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China Sucks

Hugo Stiglitz

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18 hours ago, happyfunball said:

Except one is the daughter of a president / political leader while the other is a private company.


Here, there is a difference. There, there is no difference. There aren't really "private" companies over there. I mean, there are, but you get big by effectively making yourself an arm of the government.

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5 hours ago, happyfunball said:

You cannot exist without at some level of government approval. The larger that you become means that the higher level of consent / approval required. It does not mean necessarily that you are an appendage of the government. It is widely understood that going outside the unstated rules means you will punished, see tencent.

i'd always heard that but it really struck home about a decade ago when i was part of a team trying to get something set up over there.  it's crazy how 1.)  it's an expectation you know the unwritten rules of greased palms and 2.)  the ability they have to shut down your operations and 3.)  the size of your concern is irrelevant-  a shop owned by a man and his wife are subject to the same unwritten rules as our medium sized firm or a large conglomerate. 

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45 minutes ago, Pancho Negro said:

What in the fuck is going on here?


This has been happening for a while.  Full-on re-education/concentration camps.  There's a surprising amount of violence between the Chinese state and Muslims in the outer provinces, but the Chinese government is good at keeping it suppressed, plus it's out in the boonies.

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Well it looks like they've been ramping up.



China was sharply criticized for its mass detention of members of the Muslim Uighur community at a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting on Tuesday — but the country pushed back, saying that the condemnation was politically motivated.

Western governments, including those in Europe, the United States, and Canada, had the harshest words for China. The United States chargé d’affaires Mark Cassayre demanded that China “abolish all forms of arbitrary detention” for Uighurs and other Muslims minorities, and that China release the “possibly millions” of individuals detained there. 

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng dismissed these and other comments as “politically driven accusations from a few countries that are fraught with biases.” 

China has detained as many as 1 million Uighurs in so-called “reeducation centers” and forced them to undergo psychological indoctrination programs — like studying communist propaganda and giving thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Chinese authorities have also reportedly used waterboarding and other forms of torture on the ethnic minority. 

The Chinese government, however, claims that the camps are merely vocational and training centers intended to combat extremism, and that they’re teaching detainees useful and valuable skills. On Tuesday, Le, the foreign minister, made similar arguments. “This protects the human rights of the vast majority, while also saving these people,” he said. “It’s another important contribution of China’s to the global counterterror field.”



China Is Detaining Muslims in Vast Numbers. The Goal: ‘Transformation.’

HOTAN, China — On the edge of a desert in far western China, an imposing building sits behind a fence topped with barbed wire. Large red characters on the facade urge people to learn Chinese, study law and acquire job skills. Guards make clear that visitors are not welcome.

Inside, hundreds of ethnic Uighur Muslims spend their days in a high-pressure indoctrination program, where they are forced to listen to lectures, sing hymns praising the Chinese Communist Party and write “self-criticism” essays, according to detainees who have been released.

The goal is to remove any devotion to Islam.

Abdusalam Muhemet, 41, said the police detained him for reciting a verse of the Quran at a funeral. After two months in a nearby camp, he and more than 30 others were ordered to renounce their past lives. Mr. Muhemet said he went along but quietly seethed.

“That was not a place for getting rid of extremism,” he recalled. “That was a place that will breed vengeful feelings and erase Uighur identity.”

This camp outside Hotan, an ancient oasis town in the Taklamakan Desert, is one of hundreds that China has built in the past few years. It is part of a campaign of breathtaking scale and ferocity that has swept up hundreds of thousands of Chinese Muslims for weeks or months of what critics describe as brainwashing, usually without criminal charges.

Though limited to China’s western region of Xinjiang, it is the country’s most sweeping internment program since the Mao era — and the focus of a growing chorus of international criticism.

China has sought for decades to restrict the practice of Islam and maintain an iron grip in Xinjiang, a region almost as big as Alaska where more than half the population of 24 million belongs to Muslim ethnic minority groups. Most are Uighurs, whose religion, language and culture, along with a history of independence movements and resistance to Chinese rule, have long unnerved Beijing.


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That escalated quickly.  Gotta think it's belligerent posturing but still not good when these ideas are being publicly floated.


Senior Chinese military official urges PLAN to attack US naval vessels in South China Sea


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At a conference held in Beijing on Saturday, Chinese government and military officials discussed issues in the South China Sea and the current state of relations between the U.S. and China.

Chinese media reports that the situation in the South China Sea is expected grow more intense over the coming year, with one senior military official also declaring that China should be prepared to attack United States naval vessels, should the U.S. violate Chinese “territorial waters.”

