Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A better world

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My remark:

Good music should have no boundary (no gate in this case) in culture, space and time. I expect the next video is the West team plays Chinese music while the Chinese team plays western music. That would be a better world when we respect each other instead of competing with each other.

Where is the modern Cinderella?

This was found in a library in a Hong Kong college.

My remark for joke:

She (or he) must have left in a hurry when the clock struck at 12. I have to ask all the ladies (and men) in the college to try it out like the found slipper. LOL.

Source: 香港地

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Free trade

Free trade?

It must be fake news.

We control / police the world using trade embargo / trade wars. Check out the tariffs and total ban on many Chinese products such as tires, solar panels.. Some actions are justified like stop product dumping and most are more for political reasons.

Other countries also do the same to us.

It is a good philosophy: Buy from the country that produces the best product at the least cost. Just a theory!

You do not want to grow sugar cane in Alaska. The chicken feet, a delicacy in China, are not fit for cattle here.

Apple in India

Tough for Apple to open factories in India.

India does not produce the thousands or so components in a iPhone unless the current OEMers open shops in India. Possible but very risky for OEMers.

Even they double to 4%, their investment may not be profitable.

The infrastructure (electricity, roads...) has to be considered. They have not copied a page from China for the last 20 years. All talks but no actions. The corruption in India is far worse than China.

Foreign dividends are expensive

My broker or some one took a big chunk of my dividends. It has happened more than one time. There is a big fee on dividend for foreign stocks listed in the US exchange.

A $20 wage vs $2 wage

A $20 wage can never compete with a $2 wage. We're the victims of our own success.

We need to 'protect' our workers for safety (not taking risk), high living standard (high wage), less flexibility on overtime, etc...


Both India and China are corrupt. However, China is less and the top is prosecuting some corrupt officials - it could be just getting rid of the political enemies.

India's protectionism is the reason for their poor product quality.

China is corrupt but in a efficient way as evidenced by the huge infrastructure in the last 30 years. If there is no major project, there is no corrupt money to pass thru. India just has its FIRST subway recently that cannot even compete with the second tier cities in China.

The policy from the top are mostly well thought out. However, when we pass it to local governments and everyone tries to suck money. It is a human nature. Passing a good policy is not enough and enforcing it is more important.

Corruption has many levels. Yes, US is corrupt too, but it is less open. Here is one

On immigration policy

It is no black and white.

For. Reduce if not already the immigrants from 'terrorist' countries. Several countries do not favor immigration including Japan and some European countries do not have terrorist attack so far.

Against. Who are going to take up jobs that are able welfare recipients do not care? Without attracting the best from all over the world, we will not be competitive in many fields. Check out the Indians, Chinese... in the high tech companies such as Google, Apple....

My proposal is selective immigration for our own benefits. We do not have benefit for immigrants seeking welfare and entitlements for the elderly.

Politics costs

We have been changed our policy too often due to a new political party takes over. It is all politics and it will cost us a lot of money. Examples abound from ObamaCare to resurrecting NASA.

5GL network is coming

We do not even build 4GL network. China's 5GL network is being tested today. The mobile technology is among the leading edge unless you live in the cave for the last 5 years.

It was not economically feasible to lay out the old copper (or even fiber network), so mobile was the only way to go.

In my Oct-Nov trip to China/Hong Kong, I rode the high speed rail for the first time. It took about 3 hours from Shenzhen to Zhuhai (S. China to E. China). The train was very comfortable and we had a good lunch in the train.

Missed the ocean bridge that it is supposed to open this month. It will be the longest bridge in the world.

China and Korea

I lost count how many conflicts between S.Korea and China. Most were due to economics. One country shut out the other specific import and then the other country responded with the same. Both countries lose and the politicians declare victory shamelessly after they stop the conflict.

It should be added to my article on "Stock market and politics". Many investors lost their shirts and that's why do not put all eggs in one basket.


Have been reading several articles on Chinese military. China has its own missile protection system. Most likely it copied from Russia's. The designs of at least 2 jets were copied (stolen) from the US most likely and so was the technology of stealth submarine....

China became the #3 in military export. It is distant from #2 but it came from less than 2% (most were low-profit low-tech weapons). Military drones are becoming the best seller due to the price / performance and our restrictions in export agreement on missile products.

