Charity and Philanthropy Sprouting in China

October 5, 2010

Now that China is the 2nd largest economy on the planet, the responsibility of helping the needy has come of age.

Today, China has about 875,000 multi-millionaires – 55,000 are billionaires, the highest number after the United States.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are visiting Beijing to have dinner with China’s wealthy and share their passion for giving.

So far, two of China’s super rich have accepted the invitation and the central government is encouraging others to attend requesting that all of China’s billionaires donate at least one million yuan annually to charity. Source: Wall Street Journal

It is estimated that there are more than 1,800 charitable foundations across China but most are not very transparent and this breeds suspicion and distrust.

To solve that problem, Actor Jet Li’s charity is one of the co-founding organizations behind a new China Foundation Center with goals to increase the transparency of Chinese charitable groups.

The Chinese may turn to the U.S. to see how America deals with charity theft, which has been a big problem with smaller charities.  Although larger charities are closely watched by the U.S. government, smaller charities often lack the financial controls to prevent theft. Source: MSNBC.com

It isn’t that the Chinese are unwilling to give. The China Daily reported that China’s top 100 philanthropists have donated $3.3 billion dollars since 2005.

After the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, individuals donated $8.9 billion, the highest level in China’s history.

The China Law Blog also had a post that said in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake, so many in China donated blood that there wasn’t enough room to store it all showing the world that when China’s government cannot handle a crises, the Chinese people will step in.

See When the Generals Laughed to discover what Chinese military did soon after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

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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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Education Chinese Style – Part 7

February 12, 2010

One of the Five Great Relationships that Confucius taught was the one between father and son. Nothing has changed. In addition, because of the relationship between husband and wife, the wife is expected to support the husband. It is the husband and wife’s responsibility to see that a son or daughter grows up to be like the gentleman that Confucius described. To do anything less would be a ‘loss of face’, because the child’s failure or success is a walking advertisement to everyone that the parents did not do their job.

Jade Budda Temple, Shanghai, China

Because of Confucius, most people in China have mutual obligations and responsibilities to each other. If you watched the opening Olympic ceremony in Beijing on TV, you may remember the little boy that risked his life after the big earthquake in Sichuan province. He said it was his duty. According to Confucius, he was right. Buddhism also plays an important part in everyday life in China.

These expectations go back more than two thousand years—well before Constantine made Christianity the moral and ethical foundation for the Roman Empire and Western civilization. Does that mean that everyone in China follows what Confucius taught? Do all Christians, Muslims or Jews follow what their God, spiritual teachers and prophets taught? The answer is no, but the foundations of these cultures are still built on those teachings.

See Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart.


Earthquakes, Spoiled Formula and Kidnappings – Part 1

February 2, 2010

  Two recent pieces in the news focused a spotlight on how most people in the West misunderstand China and the Chinese.  On January 19, Time published a piece comparing China’s handling of its earthquake in May 2008 in Sichuan with the way Haiti is handling its current catastrophe. There were striking differences—mostly making China look good.

 Today, the Associated Press published a piece about China slamming US criticism of its Internet controls, and it was mentioned how a “few” Chinese bloggers were upset by content controls in China. Don’t forget that China has 1.3 billion people.

 Both pieces miss the point because they both assume that Western values should be applied to China. This also goes back to a conservative friend whom, during an e-mail conversation, said Communism was evil.  I’m sure many Americans may believe this statement, and they would be both historically correct and currently wrong.  To learn more, see what I said in A Media Slugfest Using Taiwan

Further reading:
Time: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100121/wl_time/08599195464400

 Associated Press: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100122/ap_on_hi_te/as_china_google

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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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