Dai Xu (戴旭), who is President of the Institute of Marine Safety and Cooperation, as well as a PLAAF Air Force Colonel Commandant, was quoted by the tabloid Global Times saying the following.

"If the U.S. warships break into Chinese waters again, I suggest that two warships should be sent: one to stop it, and another one to ram it… In our territorial waters, we won't allow US warships to create disturbance."


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Not really “breaking”

this case has a lot of interesting angles. CFO has multiple passports including rumors of gov official passport which increases US arguement that the company is a state actor. 

Rumors that people within US want to link to trade talks to derail trade negotiations. 

Case is extremely important to Beijing as many Chinese business leaders will be very afraid to fly to countries that have US extradition treaty 

most if not all China business leaders have some graft on them so will create a chilling effect 

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“They thought we could read their mind. This caused some discomfort and resistance in the beginning,” she said.

“After a while they got used to the device. It looked and felt just like a safety helmet. They wore it all day at work.”

Jin said that at present China’s brain-reading technology was on a par with that in the West but China was the only country where there had been reports of massive use of the technology in the workplace. In the United States, for example, applications have been limited to archers trying to improve their performance in competition.

The unprecedented amount of data from users could help the system improve and enable China to surpass competitors over the next few years.

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On 12/9/2018 at 9:05 AM, happyfunball said:

Pope Francis was stupid to make that deal. It's funny how being a political idealist and getting fleeced go hand in hand [/nocloakroom]

So China was behind the Marriott breach. Man I've had my data stolen now so many times I can't count that high.


China also demanded that Marriott fire an employee who liked a tweet about Tibet. So, they fired him.


Likely as a response to the Huawei detention, and after demanding the "immediate release" of the Huawei exec, China disappeared two Canadians in China, one a former Canadian diplomat who worked in China.


The Xi era is gonna be really bad. I'm starting to think we should get our cheap plastic shit and electronics elsewhere. 

When China was allowed to join the WTO, the assumption was they were moving toward private property rights and free trade. Instead, they steal, spy, and lie. They're hacking computer chips. They're stealing trillions of IP. They can't allow private investment, because private companies in China only exist to glorify the Party. And they've implemented "social credit". Detained a million muslims. Porn is completely banned. It's totally outrageous.

Edited by Thetexashammer
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On 12/9/2018 at 8:51 AM, Parliament said:

There is a Catholic Bishop or two who are unaccounted for as well.

Doesn't count, not brown.

Color me shocked that communist countries are not awesome. What will you guys discover next?

Edited by Kyle
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On 1/2/2019 at 7:52 AM, Hugo Stiglitz said:

True but has there ever been a better time in the last 50 years for China to make a move? 

Yes, for example when we had hundreds of thousands of troops committed to the middle east. Or during Vietnam. Or during the Korean War. Plenty of times.

China is going to do to Starbucks what they did to Uber. (Kick them out in favor of a Chinese brand.)



After only a year in business, startup Luckin Coffee said Thursday it will open 2,500 stores this year to dislodge Starbucks and become China's largest coffee chain.

The company said it plans to have more than 4,500 stores in China by the end of 2019, taking it past the US coffee giant, which has over 3,600 stores across the country.

China is Starbucks' second biggest market after the United States. Luckin has challenged the US coffee chain's dominance in the country by appealing to tech-savvy youth who prefer to order coffee using their smartphones and have it delivered.

It is also relying on heavy discounts to poach consumers, a tactic used by other homegrown startups such as Didi-Chuxing, a ride-hailing service that dislodged Uber from the Chinese market.

"What we want at the moment is scale and speed," Luckin's chief marketing officer, Yang Fei, told reporters on Thursday.

"There's no point talking about profit," he said, adding that the company will continue to offer subsidies to attract customers over the next few years.

China is trying to reclaim Taiwan by saying that the waters between Formosa and the mainland are Chinese and not open to international navigation. Naturally, given that we have a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan, we've been sending ships through the passage.



A rare and under-reported tense exchange occurred between US and Chinese military commanders in Beijing on Tuesday. A high level Chinese military official, General Li Zuocheng, told the head of the United States Navy, Admiral John Richardson, in a face to face meeting that Beijing would defend its claim to Taiwan "at any cost"

"The Taiwan issue is an internal matter of China, concerns China's fundamental interests and the national feelings of the Chinese people, and no outside interference will be tolerated," Li Zuocheng said in a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, cited by the AFP.

