Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? – The New York Times

“JODHPUR, India — Every month, about four million more Indians get online. They include people like Manju, a 35-year-old seamstress in this city of ancient palaces, who got her first internet phone last week.

“It’s necessary for me to learn new things,” said Manju, who uses only one name. She was so thrilled to discover YouTube and other streaming video services that she quickly burned through her monthly data plan. Now her phone carrier, Reliance Jio, has relegated her to a trickle of low-speed data until next month, when her plan resets.

“It’s all finished,” she complained on Monday when a Google researcher came to visit to ask about her online habits.

Photo

Manju, who uses only one name, holding her Reliance Jio phone on Monday, when the visiting researcher, Ted McCarthy, showed her how to use Google Assistant.CreditRebecca Conway for The New York Times

Source: Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? – The New York Times

Posted in: India, Information Technology

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A Tesla Too Pricey? E-Bikes Offer Entry-Level Electric Transportation – The New York Times

“Electric cars remain something of a novelty, commanding premium prices and presenting charging challenges, but another kind of electric vehicle has been gaining momentum: the e-bike. Globally, electric cars — battery and plug-in hybrids — account for only about 1 percent of all vehicle sales, with about 1.15 million expected to be sold worldwide this year, according to EV-volumes.com. Compare that with the 35 million e-bikes expected to be purchased this year, according to Navigant, with countries like Ger. . . “

Source: A Tesla Too Pricey? E-Bikes Offer Entry-Level Electric Transportation – The New York Times

Admittedly, this article is not about Vietnam. But it is for Vietnam, and everywhere else.

Posted in: Climate Change, Sustainable Development

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Myanmar Is Not a Simple Morality Tale – by Roger Cohen – The New York Times

“This was not a handover of power. It was a highly controlled, and easily reversible, cession of partial authority.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s decisions must be seen in this context. She is playing a long game for real democratic change. “She is walking one step by one step in a very careful way, standing delicately between the military and the people,” said U Chit Khaing, a prominent businessman in Yangon. Perhaps she is playing the game too cautiously, but there is nothing in her history to suggest she’s anything but resolute.

The problem is she’s a novice in her current role. As a politician, not a saint, it must be said that Aung San Suu Kyi has proved inept. This is scarcely surprising. She lived most of her life abroad, was confined on her return, and has no prior experience of governing or administering.

You don’t endure a decade and a half of house arrest, opt not to see your dying husband in England and endure separation from your children without a steely patriotic conviction. This is her force, a magnetic field. It can also be blinding. “Mother Suu knows best,” said David Scott Mathieson, an analyst based in Yangon. “Except that she’s in denial of the dimensions of what happened.”

Source: Myanmar Is Not a Simple Morality Tale – The New York Times

Posted in: Myanmar

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Why China Wants to Lead on Climate- but Clings to Coal (for Now) – The New York Times

“In any event, China’s climate agenda is not so straightforward.

The country is the world’s largest coal consumer. Even as it is phasing out coal plants at home, it is building coal plants abroad as part of an ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative, designed to expand Chinese global influence. At the same time, China has embraced renewables: It is the largest producer of electric cars, and it has proposed to set up what would become the world’s largest carbon market.

Li Shuo, of Greenpeace China, said the projected rise in emissions would not affect China’s overall trajectory toward slowing emissions at home and stepping up diplomatically.

“China can continue to play a leading role in the global climate debate, despite this short-term increase of emissions, which is temporary,” he said.

One thing still lost in the fog of global climate negotiations is whether the Chinese leader really wants to be the global leader on climate. In his speech to the Communist Party conclave in October, Mr. Xi took a swipe at the United States by criticizing what he called “self-isolation.” But he said nothing about how his country would step up to fill the gap.

Mr. Xi has said only that China will stick to its pledges. But even if every country meets its Paris pledges, the planet is expected to heat up 3 degrees Celsius or more. That would not be enough to stave off the most catastrophic effects of climate change.”

Source: Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now) – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Climate Change

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The Internet turns 20 in Vietnam: P2 – Australian professor’s contribution – Tuoi Tre News (Vietnam)

The Internet turns 20 in Vietnam: P2 – Australian professor’s contribution

“In the late 1980s and early 1990s, students at ANU would use a mainframe computer for statistical work and related tasks. The personal computer, which was not powerful enough to perform such tasks then, was mostly used to type documents and send emails. Prof. Hurle shared his disturbance at learning that overseas Vietnamese students had limited use of personal computers, preventing them from putting what they had learnt in Australia into practice upon their return to their home country.

The nagging question prompted him to travel to Vietnam in 1991.

“I brought with me a hefty modem and gifted it to Pham Bich San, one of the Vietnamese students in Australia, so that he and others could connect to the mainframe computers in Vietnam more easily,” the professor recalled.

