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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VN should strengthen migrant labor protections: World Bank – VietNam News

Workers installing new rail lines. Construction is one of the sectors receiving the most migrant workers across ASEAN. – VNA/VNS Photo: Công PhongViet Nam News

SINGAPORE – With labour migration on the rise across ASEAN, countries like Việt Nam, which sends a large number of workers abroad and relies on remittances for 7 per cent of its GDP, should strengthen protections for workers while lowering barriers to their mobility, argues a new World Bank report released yesterday in Singapore.The report, “Migrating to Opportunity”, highlights the importance of migrant workers to the region as a whole: ASEAN countries received US$62 billion in remittances in 2015. It also articulates challenges faced by ASEAN migrant workers, focusing on barriers to their mobility. The report concludes that removing barriers for skilled workers and decreasing obstacles for all workers would increase ASEAN worker welfare by 14 and 12 per cent respectively.

Labour migration rose significantly between 1995 and 2015, with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand becoming the regional migration hubs. The significant differences in wages among ASEAN countries create opportunities for workers to earn more money when they cross the borders. Migration usually increases the salaries in receiving countries, which benefits both migrant workers and local ones.But migrant workers are often vulnerable, and policies across the region do little to address their needs. According to UN data, 80 per cent of intra-ASEAN migrants are low-skilled and many of them are undocumented. Contruction, plantation and domestic services are the sectors that receive most of migrant workers.

Current challenges facing migrant workers include lack of protections for migrant workers, high recruitment costs at recruitment centers, costly and lengthy migration procedures, migration quotas and domestic employment policies that prevent workers from easily changing jobs.Since migrant workers often find themselves at the mercy of recruitment agencies that promise to find them jobs abroad, Việt Nam needs to better regulate labour export companies to protect the rights of workers. The report also recommends that it consider a national migration strategy to guide reforms.”

Source: VN should strengthen migrant labor protections: World Bank – Society – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports – VietNam News

Posted in: News and current events from Vietnam, Vietnam's Neighbors

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Việt Nam- Singapore hold 8th defence policy dialogue – VietNam News

Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh and Singaporean Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit co-chaired the 8th Việt Nam-Singapore Defence Policy Dialogue in Hà Nội yesterday.– Photo vovworld.vn

“HÀ NỘI – Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh and Singaporean Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit co-chaired the 8th Việt Nam-Singapore Defence Policy Dialogue in Hà Nội yesterday. The two sides exchanged views on security issues in the Asia-Pacific region and reviewed recent cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces. Both sides agreed that the bilateral defence partnership has made good progress with positive results in terms of exchange visits, dialogue mechanisms, consultation, training, army medicine, maritime security, and search and rescue.

Both sides agreed to further enhance defence cooperation in the future to match the strategic partnership between the two countries. They will continue maintaining defence policy dialogues at deputy minister level, the main pillar of the two nations’ defence cooperation, to discuss strategic issues and develop cooperation plans for strengthening ties. They will also support each other at multilateral forums and work to heighten ASEAN’s central role in regional security architectures.”

Source: Việt Nam, Singapore hold 8th defence policy dialogue – Politics & Laws – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports – VietNam News

 

David Lindsay:  I need sources for more detail about the problems that were discussed, especially the encroachment of China in the South China Sea.

Posted in: Vietnamese Foreign Policy

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1st elephant baby in Đắk Lắk in 20 years is stillborn – VietNam News

Ban Nang was the first domesticated elephant in Đắk Lắk Province to become pregnant during the past 20 years. — Photo vietnamnet.vn

Viet Nam NewsĐắk Lắk — The first domesticated elephant in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk to become pregnant in 20 years delivered a stillborn calf last Sunday, the Elephant Conservation Centre has reported.The male baby weighed around 90kg.The 38-year-old mother, Ban Nang, had gone into labour but did not deliver for long, veterinarians at the centre said.The animal is owned by Y Mứ Bkrông of M’Liêng village, Liên Sơn town.Huỳnh Trung Luân, director of the centre, said veterinarians had gone into the forest every day to check on the creature and foreign experts too had been on the job.Ban Nang had been released into the forest when it was six months pregnant so that it could give birth in the wild, he said.But the delivery had possibly been difficult because Ban Nang was too old and the centre’s veterinarians had no experience in caring for pregnant elephants, he said.

Source: 1st elephant baby in Đắk Lắk in 20 years is stillborn – Society – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports – VietNam News

Posted in: News and current events from Vietnam, Wildlife and Nature

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Vietnam on the Reel-to-Reel – The New York Timesby Jennifer Finney Boylan – NYT

“. . . The 50th anniversary of the war’s escalation — and the premiere this week of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 18-hour documentary on PBS — is an appropriate time to honor the suffering and the sacrifice of all those who served, including the 58,000 American service members, the estimated 1.3 million North and South Vietnamese fighters and the two million civilians who were killed during the conflict. The effect of the war on those of us who were American children in the 1960s is negligible in comparison.

But the war touched us, too.”

Source: Vietnam on the Reel-to-Reel – The New York Times

Posted in: Vietnam-American War

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Vietnam says Facebook commits to preventing offensive content – Reuters

“HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam’s government said Facebook has committed to work with it to prevent content that violates the country’s laws from appearing on its platform.In February, communist Vietnam complained about “toxic” anti-government and offensive content on Facebook and Google Inc.’s YouTube and pressured local companies to withdraw advertising until the social media firms found a solution.Facebook’s commitment came during a meeting between its Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert and Vietnamese information and communication minister Truong Minh Tuan in Hanoi on Wednesday, a statement on the government’s website said.

“Facebook will set up a separate channel to directly coordinate with Vietnam’s communication and information ministry to prioritize requests from the ministry and other competent authorities in the country,” the statement said.

The firm will also remove fake accounts and fake content about senior government officials, it said.A Facebook representative said the company had a clear and consistent process for governments to report illegal content.”

Source: Vietnam says Facebook commits to preventing offensive content

 

If the Vietnamese can get Facebook to police fake news, why can

we do the same in the United States?

Posted in: Journalism, Media and Social Media

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Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls – The New York Times

“On a muggy, late spring evening, Tuan Pham awoke to the police storming his house in Hanoi, Vietnam. They marched him to a police station and made their demand: Hand over your Facebook password. Mr. Tuan, a computer engineer, had recently written a poem on the social network called “Mother’s Lullaby,” which criticized how the communist country was run. One line read, “One century has passed, we are still poor and hungry, do you ask why?”

Mr. Tuan’s arrest came just weeks after Facebook offered a major olive branch to Vietnam’s government. Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, met with a top Vietnamese official in April and pledged to remove information from the social network that violated the country’s laws.

While Facebook said its policies in Vietnam have not changed, and it has a consistent process for governments to report illegal content, the Vietnamese government was specific. The social network, they have said, had agreed to help create a new communications channel with the government to prioritize Hanoi’s requests and remove what the regime considered inaccurate posts about senior leaders.”

Source: Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls – The New York Times

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT

Very interesting article: thank you. I have questions. If we start to use messaging on Facebook, or Messenger, is there any known abuse of customers by Facebook’s collecting of our marketing preference, to target ads, outside of their accepting fake news ads and posts, and allowing the targeting of political groups, or demographic groups, with fake news and politically sensitive lies. What is Facebook doing about these Fake News issues, and how Facebook was used by the Russians and perhaps some Republicans, to corrupt the last presidential election? What could Federal regulators do, that they aren’t doing yet?

David blogs at InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Posted in: Journalism, Media and Social Media

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