After a series of recent instances involving US Navy warships making provocative passages through the Taiwan Strait — which the US says is its right according to freedom to navigate international waters, it appears China is going "gloves off" in direct statements challenging US military commanders. 

Gen. Zuocheng, who is a powerful member of the Central Military Commission further told the US Navy chief:

If anyone wants to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will defend the unity of the motherland at any cost.

Alarmingly this comes after President Xi Jinping provoked an angry rebuke from Taiwan's pro-independence president when he demanded during a landmark speech on Jan. 2  that Taiwan submit to "reunification" with Beijing.

And in a follow-up speech days after this before military officials, Xi took his belligerent rhetoric one step further by issuing his first military command of 2019: that "all military units must correctly understand major national security and development trends, and strengthen their sense of unexpected hardship, crisis and battle." Xi had essentially ordered the Chinese military to prepare for war as his first act of 2019

I don't want to be overly alarming but when Osama declared was on us, we did nothing and it turned out badly. Xi's comments are clearly fighting words.



US President Barack Obama has bluntly told Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a state visit that cyberattacks must stop.

He said the two leaders had agreed that neither country's government would conduct or support cyber theft of intellectual property.

Mr Obama said he expected Mr Xi to take the pact seriously and threatened sanctions if he doesn't.

We've known about China forever. Trump is the first president who, over the objections of the Republican establishment and most of his advisors, is actually getting tough on China. Obama, on his "best day", wrote sternly worded notes, complete paper tiger. And we all agree Trump is an ethically and intellectually challenged moron. So here's the question.

If Trump is a moron, what does that make Obama? [/deepthoughtsbyJackHandey]

And China took an already convicted Canadian, and resentenced the dude to death. Unfuckingbelievable, almost.


Edited by Thetexashammer
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China is upset with Sweden. I don't know all the details, but I defer to the Swedes.  They're good people.


The response came after the embassy targeted Swedish writer and journalist Kurdo Baksi on Sunday for a third time, accusing him of “distorting and fabricating facts” in an article in Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet about Gui Minhai, a China-born Swedish citizen barred from leaving China.

The attack on Baksi is the latest in more than two dozen statements and remarks by the embassy criticising Swedish journalists and news outlets on a range of coverage since June.

China is upset with Canada.  I don't know all the details, but I defer to the Canadians.  They're good people.


Since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on December 1 at the request of the United States, China has detained two Canadians and escalated a drug-smuggling sentence against a third Canadian to death, moves Ottawa has described as deeply concerning.

China relies on Canada to supply more than 90 per cent of its canola imports. Photo: Reuters
In the same period, cargoes of Canadian canola had taken longer to clear Chinese customs and GMO permits needed to import genetically modified crops, including canola, became more difficult to obtain, traders said. Back in Canada, canola stocks piled up to a record-high level at the end of 2018, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Canola is their biggest or second biggest ag export.  This is akin to what they're doing with soybeans from the US.


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‘Never again?’ It’s already happening.

By Anne Applebaum


Yes, the West looked the other way during the 1930s, when people were starving. But the West is also looking the other way in 2019, refusing to see the concentration camps in China’s Xinjiang province. These camps have been designed to suppress the Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority whose status in China in some ways resembles that of Ukrainians in the old U.S.S.R. Like the Ukrainians who did not want to be Sovietized, the Uighurs do not want to be fully absorbed into the Chinese state. Like the Soviets, the Chinese have responded with repression. Previous Chinese leaders sought to flood Xinjiang with ethnic Chinese, the same tactic they used against Tibetans. More recently, the state has grown harsher, creating camps where at least 1 million Uighurs undergo forced indoctrination designed to eradicate their language and culture.


In truth, we know far more about these camps, and about the accompanying repression, than anyone in 1933 knew about the famine in Ukraine. They have been extensively described in the world’s media, including the New York Times and The Post . Government bodies have studied them, too. Canada’s Parliament recently produced an account of the suppression of the Uighurs that is far more comprehensive than anything Jones ever wrote. The report is one of many to describe the massive surveillance program that China has imposed in Xinjiang, using not only old-fashioned informers and police checkpoints, but artificial intelligence, phone spyware and biometric data. Every tool that a future, larger totalitarian state may use to control citizens is currently being tested in Xinjiang.

