China

China

Bob
Bob

May 28th, 2008, 1:33 pm #1

The May 2008 edition of National Geographic magazine is devoted to Mainland China. Interesting stories, more from the individual Chinese citizens' viewpoints than the more common political/economic overviews one tends to get from media.

Since we are going to be increasingly dominated by them in the future, I suppose we should become as familiar with them as possible.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 28th, 2008, 1:47 pm #2

Yes, like it or not, they are going to be the big kid on the block in tomorrow's neighborhood. I just hope they will be a nice kid. At this point I'm not so sure but maybe economical success will mediate their long history of aggression and oppression.
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Bob
Bob

May 29th, 2008, 1:37 pm #3

I recently watched a program on the ancient Greek States (e.g., Sparta, Athens) and the frequent wars they pursued against each other. Most often, it appeared that the fight was the main thing . . but once the "winner" dominated, they were much less inclined to want to keep killing (except for the conquered leaders or their fervent loyalists) or detroy each opponent's city. Mostly, they just wanted to dominate, be worshipped by those they oppressed, and gain financial advantage from the conquered populace.

Maybe that is how China will be vis-a-vis the West. We've talked about how the Chinese alone could crash the United States' economy just by switching away from the dollar and/or calling in their debts we owe. The fact that they haven't done so . . do they feel not-ready to take that step? . . . . are they biding their time until U.S. gets weak enough to pass the point of all resistance and recovery? . . or are their intentions toward us more benevolent? Would they be content to have us as a compliant market for their goods . . . a vacation land for their wealthy (in a way Hawaii became for the Japanese) rather than to seek to impose their military might and repressive government upon us? How do we know which would occur?

Yesterday, I saw a news program that showed U.S. authorities helping to train Chinese air marshalls in patrolling flights . . in preparation for the upcoming Olympic games. I thought: Why is Communist China different than the former Soviet Union? During the Cold War, U.S. would never have permitted the Soviet Union to dominate our economy, delibilitate our industries or hold crippling debt over our heads. We gave, or offered, some humanitarian aid to U.S.S.R. during national catastrophies . . but we weren't beholding or vulnerable to them . . as we are now to Communist China. We would have been terrified to be so exposed and weak to the Soviet's . . . so why now are we much more content to be at the mercy of a dictatorial Communnist China regime? Why do we train their law enforcement? What is different? Why the change? Are we cooperating by choice, or do we have a choice?

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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 29th, 2008, 1:53 pm #4

Well back when the Soviet Union was the big fear China was pretty isolationists. Their military was relatively weak and they were way behind in technology. So we just didn't regard them the threat that Russia was.

Ofcourse, this has changed- China has caught up technologically (mostly by stealing US secrets) and is building a very large military now. They don't want to hurt the US right now because they are making so much money off of us. But what happens in the future as they become richer and we become poorer and less valuable to them- who's to say.
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Marseil
Marseil

May 30th, 2008, 4:45 pm #5

The May 2008 edition of National Geographic magazine is devoted to Mainland China. Interesting stories, more from the individual Chinese citizens' viewpoints than the more common political/economic overviews one tends to get from media.

Since we are going to be increasingly dominated by them in the future, I suppose we should become as familiar with them as possible.
US cultural imperialism has brought us the National Geographic

I bought the issue about China, and I can say, it is very well done, very nice, beautiful pictures, and very sensitive articles.
Buy it!

Marseil.
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Bob
Bob

May 31st, 2008, 1:03 am #6

A French guy likes the same magazine as me! What did I miss? How could such subversivness escape me?!!

btw, Marseil, I would be much more interested in your tour of the Far East than of France (where, I'm sure, you would avoid taking me by the French slums and leper colonies! We Americans are not so naive as to trust the French tourism regime! )
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Marseil
Marseil

June 2nd, 2008, 5:30 am #7

Bob,

No problem for the Far East! Join me in Tokyo by end of July, and you can join in my trip all the way to France by train (a a little bit of boat).

Marseil.
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Bob
Bob

June 2nd, 2008, 1:58 pm #8

that you can do all this traveling to other countries. I take it that you don't have a lot of other demands on your time and money? Me, I have to look after my fragile mother and her properties, and son Joseph always costs me big money! That does sound like a wonderful trip in July.
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Marseil
Marseil

June 4th, 2008, 5:16 am #9

Bob,

It's just that I deliberately set up my professional activity to allow for 12 weeks off every year, as I consider it's a priority. I don't concur into the definition of success you gave here http://www.network54.com/Forum/157869/m ... %26quot%3B based purely on material possessions.

I consider having free time for traveling, discovering, meeting people, etc... is more important to me. And I'm not planing to go to fancy hotels or to travel 1st class.

To each his own priorities.

Marseil.
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Bob
Bob

June 4th, 2008, 5:09 pm #10

Congrats to you that you can take 12 weeks of vacation to travel and explore. Here in U.S., the average worker gets 2-3 weeks vacation each year, and is likely discouraged from taking that in one big chunk.

Back in 2000, I took off work for 4 weeks in order to drive from Ohio out to see my sister in Washington State. I chose to drive because I thought it would be fun to stop along the way and visit places I'd never, or seldom, been. So, we took a week to drive out, two weeks to visit with Sis, and 5 days to drive back. It was tiring, but great.

Some friends and co-workers questioned my wisdom in doing this. They told me that it might not be wise to be absent so long and give my employer the idea that perhaps my services weren't so important. If, during that 4 weeks, other workers were able to fill-in and things ran smooth, maybe my position really wasn't necessary? I rejected this as paranoia, but I acknowledged privately that stranger things have happened. Today, employers are consumed with cutting costs, and labor costs are usually the biggest of all. But, you can't live your entire life in fear, correct?

I enjoy traveling. Its just that if I were to travel across oceans to do it, I would want sufficient time and money to not feel hurried or cheated. I would want the full experience . . which to me is taking time to see as much as I can, having the flexibility to change itinerary and enjoy unexpected side trips, and to not have to sweat if "the money will hold out."

True, our definitions of "success" may differ. But, that is NOT to say that I qualify as "success" by my own definition. I think many people, Americans included, make compromises and concessions based upon certain realities. I have certainly done so, and I hope my choices do not compromise too severely my ability to live a reasonable older lifestyle (I cannot envision ever having the comforts of someone like Nat, for example)
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