Cost evaluation in military weapons

With thousands of military drones, all the missile defense systems are useless: 1. They're too many and 2. The missile is far more expensive than the drone.

They may be the reason to develop carriers as they can carry the drones besides invading Taiwan.

Follow the trend

Trend following is profitable. You need to know when to exit (such as dropping by 10% or so). Cannot beat the momentum.

Recent examples are Apple and Bitcoin. They could be at their peaks now and waiting for news to make them slip. If you're the lucky winners, make trailing stop orders.

On tax reform

"Tax break for small business owners" must be fake news.
They already have tax breaks by deducting all expenses including taking their dates to MacDonald's.
I know one financial planner who needs incomes, not tax breaks. Many are on the same boat.
Trump slipped into a modification of the tax law in the last minute that would save his company and real estate companies a lot of tax money. A business man cannot be a president due to the conflict of interest!!!!!!

Easy to 'fix' problems by blaming others

Trump blamed China because he could not fix our problems.He blamed China for currency manipulation. I was in China several months ago. I used to get almost $8 yuan for $1 USD, but now I got $6.5 yuan.We have our economic problems to deal with. The wars drain our resources. Simple but it is simpler to find someone to blame.

All tax cuts would cost a lot of money which should be directed to real investments such as infrastructure...

I do not think big corporations will move back their HQ to the US as they're enjoying virtually zero income taxes in Caribbean islands. At least, we have to make sure they pay taxes on the incomes they earn here.

On football

# Football should be decided by the referees no matter it is precisely correct or not. No controversy, no fun / no debate such as here.

Instant replay is good for advertising dollars or my time to visit the boy's room.

#Soccer is #1 sport in the world outside ours.

#It is just a game, so we do not have to be "precisely correct" with 100% stick to the rule. I (could be the only one in NE) prefer the Pats lost yesterday as they're not ready with so many injuries and so many avoidable mistakes.

#Gronk. could be the best TE of all time. A giant who could run. When he is healthy, I feel sorry for the guy who has to guard him.

#When we had 2-2 start, I knew we're closer heading to the SuperBowl as the history told us. With the depleted talents, it would take another miracle and that's the fun to see whether it would happen.

Once-great != Always great

We're used to be #1 in infrastructure, but now it is falling apart due to lack of maintenance.
Case #1: The recent derail. It is more a human error together with another derail in Boston area (due to texting by the engineer). A computerized system if installed would avoid the accident. It would lower the speed automatically. Do these engineers finish high school? If so, we have problem with our high schools. Did they check whether they're on drugs?
It is a 'higher' speed rail. The one I rode in China 2 months ago was traveling at 200 Km/hr (about 125 miles/hour) vs the exceeded speed at 85 miles/hour. In China, the rail is brand new and seldom with big curves. China is moving to even higher speed with the new series of train engine.
Case #2 Atlanta airport blackout. We need to ensure all airports would not have a single point of failure as in this case. In IT, our backup servers usually are located remotely.
Many bridges need serious repair. They do not give you a medal to maintain them. We're waiting for accidents to happen before we do anything. The tax cut is buying votes but where can we get money for infrastructure?
What happens to this once-great country?

Chinese auto industry

China had saved the US auto industry. Local companies cannot compete with them due to quality and prestige. But, it is changing. China has learned engine and transmission from Volvo they acquired. China is catching up with both traditional cars and electric cars. Hence, I do not want to bet with the US car companies for longer term.

India is another story. Most cars are very small with very thin profit margins.

On our recent derailment

# Most curves in Chinese high speed rails are minimal. China (not Chinese) owns the land and they can do what ever they want for a straight rail. The ocean bridge in Pearl Delta is curvy by design (not for the good look like ladies) but for the compensation of current (I'm not 'techy' enough to explain further).

# Even US is declining and China is rising, it will take a long time for China to catch up.
My Coconut Theory tries to explain why we decline. We've too many coconuts while China has too few (so they have to plant more coconut trees.
# Yes, infrastructure has many angles.Why other countries such as India cannot catch up with China? First they're too far away from China. If the growth doubles that of China, they still cannot catch up with China in a decade. China is catching up with the US in many sectors.
The component suppliers for a new phone or drone are just next street in Shenzhen. How can you compete?
China's high tech in many cases may be the wild, wild west with little regulations and encouraging copying. Good or bad - you decide.

