Learning from Canada

July 10, 2010

The China Daily reported that China and Canada plan to double trade. “I have agreed with Prime Minister Harper that we should take active measures to make our countries’ two-way trade volume reach a target of $60 billion by 2015,” Hu Jintao said in Ottawa.

President Hu Jintao shaking hands with Prime Minister Harper

While the US pressures China to do something about North Korea, sells modern weapons to Taiwan and hosts the Dalai Lama at the White House, which all upset China, Canada works to build a relationship and earned approved destination status (ADS), so Chinese tourists may travel to Canada in organized, pre-sold tour groups.  Canada’s tourist industry hopes to see $100 million a year increasing tourist revenues and creating jobs.

Canada also signed several energy cooperative agreements involving oil sand, nuclear energy and gas. In addition, one agreement might mean more Canadian food products being sold to China, which creates more jobs for Canadians since so many were lost when the US Sub Prime Mortgage crises caused a global economic meltdown. 

Why can’t the US find constructive ways like these to do the same—shrink the trade imbalance with China and create jobs at home without irritating Beijing?

See Doing Business in China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Dictatorship Defined

April 7, 2010

There is so much misleading information on the Internet and from the Western media regarding China that it boggles the mind. For example, China’s President is listed as a dictator but by definition, he cannot be a dictator.

Dictatorship: 1) government by a ruler who has complete power 2) a country that is ruled by one person who has complete power (source: Longman Advanced American Dictionary)

Chinese Constitution: Article 1

Article 1. The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. The socialist system is the basic system of the People’s Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited. Source: Chinese Constitution

I asked my wife, “How can China use the term dictatorship in Article 1 if China isn’t ruled by a dictator?”

She replied, “In Chinese, ‘people’s democratic dictatorship‘ means the people have the power. It’s a translation error.”

I then Googled dictatorship and discovered Parade’s Annual list of…the World’s 10 Worst Dictators.

Parade’s definition of a dictator says, “A ‘dictator‘ is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means.” Hu Jintao, China’s president, was number six on Parade’s list, but the claims used to include Hu Jintao are wrong.

Presidents Hu Jintao and George Bush

For example, Parade claims that at least 400,000 residents of Beijing were forcibly evicted from their houses prior to the 2008 Olympics. That’s not true—the people sent from Beijing before the 2008 Olympics was transient labor and did not have residence cards and could not own property in Beijing. They were not legal residents and many transient laborers in China rent rooms shared with others in a communal environment crowded with bunk beds crammed in every possible space—like a military barracks. I know, because I’ve seen places like this in Shanghai. I also learned that the government paid for the transportation costs.

The reason Beijing sent those people away was because some were from Tibet and Xinjiang and may have been separatists, who might have staged protests to embarrass China—something the Chinese government avoids like the plague. The truth is, those people were sent home to their villages and were allowed to return to work after the Beijing Olympics. For them, it was like a vacation. Most also return to their villages during the Chinese New Year to be with their families because that’s where their homes are.

Since the Chinese Constitution rules China, Hu Jintao does not exercise arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens. In fact, I doubt if he makes any legal decisions since the Chinese Constitution puts that power in the hands of China’s legal system. Discover more at China Law and Justice System

Parade is also wrong that China’s president cannot be removed from power through legal means.

Article 79 says, “The term of office of the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.”

Article 59. The National People’s Congress is composed of deputies elected by the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and by the armed forces.

Article 63. The National People’s Congress has the power to recall or remove from office the following persons:

(1) The President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China;

(2) The Premier, Vice-Premiers, State Councillors, Ministers in charge of Ministries or Commissions and the Auditor-General and the Secretary-General of the State Council;

(3) The Chairman of the Central Military Commission and others on the commission;

(4) The President of the Supreme People’s Court; and

(5) The Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Discover Stereotypes and/or The Failure of Multiculturalism in the United States


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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The Urban-Rural Divide

February 13, 2010

Photo courtesy of Bob Grant

This morning Bob Grant posted Contradiction of Times at Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine. He shows visually and through words the discrepancy in lifestyles that he has witnessed between China’s cities and countryside. There is a reason for this discrepancy. After Mao died and China started down the road toward Social Capitalism, the central government decided to focus growth and modernization in the cities.

However, when Hu Jintao became president in 2002, he responded to the rising social tensions and China’s wealth gap by advocating a drive to build a “harmonious society”. He promised greater spending on health and education in rural areas where eight-hundred million Chinese live. Prior to that, most of China’s efforts at growth and modernization took place in the cities.  What we see in China’s cities today took place over a period of more than thirty years. It may take longer to improve the living standards of rural Chinese, but if the current government is going to survive, they have no choice.

Photo courtesy of Bob Grant

To learn more, I suggest you read this BBC piece about China’s Country Profile. Hu Jintao was reelected in 2008 for another five-year term. China has a two five-year term limit for public office.

Discover China’s Stick People


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.