Human Rights – East versus West

July 24, 2010

The loudest voices for human rights originate in the West where the individual has more value than the whole. In China, the opposite is true. In China, the emphasis is on collective rights, which explains why China has the death penalty with the highest execution rate in the world.  The idea is to get rid of individual threats to the collective welfare.

Dr. Sun Yat-sin (1866 – 1925), who is celebrated in mainland China and in Taiwan as the father of modern China, said it best, “An individual should not have too much freedom. A nation should have absolute freedom.”

Interpreted, that means individuals in China will not have the level of freedoms as exercised in Western nations and even if China were to hold democratic elections, that situation will probably not change. Human rights in China does exist but from a collective point of view.

Joe Amon, writing in the Huffington Post, shows his ignorance of Chinese culture when he says, “But the government should be held to account for stifling the work and voices of Chinese AIDS activists and nongovernmental organizations.”

To work for change in China, one must understand the collective thought process of most Chinese.  If change is to take place, it must come from within China and it must be done from a collective point of view. In fact, it is culturally taboo to talk about HIV/AIDS in China since the Chinese seldom talk publicly about the so called white-elephant in the room anyway.

See Human Rights the Chinese Way


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.

Making China the Goat Again

June 29, 2010

China’s currency policies continue to ruffle feathers.  Robert E. Scott writes in the Huffington Post that US lawmakers must force China to raise the value of the yuan by 40% so jobs will materialize in America.  He claims that China is responsible for 1 million displaced jobs and must be punished economically with high tariffs if they don’t comply.

What he doesn’t mention are the jobs lost to the subprime mortgage crises, which almost sunk GM and Chrysler along with plummeting real estate prices, a storm of bankruptcies and endless foreclosures—not counting the trillions added to the national debt to bail out banks. 

He doesn’t mention that more than 10 million US jobs go to illegal immigrants who flood across America’s southern border to work for low wages.  He doesn’t mention NAFTA, which took another three million US jobs to Mexico and Canada.

He also doesn’t mention the 20 to 40 million Chinese who lost their jobs and tens of thousands of Chinese factories that closed due to the same subprime mortgage crises that was caused by US Wall Street banking greed and lax government oversight when G. W. Bush was president.

My question is, “Mr. Scott, why are you making China the lone goat for America’s debt crises and job losses?” 

Why not mention all the other low wage countries that manufacture products sold in the US—the list is long. I bought something made in Haiti recently, and it wasn’t art. Does that mean someone in Haiti took a job from someone in the US?

Why not ask Americans to stop buying iPods, iPads, Macintosh, Dell, and HP since most of these products are assembled or manufactured in China or other low wage countries.

Why not ask Americans to stop buying from the likes of Wal-Mart or mention how many Americans have jobs because of high-end American products that Chinese consumers buy.

See A Stable Basket of Cash


Lloyd Lofthouse,
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. 

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China

Belching about China

June 20, 2010

I sometimes read opinions about China from individuals who should stay quiet.  Leo Hindery wrote one for The Huffington Post, which  is an example of an American castigating China from a Western cultural point-of-view.

These biased voices bother me and probably bother many Chinese too. Of course, Hindery has a right to voice his opinions, but most Chinese don’t understand that the American government has no control (at least we like to think so) of what appears in the American media.

Xu Xiao-dong, in Zhouzhuang, China, an artist in his shop earning a living without help from the American labor movement.

Since the media in China is the official voice of the government, many in China see the Western media the same way. Hindery says he is eager to see the “American labor movement smartly and creatively provide all the help to China’s workers that it can responsibly offer” to help Chinese workers earn more money along with better benefits. Considering what the American labor movement did for the US auto industry, that is a bad idea.

Due to Western meddling in China  during the 19th century, there were two Opium Wars  forcing British, French and American opium into the country along with Christian missionaries, which led to the Taiping Rebellion started by a Christian convert ending in 20 to 100 million killed. Then there was the Boxer Rebellion, a peasant uprising caused by meddling Christian missionaries, greedy Western businessmen and pompous politicians.

In fact, due to the West forcing China to open its doors, more than two-thousand years of Imperial rule ended leading to four decades of chaos and anarchy between 1913 and 1950 where millions more were killed.

My opinion is to let the Chinese fix China and leave the American labor movement out of it.

See China’s Labor Laws


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.

China’s Goal to Clean Dirty Coal

June 15, 2010

Bill Chameides writes in the Huffington Post about China’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.  His goes into detail how the Chinese plan to accomplish this.

Since 70% of China’s electricity comes from thousands of coal burning power plants,  Chameides expresses doubts that China will be able to meet these lofty goals.  However, I disagree.  When you discover the downside of China’s coal burning power plants, it is obvious there is no choice but to clean up.

China’s one-party system has demonstrated the ability to get things done quickly and mistakes are made but so are course corrections.  I witnessed China’s ability to get things done in Shanghai. We were staying in what was once the French concession. The stately mansions that had housed wealthy French families and servants had been converted to communal multi-family homes still surrounded by tall walls.  When we went to sleep, the walls were there. In the morning, they were gone. 

An army of workers arrived at night, took down the walls and trucked out the debris without making enough noise to wake people.

Although I disagree with Chameides conclusion, his piece is worth reading.

See Electricity is the Key


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning My Splendid Concubine and writes The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China

Twin Disasters Shine a Light on Bias

April 10, 2010

In China, a coalmine is flooded and traps more than a hundred. The Huffington Post reports this and says, “The real issue for the government (China’s) is to learn the lessons from this…The fundamental issue is, the miners should never have been put in this situation in the first place.”

In another piece, “A West Virginia coal mine explosion demands action”, Washington Post. “A huge explosion at the Upper Big Branch coalmine…claimed the lives of 25 miners.” This happened even after Congress passed the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response act to make it safer.

After the US Congress passed this tougher law, the company that owned the West Virginia mine was cited with several safety violations prior to the explosion but was allowed to continue operating.

It seems the miners didn’t speak out for fear of losing their jobs. True said, “Interesting how the West Virginia state police are necessary to allow the mining company CEO to speak now. He probably wouldn’t need them if the miners had been allowed to speak months ago.”

The US Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech but that freedom was written to protect US citizens from the government—not to protect people from corporations. The Huffington Post was right about one thing, “The miners should have never been put in this situation in the first place.”

See Human Rights the Chinese Way

Sign up for an RSS Feed for  iLook China