Nice documentation series on China

I am watching Bird's-Eye on China from Youtube. Quite good in quality as a documentation and the price is right ($0). I am on the four or the fifth.

Never-ending trade wars

Korean is in the middle of politics influencing trades.

* If we imposed 300% tax on their airplanes, will the Canadians counter measure. When Boeing cannot compete, they ask the government to 'do' something. It is not smart politics.

* Chinese tourists mean a lot to Korea, but not the other way round. So, it is a big blow esp. before the winter Olympics. There are several tourist attractions in China the Koreans like to visit. Besides the language, I could tell when I was in China. I believe Korean companies and.or government have allocated funds for them to travel.

China's new policy

China used to do big at one time. Catching all the flies turned out to be disaster to the farmers, so was melting household goods for steel. Hope they learn from the sad lessons.

Good policy requires good enforcement in the local level. There is a Chinese saying: "Emperor is mountains away (so you do not care)." Local governments usually warned the private companies that the inspectors from the central government were coming.

At least it is a good start.

Laughable name for a place

What "intercourse"? It is also a town or a street name in Amish country from my memory.

In my last trip, we went to a town in S. China with the name literally translated as Anus.

A recycled joke every Christmas

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Explain the unexplanable

There are so many coincident that I cannot explain and most happened during my travels. It is harder than hitting the Megabuck that I prefer better. I could be the living proof that our fates may have been fixed. Let me start with the latest in chronical order.

On my return flight from this trip, Susanna who introduced us sat with one seat next to us. Also, the daughter of our friend was several rows behind us. What is the probability? Slightly, I modified the following Chinese saying which is roughly translated as “we meet everywhere in life”.

生何處不相逢 , 相逄巳是曾相識.

Also, I met my sister-in-law during my subway transfer in Hong Kong. The chance is higher than the last one but still quite unusual. Hong Kong subway is very busy. She returned home earlier due to a cold.

On my previous trip to Hong Kong, my friend David told us not to buy the round-trip ticket from Macau for more flexibility. I bought the wrong ticket going to Hong Kong instead of Kowloon. I met my fellow bus commuter at the gate.

In my SE Asia trip, a long-lost classmate sat by my side eating lunch. I usually ate with my group of family and this was the only chance I ate with my fellow tourists.

My friend followed her husband for a convention in Boston. During dinner in my house, I found out that her husband had the same birth day, birth month and birth year (could be birth hour but it has to be adjusted due to different time zones). I remembered her son got a nob from his father to eat freely. In my mind, I praised on his good behavior. This kid became a famous Olympic swimmer and I stole his thunders.

I had a Greyhound ride 3 days and 3 nights from California to Mass. for graduate school. At about 3 a.m., I met my childhood friend during bus transfer in Albany, NY. He was my best man and his current wife was the maid of honor. They met first time in our wedding. I borrowed about $500 after graduation without a job and he got the best interest that money cannot buy.

I wonder whether you have similar experiences.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Some useful links

#  Youtube videos

Untamed China

Aerial China (in English)

There is a similar series titled "Bird's-Eye on China" in Youtube.

Aerial China (in Chinese).

# China economy 1    3



Honey, my ebook can sing Cantonese songs.
No sound? Click on the word ‘songs’ and turn up the sound volume.

Every one should help him/herself

In a rich country like US, no one should be starved and no one should be left to die. The disabled and mentally challenged should be helped for sure. In the previous 50 years in China, it was a different story though.

For every disabled here, how many pretend to be disabled? Even a famous politician with blonde hair and blue eyes pretended to be an Indian to get the goodies and freebies.

With the food stamps / free food from soup kitchens and other subsidies, how can you starve? Last week I paid $2 for a pizza for two for lunch. The super market and BJ offer cooked chicken for $5 that can feed 4... The lady in front of me bought the best cut of meat with food stamp!

