Sunday, 31 January 2016

刁皇绰号选集 Selected Nicknames for his Rotundness Emperor Xi

Here is a selection of some nicknames for the dearly immense dictator of China, most of which are my own inventions. I Hope you like them and please share your own versions or feel free to offer your own English translations of the following sobriquets. Thanks!


刁假假  Faker Daddy Xi
刁泽东  Mao the Second
习胖子 Big-bottom Xi
庆丰包子帝 The Stuffed Bun Qinfeng Emperor
习包子 Stuffed Bun Xi
大肚肚 Big belly Xi
习禁评 Anti-speech Xi
习禁平 Anti-equality Xi
刁进瓶 Fell-in-the-bottle Xi
刁皇 Emperor Diao (Xi)
习尽贫 No-ideas Xi
习紧频 Crisis-monger Xi
刁撒币 Burn-Money Xi
刁二胖子 Fatty Xi Jr. of the Imperial Red Family
习精病 Wingnut Xi

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Yuan as Reserve Currency less important than Economic and Political Reform

By Chris Harry

In theory, the addition of the RMB as a top-reserve currency would further diversify the world's exchange reserves. It also would draw China further into the world economy, which might also be a positive force for encouraging China to move toward a stable economic model based on greater transparency and not-so minor adjustments such as the rule of law. On the other hand, Chinese banks would have to sink and park huge sums of money as deposit insurance, which could further weaken its already fragile debt-to-GDP ratio imbalance.

The fact that China is a maverick economic player that relies on artificial growth that is willing to use any and all means to continue the growth bubble for the sake of social stability and the perpetuation of the party-state, also means that China could potentially become a hugely disruptive and destabilising force in the world economy.

Party interests will always remain paramount and unchecked under the current system, so only when China makes a fundamental political and economic shift, can we expect the Yuan to make a positive contribution to global economic stability. China will also need to follow international rules and regulations in order to make a positive contribution to international economic stability. Again, under the current system in place in China, we cannot expect that it is willing to follow international norms, practices and rules. 

The lack of a domestic rule of law clearly indicates China unwillingness to abide by international treaties and conventions. China's approach in the South China Sea shows a total disregard for the sovereignty of its own neighbours and is a breach of the treaties it signed and pledged to uphold. Xi's administration has been emboldened to further apply the no-rules bully approach toward domestic politics and foreign policy. At the same time, the domestic economy has been tanking ever since Xi took power.

The stock market debacle also shows a total lack of transparency and honesty in dealing with internal domestic issues. In the end, the government relied on a command-driven and heavy-handed approach to force a recovery of the stock market. In the process, billions of individual investors' earnings evaporated along with crucial monetary reserves to support China's state retirement funds. 

Beijing took a huge gamble by creating a false bull market in order to orchestrate state-led insider trading, so as to prop up Zombie SOEs that are bleeding out huge losses daily and are kept alive by state-controlled banks that can barely handle the pressure of giving out free money to keep these SOEs afloat.

When China gets its political and economic house in order, then we might expect the RMB to play a positive role in the world economy.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Emperor Xi: I want True Dictatorship

刁皇:我要真独裁 (他的独裁梦)

Emperor Xi: I want True Dictatorship

Pictured here with a fake yellow umbrella, an homage to the Umbrella Revolution where Hong Kong students bravely demonstrated and protested in their demand for true elections. Emperor Xi's make-believe response is depicted above as,  "I want true dictatorship".

The yellow colour of the umbrella also represents a colour that was reserved only for the Emperor in ancient China. In the past, any subject discovered wearing fabric dyed in Imperial yellow could be subject to the death penalty.

This is symbolic of how human rights have been further eroded and weakened just as party Emperor Xi has been concentrating more and more dictatorial powers in his own hands since his rise to power.

Monday, 19 January 2015

China’s Wrongheaded Quest for Respect

    One would hope that the Chinese leadership is beginning to understand the importance of co-operation with other countries, but after decades of empty rhetoric from Beijing, the mentality and the strategic diplomatic initiatives of China's dictatorship still remain shrouded in a bamboozling cloud of mystery. Aside from a penchant for opportunistic gain; be it military, diplomatic or economic, Beijing seems to lack a consistent or clear diplomatic policy that builds long-lasting alliances or friendship based on mutual respect and trust. 

    While more and more Chinese citizens are becoming open, cosmopolitan and globally-minded, the government remains secretive, distrustful and painfully awkward at forging meaningful and mutually beneficial ties with other countries.

    Beijing seems very poor at thinking beyond monetary bribery and military bravado. While these are key levers to power relations, they do not appeal to the human side of diplomatic relations, and therefore ultimately fail to win the hearts and minds of the non-Chinese majority of humanity across the globe.

    Perhaps, once Beijing learns to be nicer and more respectful toward its own citizens and its neighbours, the rest of the world will gradually begin to afford it the respect it seeks.

    Meanwhile, throwing money in the air, foaming at the mouth and brandishing a sword will only frighten, annoy or infuriate the rest of the world. The Chinese leaders fail to realize that sometimes the law of the jungle only applies in the animal world and not among civilized nations.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Which Foreign Gods are most 'Chinese'?