“Totally uninformed about Vietnam, I had not been aware that the bulky modem would be a burden, as computer engineers in Vietnam, who earned a mere US$20 per month, could hardly afford phone calls from Vietnam to Australia at $5 per minute,” he added.

This reality encouraged the scientist to devise ways to connect to Vietnam through an international phone toll of $2 per minute, which engineers in Australia, whose monthly salaries were approximately $3,500, could afford.

A few months later, Prof. Hurle returned to Vietnam and contacted an overseas Vietnamese in the U.S., who suggested that he approach Tran Ba Thai from the Institute of Information Technology in Hanoi.

“By then we had made strides in substituting the mainframe system with smaller yet higher-configuration computers adopting the UNIX system [a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems] at ANU,” he added.

Prof. Hurle, Thai and a few other colleagues then embarked on experiments in connecting computers in Vietnam and Australia through landline phone lines.

The Aussie designed new pieces of software for the UNIX system, so that modems could be utilized to link computers in Vietnam by allowing users access to the UNIX system before they could connect to the Internet.

The experiments were a success.”

Source: The Internet turns 20 in Vietnam: P2 – Australian professor’s contribution – Tuoi Tre News

Posted in: Australia, Post War Advances in Vietnam

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China Enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought.’ What Does That Mean? – by Chris Buckley – NYT

“What do these changes really mean?

A key phrase here is “new era,” one that Mr. Xi has used throughout the congress, which began last week. Mr. Xi has described Chinese history since 1949 as divided into two eras: the three decades after Mao seized power in a revolution that established a unified People’s Republic and ended nearly a century of civil war and foreign invasions, and the three decades after Deng took power in 1978 and refocused China on developing its economy.

Mr. Xi has signaled he is launching China into a new, third era. In his report to the congress, Mr. Xi suggested that if Mao made China independent, and Deng made it prosperous, he would make it strong again. Restoring China to greatness is a central message of “Xi Jinping Thought,” and a goal that has already guided Mr. Xi’s policies of building up the military, strengthening domestic controls and raising China’s profile in global affairs.”

Source: China Enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought.’ What Does That Mean? – The New York Times

Posted in: China

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How Mao Molded Communism to Create a New China – by Roderick MacFarquhar – NYT

“Toward the end of his life, dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Mao Zedong claimed two achievements: leading the Communist revolution to victory and starting the Cultural Revolution. By pinpointing these episodes, he had underlined the lifelong contradiction in his attitudes toward revolution and state power. Mao molded Communism to fit his two personas. To use Chinese parlance, he was both a tiger and a monkey king. For the Chinese, the tiger is the king of the jungle. Translated into human terms, a tiger

Source: How Mao Molded Communism to Create a New China – The New York Times

 

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT

Very interesting piece and comments. I tend to agree with the Chinese gentleman, who dislikes the use of the Monkey King to describe the political purges of Mao, but not entirely. I recently studied the Monkey King, or Monkey, because it is considered one of the four great novels of Chinese literature. I was delighted by the book, which is full of farce, comedy, slapstick and political satire. The Monkey King is a folk hero from stories of old China. He has super powers, and is more like a Marvel or DC superhero, a very naughty one, than any kind of political genius.

Professor Roderick MacFarquhar points out that Mao himself wrote that he was inspired by Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. That the story seems to be an entertainment for children, doesn’t change the fact that the book has many levels of meaning, especially in its covert attack on the Emperor of China, and stuck up officials of all stripes. Out of reverence for this amazing story, I crafted a synopsis of the book into one of the chapters of my first book The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteen-Century Vietnam.

Posted in: China, Fiction and Folklore

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Fraud Scandals Sap China’s Dream of Becoming a Science Superpower – by Amy Qin – NYT

“BEIJING — Having conquered world markets and challenged American political and military leadership, China has set its sights on becoming a global powerhouse in a different field: scientific research. It now has more laboratory scientists than any other country, outspends the entire European Union on research and development, and produces more scientific articles than any other nation except the United States.

But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. Since 2012, the country has retracted more scientific papers because of faked peer reviews than all other countries and territories put together, according to Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks and seeks to publicize retractions of research papers.

Now, a recent string of high-profile scandals over questionable or discredited research has driven home the point in China that to become a scientific superpower, it must first overcome a festering problem of systemic fraud.”

“In Tumor Biology’s case, government investigators found that many of the authors had submitted the names of real researchers, but with fabricated email addresses. This apparently allowed the authors, or more often writers hired by the authors, to pose as academic peers, and write positive reviews that would help get their own papers published.

According to an investigation led by the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese researchers used such methods to manipulate the peer-review process in 101 out of the 107 retracted articles. In many cases, government investigators said authors had gone online to hire people to write professional-sounding reviews.

