Barbara Walters on North Korea and China

November 29, 2010

Recently, Barbara Walters talked to President Obama about North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island near the DMZ.

Obama said South Korea was one of America’s most important alliances (in Asia), which has to be true since South Korea has many Christians (about a third of the population). It also has a strong open market, capitalist economy and a democratic government.

However, although China is considered North Korea’s only friend and ally, the two countries are different today.

First, China left the autocratic Maoist revolutionary form of government behind soon after Mao’s death.

Second, China is a republic that appears to be moving toward democracy and has an open market economy similar to South Korea’s.

I said in a previous post, “China’s reluctance to put public pressure on Pyongyang to step off the warhorse might be because the Chinese feel it would be like pressuring a family member.” Source: China and North Korea

That may no longer be the case.

Austin Ramzy writing for TIME says, “The news, delivered at a rare Sunday press conference, was that China was calling for emergency consultations between itself, North and South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Russia… it was a welcome call for calm by the North’s key ally.”

Many in the world should be glad of China’s relationship with the Hermit Kingdom. If it weren’t for China, there would be no one North Korea would listen to.

Walters also was in China with President Richard Nixon in 1972, and she paints a picture of China about thirty-eight years ago that vividly offers a contrast to today’s China.

Then in April 2009, Walters asked Jiang Zemin (China’s third president after Mao died) what happened to the famous “tank man” of the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.

Walters says, “Did you execute him? We heard he was arrested and executed.”

Zemin replied that he did not know what happened to the man. Then he said he thinks the man was never killed.

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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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A Matter of Distance and Perspective

July 7, 2010

President Obama demonstrates that he does not understand the Chinese thought process in his response to President Hu Jintao of China over how to handle North Korea’s recent sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean naval ship.

The New York Times Asia Pacific section reports that President Obama has accused Beijing of “willful blindness” toward what North Korea has done.  Some American officials say this was an act of war. Obama indicated the way China is handling this would not solve the problem.

There are two voices to pay attention to. Leon E. Panetta and China’s spokesman, Qin Gang. Mr. Qin said, “China is a neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, and on this issue our feelings differ from a country that lies 8.000 kilometers distant. We feel even more direct and serious concerns.”

Leon E. Panetta, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he believed that the sinking of the Cheonan was part of a succession struggle in North Korea.”

America tends to handle crises of this kind like a bull in a China shop, and what gets broken doesn’t hurt the US homeland. China, on the other hand, will handle this issue like delicate surgery.  One wrong move could end in disaster.  After all, who is closer to that nuclear bullring and how can Obama understand when China’s shoes won’t fit his feet?

See China and North Korea

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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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From the Bottom Up

March 29, 2010

America may be learning something from China’s stimulus plan—spending hundreds of billions of dollars from its cash reserves to keep people working. This is called bottom-up economic growth and the gap between the rich and working poor shrinks instead of expands. The opposite is trickle-down economics from the Reagan era where the gap widens.

Chinese jobs

China’s bottom-up plan makes sense. After all, how much can one rich person consume compared to hundreds of millions of people—a little spending from each person at the bottom adds up and is better for long-term economic survival instead of short-term corporate profits. Who cares if the wealthy grow their fortunes slower? Well, the rich do. I’m sure they love having that money filling Wall Street vaults.

It appears that President Obama has the same idea. During the presidential campaign, he said.  “The project of the next president  is figuring out how you create bottom-up economic growth, as opposed to the trickle-down economic growth.” It seems that with the passing of the health care bill (that has upset so many of the trickle-down people), President Obama is putting his words into action and following China’s example.

To learn more about China’s economy see “Why China is Studying Singapore” http://wp.me/pN4pY-2z


The Last Word

March 13, 2010

During the Copenhagen Climate Summit, China was criticized for not signing a pledge to reduce carbon emissions.  I don’t think China’s was ready to sign and had to go home to study the situation to see what they could do before they made a commitment.  All (take a look) of China’s politburo members, the top government body in China, are scientist or engineers.

On March 10, China told the United States to make stronger commitments on climate change and provide environmental expertise and financing to developing nations. That was a few days after China announced it was planning to reduce its carbon footprint by 40-45% (from 2005 levels) and generate 15% of its electricity from renewable technologies by 2020.

Solar Cells

Obama, on the other hand, only pledged reducing green house gas emissions “in the range of 17%” by 2020. 

This is what I think happened after China’s representatives left Copenhagen.  Those scientists and engineers that make up China’s ruling body gathered facts, discovered what China could achieve, then formulated long-range goals. Most scientists and engineers think that way.

President Obama is a lawyer. Most of the elected representatives in America’s two houses of congress are lawyers.

See what China has been doing by reading “Health Care, Urban Real Estate and Renewable Energy Update” http://wp.me/pN4pY-er and “China Going Green” http://wp.me/pN4pY-3f

 


Health Care, Urban Real Estate and Renewable Energy Update

March 9, 2010

Rural citizens of China have been protesting the lack of quality health care outside the cities where eight hundred million Chinese live. This topic was also a subject for debate in China’s legislature, known as the National People’s Congress. (see Basic Health Care in China (http://wp.me/pN4pY-bO)

Another complaint China’s government wants to deal with is the shocking price increases to buy a home in one of China’s cities. Housing costs in seventy Chinese cities jumped 9.5% from a year earlier. The government wants to bring those prices down to make housing more affordable.

During the Copenhagen Climate Summit, China was criticized for not signing a pledge to reduce carbon emissions. China recently announced that it is planning to reduce its carbon footprint by 40-45% (from 2005 levels) and generate 15% of its electricity from renewable technologies by 2020. Over the next ten years, we should see these changes taking place. Since most of China’s leaders are engineers, they often set long-term goals.

Chinese Wind Farms

By comparison, President Obama said at Copenhagen that the United States intended to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of” 17% by 2020.  Since the Chinese government doesn’t have to deal with American conservatives, who do not believe carbon emissions are causing global warming and block legislation and spew confusion at every chance, I’d place my bet on China achieving their goals first.