In terms of historical seniority, arguably considered to be a very important criterion in defining Chinese culture among Chinese who are proud of their long history, it is not unreasonable to assert that Christianity is more Chinese than Communism, as its history can be traced all the way back to the 19th century missionaries. The rulers of the sect called the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace who rebelled against and nearly toppled the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century (a foreign Manchu dynasty that had invaded and conquered China in 1644) were a quasi-Christian force whose leader, Hong Xiuquan, claimed to be the brother of Jesus Christ. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China (and considered by the Communist Party of China as the father of the nation) who helped to finally end foreign Manchu rule in 1911, was both a Confucian and a Christian. His successor and subsequent leader of China in the Nationalist era, Chiang Kai-shek, also converted to Christianity. All of this Chinese destiny with Christianity happened before the Chinese Communists ever took power in China. 

Thus, if the Chinese Communists can worship their foreign gods, demi-gods and heroes such as Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Bethune and Genghis Khan (Russian, German, Canadian and Mongolian respectively) then what is wrong with Chinese Christians worshipping Jesus, the King of the Jews or an Argentinean Pope Francis? 

Buddhists have been worshipping their Nepalese-born leader Siddhartha Gautama for milllennia in China, a foreign religion which spread to China from Central Asia. Yet another legendary Buddhist figure Bodhi Dharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism in China, was from India and was quite possibly one of the greatest single historical figures to promote China’s cultural influence in the world next to Confucius and Lao Zi (the founder of Daoism). 

Therefore, in terms of historical seniority and cultural influence, we should conclude that Gautama Buddha and Bodhi Dharma are the two most ‘Chinese’ foreign gods in Chinese history. After all, even though Genghis Khan looked kind of Chinese, he was a barbaric and cruel invader who raped and pillaged China then wiped it off the map. Although that is precisely why the followers of a Russian pseudo-religion called Communism in China still revere their ancient foreign barbarian hero; because he brutally dominated the ancient world. Maybe that qualifies Genghis Khan as the most ‘Chinese Communist’ foreign god.

Image compilation and text by Chris Harry

Friday, 25 April 2014

Why China’s Pollution Laws are Merely Words on Paper

Article and image editing by Chris Harry

It is hugely ironic that ever since Premier Li Keqiang has declared war on pollution back in March the pollution in China's capital has steadily grown worse. 

Since January of this year, days at 200+ levels on the PM 2.5 index are the norm rather than the exception. This means that Beijing's air quality is regularly 20 times higher than the level that the WHO considers a health hazard. On many so-called "sunny" days here in the heart of the China Dream, the skies are often dingy and enveloped under a glowing grey of thick haze.

The reality on the ground is that pollution continues to worsen here in Beijing and in the rest of the country. Another reality in China is that many, if not most laws, are either not actually enforced or are enforced inconsistently at best. Laws in China are often only applied arbitrarily to the benefit of government officials and to the detriment of its citizens.

The current anti-corruption campaign is a perfect example of this. It is simply a 'campaign' and not the consistent application and adherence to any laws. The only likely concrete result of the anti-corruption campaign will be the transfer of money stolen from taxpayers by some targeted officials from rival party factions to other corrupt officials allied to the new leadership. Under the current system, which has no independent monitoring or judiciary, laws simply become tools in the hands of officials to enrich themselves, remove political rivals, deny citizens the right to monitor, protest or interfere with their interests and to consolidate their own power.

As things stand now, polluting factories will simply give bribes to get around legislation and the central government will likely neither enforce nor supervise the rules in any meaningful way. Regional government leaders will also avoid enforcement in order to increase the profits of local industry and to enhance their GDP growth track records whilst pocketing graft money from local polluters. 

In addressing the lack of results on the anti-pollution front the central government mainly blames regional governments (its favourite scapegoat) for causing the problem, but then fails to act to intervene or prevent 'regional pollution', which means the responsibility ultimately lies with Beijing. What is more, the levels of air and water pollution in the capital also speak to the lack of sincerity on the part of China’s central government to tackle pollution. Meanwhile, the majority of China’s top ten most polluted cities surround the larger region around the capital, which clearly demonstrates a lack of will or ability on the part of China’s national leaders to take concerted action to stem the tide of steadily rising pollution. 

Back in February, the local Beijing government failed to enact its own emergency measures when air pollution had risen to red alert levels of over 500 on the PM 2.5 index, so it does not appear that China’s central government is even committed to enforcing its own laws consistently. Therefore, it is fair to ask why regional governments would take state laws seriously. If central leaders consistently flout national laws and regulations, then why should regional leaders be expected to respect anti-pollution legislation? In fact, Beijing stands as the key obstacle to the enforcement of laws to actually curb pollution. A one hundred percent monopoly on power unavoidably translates into one hundred percent responsibility for the destruction of China's environment.

The most compelling evidence to suggest that ‘sweeping’ new laws will likely fail to have a great impact can be seen from the government’s past record on 'fighting' pollution. China has already enacted a whole range of laws and regulations to curb pollution in recent decades, yet the pollution continues to worsen as the environmental crisis continues to deepen. 

Laws have to be enforced in order to have any real effect. As long as China remains a corrupt country without a viable rule of law, anti-pollution laws are simply empty words on paper. The smog is very real and so far the implementation of anti-pollution legislation appears to be merely an illusory phantom with about as much substance as Emperor Xi’s China Dream.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Tiger Xi Inspects the Troops 习虎阅兵