The Danger of False Truths – Part 3/3

July 23, 2011

In another e-mail, this “old” friend questioned China’s behavior in Asia and mentioned the disagreement between Vietnam and China over some offshore oil fields that both countries claim.

He felt this was a sign that China would wage war on other countries and inferred this would not happen if China were a democracy similar to the US, since “no democracy has ever gone to war with another democracy” (his words).

Soon after I received that e-mail, I used Google and found Democracies Do Not Make War on One Another … or Do They? by Matthew White, who does a great job throwing ice-cold water on another false truth.

White says, basically, it depends on the definition of democracy and that individuals will shift the meaning of the definition to fit what he or she wants to believe.

To come up with a set of probabilities, White studied the wars that took place in 1967 and came up with these results:

White wrote, “Now, 1967 is just a single year, but I’ve spent a good deal of this Atlas counting democracies. I can state with reasonable certainty that 44.5% of mapable sovereignties during the WW2-Y2K Era were full democracies. This calculates out to…

  • The odds of 2 random democracies going to war: 19.8%
  • The odds of 2 random non-democracies going to war: 30.8%
  • The odds of a random democracy going to war with a random non-democracy: 49.4%

He also mentions an interesting theory that “no two countries with a McDonald’s Restaurant have ever gone to war with one another”, which seems to indicate that as countries are incorporated into the global economy by trans-national corporations, they stop waging war on one another.

This theory is an individual truth that most of us might want to believe since there then should be no worry that the US and China will ever wage war.

In 2009, the US had 13,381 McDonalds and in 2010, China had almost 1,000 with thousands more planned. In addition, China has thousands of Pizza Huts, KFCs, Starbucks and the Chinese love to drive Buicks and Fords. Wal-Mart is even building stores in China.

However, I discovered the McDonald’s theory might be another false truth.

Pakistan has 25 McDonalds and the first one was built in 1998. India has 192 with the first built in 1996, and the last Indo-Pakistani War was in 1999.

Return to The Danger of False Truths – Part 2 or start with Part 1


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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Eating Gourmet in Shanghai

May 25, 2010

I wrote about the Blog post in the “Lost Laowai” in my last post about the sunken South Korean navy ship.

There was another funny facetious remark about China sharing a distaste for McDonald’s that was a cause for smiles.

Maybe China’s government doesn’t care for McDonalds, but many Chinese see McDonald’s and Pizza Hut as gourmet restaurants.  McDonalds is even planning to increase the number of outlets in China to 2,000 by year’s end.

Multi-story Pizza Hut in Shanghai

Several years ago, my sister-in-law hired a Shanghai ballerina to model for a photo shoot.  Afterwards, the ballerina called her husband on a cell phone and told him to meet her at the large, two story McDonalds in the middle of Shanghai to celebrate earning the extra cash.

In addition, we have often seen long waiting lines outside a swanky Pizza Hut on Shanghai’s Nanjing Road, and crowded pedestrian mall.

To discover more about Shanghai visit:
Shanghai Huxinting Teahouse
Shanghai Huangpu River Tour
Shanghai’s History & Culture
Chinese Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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From Fast-Food to Killing – You Decide

April 13, 2010

I read Man Sentenced to death over China school stabbings and thought, “Is this another Columbine Copy Cat—but in China, the Middle Kingdom. where harmony rules?” Then I read in another piece that McDonald’s plans to double the number of fast-food restaurants in China from about 1,100 to 2,000 by the end of 2013.

Fast Food in China

It’s a fact that a fast-food diet has been observed to aggravate asthma, move mood swings, provoke personality changes, muster mental illness, nourish nervous disorders, deliver diabetes, hurry heart disease, grow gallstones, hasten hypertension, and add arthritis. Source: Healing Daily

Without making any claims that fast food might be connected to that man stabbing those children in China, I’m going to point out a few facts and let the reader decide.

America leads the world in violent assaults on school children of all ages. Prior to 1950, when the fast food industry took off and spread like a cancer, there were a total of forty-five recorded school-related attacks in the United States (over a time span of almost two centuries).

After 1950, the number of school-related attacks soared to about two hundred.  In China, recorded school-related attacks didn’t start until May 14, 2000. Since then, there have been more than a dozen. Source: List of school-related attacks

Here are two timelines for the growth of the fast-food industry in American and China. Study the dates. Compare to growth of school-related attacks. Decide.

History timeline of fast food in America

History timeline of fast food in China

See “An Invasion of Fat”


An Invasion of Fat

March 18, 2010

I remember one night when we ate in a Shanghai restaurant and at the next table, this overweight kid, maybe ten, said in a shrill voice, “I hate vegetables. Where’s the meat. I demand more meat.” Then he pounded the table with both fists while his face screwed up in a rage. His mother had an embarrassed look on her face but she didn’t say a word.

The Opium Wars in the 19th century that forced China to open its doors to foreign drug dealers (English, French, American, etc.) and Christian missionaries was nothing compared to the recent obesity invasion. In 2005, it was predicted that 200 million Chinese would be obese within 10 years.

McDonalds has more than 1,100 locations in China.
KFC has more than 2,900 in over 400 cities.
Pizza Hut has about 500.
Starbucks over a 1,000.

China’s bulging middle class has fallen in love with the Western fast food diet and couch potato lifestyle. Those hit worst with the expanding waistline are the pampered single-child generation. More than 11% are reportedly overweight and the number of obese children is rising at the rate of 8% a year. Much of the new fat is in wealthy urban centers such as Shanghai—where the obesity rate among primary school children hit 15.2% last year, according to the state media.

Read Doing Business in China


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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Attitudes Toward Health in China

February 28, 2010

The focus in China is on prevention—meaning to plan your lifestyle around healthy habits. That’s why early in the morning you may find many older Chinese outside exercising using the graceful, poetic movements of Tai Chi to insure health and longevity.  

Meanwhile, behavior shows the old attitudes toward preventative health eroding. More than three hundred million Chinese smoke American cigarettes and obesity is a growing epidemic in China as it is in the United States.

Shanghai McDonald's

How could obesity not be a problem since the Chinese are having a love affair with American fast food? China loves most things American. McDonalds and Domino’s Pizza are considered gourmet restaurants and can easily be found in China’s cities.

Learn about 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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