In Mass. health care is free for low income folks.If the disease is addiction to alcohol or drugs, the state will help you but you have to help yourself first. Personally I saw a beggar refusing an offer for hamburger and young folks tuning their bikes all day long.

We're rich but not as rich as Norway that has long coast line with all kind of resources. In addition, they WORK HARD.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

More on wealth gap

* The wealth gap is many times worse than the US. Ours is too good and discourages folks to work. We have a strong safety net and welfare system. In China, if you do not work, you do not eat.

That's why so many migrants to big cities and create many social and economical problems. It is not a long term solution to me.

* One myth is many still think China is very backward. If it is that backward, Starbucks with its products targeting to middle class would not expand in China.

* We have wealth gap on day one of civilization when one gets more coconuts than the others with a younger and stronger body. But, the level of seriousness is my discussion.

Turning from a communist society where there is less wealth gap,
China turns into a highly capitalist country and creates the huge wealth gap. As Uncle Deng said, when we open the window, we have to let the flies in too.

My point is nothing is perfect. We have to reduce the gap in a meaningful and effective way and not to over do it.

* There always exists a privileged class in any society. There is NO obstacle to prevent someone in the US to succeed if they work hard - I'm a living example as I pay more taxes than the average citizen.

Starbucks and China

Starbucks is expanding in China. It just debunks many myths on China.

China's middle class is expanding fast esp. in Tier I cities. Coffee is relatively more expensive than tea in China. The Starbucks in China particularly in Hong Kong are very different from the US. Are they testing new concepts in a foreign country or just adapting?

China's GDP per capita is about 1/4 of ours. However, The living standard in tier I cities is about the same here except living quarters. The wealth gap must be widened by the poorer areas such as the western China and that could be lessened by the One Belt, One Road Initiative.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Feasting tour in S. China

This book took about double my time in writing a similar travel book. I have about 3,200 photos taken in about 16 days in many cities in this trip. Half of them have people that I cannot include here without their consent. It is still a lot to select and classify them by regions. Most photos in this book are in maximal resolutions of my iPhone and camera.

Most of my travel books that have common sections pre-finished. I wrote more articles in this book than the others due to the love of my native country China - everyone should no matter where s/he originally comes from. Shenzhen shows us the bright future of China and I’m really proud of. The extensive subways and high speed train systems in many Chinese cities including Hong Kong are showcases to the world.

In these Tier I cities I can see a stronger China that many foreign media try to deny to make you feel better. Many times they amplify China’s problems and ignore her accomplishments. Even many professors in prestigious US universities have the same denials. Please do come to China and decide it for yourself. Ignorance is our biggest enemy. It is the same ignorance that China ignored the advances and industrial revolution and it bought her humiliation and bankruptcy about 250 years ago. 

Today China should have passed US in GDP if it is adjusted with the purchase power. However, China has about four times the population of the US. Hence, per capita wise, China is about ¼ ours. China is gaining in many fronts but it is still a long way to go. 

I do not say China does not have her problems as almost all countries do. Tier I cities are developed and in many ways surprise the top cities in the world, while western China is still developing. Compare China to China 30 or 20 years ago. China has been a victim for the last 250 years. Even in her hey days, she defended her territory (via the Great Wall for example) and seldom colonized countries as the west does – even Zheng Ho could easily colonized many countries on his way to South Africa. If Zheng Ho went to Europe and learned the advances, China would keep up with the west far better and the history of China would change.

I was born in Hong Kong and US is my adopted country. I am naturally biased. I hope both countries will live in harmony. China should not invade other countries as the others did to her. The highest skill is settling the disputes without firing a bullet. I like to promote cooperation and understanding between countries. “One Belt, One Road” Initiative is China’s way to promote trade between her neighbors instead of making enemies.

I came back to Hong Kong from the US for the 50th reunion with my classmates. Here I take the opportunity to thank them for arranging the trip to SE China and the sumptuous meals offered by Martin, Edgar, Bill, David, Charles and Raymond. Meeting many classmates I have not seen in 50 years is more than priceless. Also, thanks to many of my childhood friends. Without them, I would be in the wrong company and would turn out differently.

It is not profit effective in writing books on travel and politics for a nobody like me. However, it is fun for me and I hope you enjoy reading this book too.