Under “terrorist” legislation in Xinjiang, anyone can be arrested for anything — for expressing an allegiance to Uighur culture, for example, or for reading the Koran. Once inside the “re-education” camps, arrestees are forced to speak in Mandarin Chinese and made to recite praises of the Communist Party. Those who break the rules receive punishments no different from those meted out to prisoners in the Soviet Gulag: “They put me in a small solitary confinement cell,” said one former prisoner cited in the Canadian report, “in a space of about two by two meters. I was not given any food or drink, my hands were handcuffed in the back, and I had to stand for 24 hours without sleep.”

As in the 1930s, there are explanations for the world’s lack of outrage. Newspaper editors are distracted by bigger, more immediate stories. Politicians and foreign policy “realists” would say there are more important issues we need to discuss with China: Business is business. Xinjiang is a distant place for people in Europe and North America; it seems alien and uninteresting. None of that changes the fact that in a distant corner of China, a totalitarian state — of the kind we all now denounce and condemn — has emerged in a new form. “Never again?” I don’t think so: It’s already happening.


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Yeah, we have no idea... Oh wait. 

A security firm co-founded by former navy Seal and US military services contractor Erik Prince has been awarded a contract by the Chinese authorities to build a “training centre” in Xinjiang, a region where Uighur Muslims have experienced a severe state crackdown. 

The Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG), which provides security and logistics for companies in challenging environments, said it had signed a deal to run a training centre in the city of Kashgar, according to a statement posted on its Chinese website.


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Just now, Parliament said:

I read his book and it was fascinating.  He made very good points about the role and value of PMC's.  But either I was wrong, or he's gone rogue.

There are good roles for PMC's. My point is if he is operating there we know what's going on. 

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Behind the scenes, businesspeople worry that Beijing has become more interested in solidifying its control over people’s lives than promoting economic growth

China’s economy is slowing, and the trade war with the United States has pinched growth. But many entrepreneurs are more broadly worried that China won’t pursue the economic and political liberalization it needs. On the contrary, since Xi Jinping took control of the Communist Party in 2012, the party has increased its dominance in every aspect of Chinese society.

Few are predicting a crash, but worries over China’s long-term prospects are growing. Pessimism is so high, in fact, that some businesspeople are comparing China’s potential future to another country where the government seized control of the economy and didn’t ease up: Venezuela.

Only one-third of China’s rich people say they are very confident in the country’s economic prospects, according to a recent survey of 465 wealthy individuals by Hurun, a Shanghai-based research firm. Two years ago, nearly two-thirds said they were very confident. Those who have no confidence at all rose to 14 percent, more than double the level of 2018. Nearly half said they were considering migrating to a foreign country or had already started the process.

China is facing a lot of internal and external challenges now,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s Greater China business. “We need to realize that all of our achievements in the past 40 years were the results of opening up and economic reform, not because of any unique China development model.”
Mr. Hu’s comments are diplomatic. In private, some businesspeople are talking in angrier and more fearful ways. They asked for anonymity, of course. In today’s tightly controlled environment in China, even the economy — once considered a safe subject — has become dangerous to talk about.

“The most important cause of their pessimism is bad policy and bad leadership,” said Minxin Pei, a professor at Claremont McKenna College in California who is in frequent contact with business figures. “It’s clear to the private businesspeople that the moment the government doesn’t need them, it’ll slaughter them like pigs. This is not a government that respects the law. It can change on a dime.”

Many members of the business elite are unhappy that the leadership’s economic policies favor state-owned enterprises even though the private sector drives growth. They are angry that the party is trying to put a Mao-era ideological straitjacket on an economy driven by private enterprises and young consumers. They are upset that the party eliminated term limits last year, raising the prospect that Mr. Xi could become president for life.

Many businesspeople feel increasingly insecure, especially as some entrepreneurs are “disappeared” by the government to assist in the anticorruption campaigns.

“In the eyes of some senior officials, even people like Jack Ma and Pony Ma are just small-time businessmen,” Mr. Chen said in an interview, referring to the founders of Alibaba and Tencent, two of China’s biggest private enterprises.

Mr. Xi appears to be aware of the unease. Beijing has postponed new rules that would raise business taxes to pay for social benefits and has eased its monetary and fiscal policies.

China’s power structure lacks a way to counterbalance this trend. A few young hedge fund managers told me over dinner in Hong Kong that the trade war with President Trump could be a blessing in disguise because it might force Beijing to undertake structural reforms to reach a deal. Only Mr. Trump can save China, it is often said at private gatherings, only half-jokingly.

“The trade war is a bad thing to begin with,” said Mr. Hu of Primavera Capital. “But if the final resolutions lead to renewed efforts by China to undertake broad structural reforms, it will be a win-win situation for the U.S., China and the world.”


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