A recent search revealed a teeming, illicit trade in faked peer reviews. A search for the term “help publishing papers” on Taobao, a popular Chinese e-commerce site, yielded a long list of sellers who offered services ranging from faked peer reviews to entire scientific papers already written and ready to submit. Depending on the service, they charge from a few hundred dollars up to $10,000.”

Source: Fraud Scandals Sap China’s Dream of Becoming a Science Superpower – The New York Times

Posted in: China

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Xi Jinping Presses Military Overhaul- and Two Generals Disappear – The New York Times

BEIJING — He was one of China’s most prominent commanders, with hopes of rising higher. So when Gen. Fang Fenghui disappeared from public view, it sent a clear warning to the top leaders of the People’s Liberation Army: President Xi Jinping was not done shaking up their once-unassailable ranks. General Fang, the chief of the army’s Joint Staff Department, was not the only military leader to fall ahead of next week’s Communist Party congress. Gen. Zhang Yang, the director of the military’s political depar

Source: Xi Jinping Presses Military Overhaul, and Two Generals Disappear – The New York Times

David Linday commented to this article at the NYT:

Very interesting article, thank you.
I recently posted to my On Vietnam blog, an article titled: Japan to provide patrol ships to Vietnam amid maritime row with China | Thanh Nien Daily.
Japan has just sent five coast guard gun boats to Vietnam, and other aid, to help them contain China in the South China Sea. Japan is also giving military aid to the Philippines and other ASEAN nations. It would be useful in containing China if the US reached out to Vietnam as well. Since 937 AD, the Vietnamese have repulsed the Chinese advance on Southeast Asia at least eight times successfully. A modern Chinese military will pose a very grave threat to the independence of Vietnam and its neighbors.

10/12:  My comment above has only 4 recommends at the NYT comments. Socrates is far more popular, and he writes about how over militarized we are, which is serious issue. I felt complellled to endorse his comment:

Socrates

is a trusted commenter Verona NJ 21 hours ago

“China’s military spending, officially $144 billion in 2016, still lags far behind the more than $600 billion spent last year by the United States.”

 

China also has four times as many people – 1.3 billion – as the United States – 320 million people.

The United States spends about $2,000 per person versus a global country average of $200 per person.

China spends less on military than most other countries on both a per capita basis ($89) and as a percent of Chinese GDP (2.1%).

Other sources indicate the United States spends about $700 Billion on military expenses or about 43% of the world’s military expenditures.

America’s military expenditure per capita ($2,240) and its percent of American GDP spent on military (4.8%) are much higher than most other countries in the world.

Meanwhile, China has world-class high-speed rail and and a blossoming alternative energy and technology market.

And the USA has collapsing roads, rails, bridges, IQs and is bringing back coal.

We have met the enemy, and it’s the American military-industrial-right-wing-petro-state hawking Guns, Gas and Greed.

The Chinese are not America’s major threat.

Grand Old Poison is.

26 Recommended

While this next post appears to correct Socrates, it seems to add a different ratio, than the one he gave above.

The link does confirm the writers ratio:

Nancy

is a trusted commenter Great Neck 15 hours ago

http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTableHtml.cfm?reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&…

January 15, 2017

Defense spending was 59.2% of federal government consumption and
investment in 2016. *

$728.9 / $1,231.5 = 59.2%

[ United States defense spending in 2016 was $728.9 billion. ]

 

Posted in: China

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Japan to provide patrol ships to Vietnam amid maritime row with China | Thanh Nien Daily

An aerial view shows Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, fishing boats from Taiwan and Taiwan’s Coast Guard vessel sailing side by side near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan, in this photo taken by Kyodo in this file photo dated September 25, 2012.

RELATED NEWS Japan to provide planes, ships for Philippines amid sea dispute with China Japan eyes record defence budget to develop anti-ship missiles Japan protests after Chinese navy ship sails near disputed islands Japan pledges support for Southeast Asia security to counter coercive China Japan considers providing new ships to Vietnam’s coast guard.

The Japanese government said on Wednesday it is ready to provide Vietnam with new patrol ships, in its latest step to boost the maritime law-enforcement capabilities of countries locked in territorial rows with China.On Tuesday, Japan agreed to provide two large patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines, another country at odds with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea.Japan itself has been at loggerheads with China over a group of tiny, uninhabited East China Sea islets.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, of Tokyo’s intention in their meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN-related meetings in Vientiane.Japan has already provided six patrol ships to Vietnam, but they were all used ones, a Japanese foreign ministry official said, adding that details such as the timing of the delivery and the number of ships to be provided have yet to be fixed.Japan plans to extend a low-interest loan under its official development assistance program to Vietnam to facilitate the acquisition.”

Source: Japan to provide patrol ships to Vietnam amid maritime row with China | Politics | Thanh Nien Daily

Posted in: Japan, Vietnamese Foreign Policy

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