doing to lower its per capita (per person) number?

Well, USG.gov says, “China is the largest producer of (clean) hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the United States.”

China is cleaning up coal production by renovating old coal-burning facilities, and some Chinese sources estimate that China will possess the world’s largest high-efficiency coal power system by 2020. … Over the last decade, China’s investment in renewable energy and natural gas has surged. In 2017, almost half of global renewable energy investment came from China, totaling $125.9 billion.” – China power.org

What about the United States under illegitimate President Donald Trump? Politifact.com says, “Emissions did fall slightly between 2016 and 2017. But the rate of decline slowed under Trump and the month-to-month changes have been modest. Whatever decline has occurred on Trump’s watch is unlikely to stem from his own policies. Changes to emissions levels tend to come either from changing economic incentives, government policy over the long term, and factors beyond human control, such as the weather.”

The New York Times reports, “How Trump Is Ensuring That Greenhouse Gas Emissions Will Rise”

Yes or No – is China the worst CO2 emitter in the world?

Your answer will depend on rational logic vs confirmation bias. If your thinking is ruled by bias, you will say yes, if your thinking is based on rational logic, you will say no.

Science Daily says, “In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.”

What about you: do you make judgments and decisions based on confirmation bias or logic and facts?

Oh, and if you are one of “those” climate change denialists like Dumb-Dumb Donald Trump, and do not think CO2 emissions are a problem, I want you to know that exposure to CO2 can produce a variety of health effects. These may include headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, coma, asphyxia, and convulsions. In fact, ToxTown says, “Breathing in high amounts of carbon dioxide may be life-threatening.”

Also consider that there are more than 7.7 billion humans living on this planet and when we average CO2 emissions per person, The World Bank says it is almost five tons each. However, that average is not accurate because some countries produce more CO2 per person than others. For the United States, that average per person is 16.5 tons (according to The World Bank). For China, it is 7.5 tons per person, and in India, it is 1.7 tons per person, way below the global average.

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 Four Most Popular River Cruises

November 6, 2019

First: The Yangtze River Cruise

Cruise Critic.com says, “A China river cruise on the Yangtze tops the bucket list for most sophisticated travelers. … Once you’re on the Yangtze, expect to see mysterious temples and pagodas, small towns and rural life and the dramatic scenery of Three Gorges.”

At 3,900 miles, the Yangtze is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. The Yangtze has played a major role in the history, culture, and economy of China. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking, and war.

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world. The Telegraph reports, “The dam, now the world’s biggest electricity-generating facility, supplies 15 per cent of China’s hydroelectricity power.”

To cruise beyond the Three Georges Dam, there is a vertical-hoisting elevator (the largest in the world) that lifts cruise ships weighing up to 3,000 tons up-or-down 370 feet. There is also a lock for larger ships.

Second: Li River Cruise

Since I have already written about this one-day, four to five hour cruise, Here is the link to that post, but I added a newer video with this post. Much shorter than the Yangtze River, the Li River flows 102 miles and is located in southeast China near the city of Guilin.

Third: the Huangpu River Cruise

I have taken this cruise, too, and this link will take you to that post. The Huangpu River is 71 miles long making it shorter than the Li River. The Huangpu flows through Shanghai and was excavated and created when Lord Chunshen (died in 238 BC) ruled one of the Four Warring States of that era. This river is the last significant tributary flowing into the Yangtze before it reaches the East China Sea.

The Huangpu River, one of the earliest rivers in China to be dredged by man, originates at Dianshan Lake, in the Qingpu District of Shanghai.

Fourth: the Grand Canal Cruise

The Grand Canal is the oldest and longest man-made waterway in the world. The canal starts in Beijing in the north and ends at Hangzhou in the south with a length of 1,104 miles. You may read my post about the Grand Canal by clicking this link. The Canal is ten times the length of the Suez Canal and twenty-two times that of the Panama Canal. It also connects the two major rivers of China: the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.

Travel China Guide says, “The most popular section to cruise on the Grand Canal passes through Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces.”

This cruise does not travel the length of the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou and lasts less than two hours. The Grand Canal was built during the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618 AD), and about 2.5 million slaves and criminals died during its construction. The brutality and suffering angered many Chinese that rebelled and left the country in ruins. Emperor Yang was assassinated in 618 ending the Sui Dynasty, and the rebels took control. This was the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), one of the most-successful dynasties in China’s history.

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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