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Author Topic: China
Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post China
on: December 18, 2018, 09:19
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Considering the importance which China has taken on over the last several decades, I thought it might be appropriate to start a conversation on the subject.

We hear much about China through the 24/7 news cycle, but there is much we don't hear and much of what we hear is very superficial.

Having long-standing contacts in Asia, I often hear things which our news media never reports or reports in a way which shows they have little background on the subject. I will give an example.

While speaking to a Chinese friend yesterday, I was told that there is a new swine flu outbreak in China. While it is apparently called the African Swine Flu, the disease apparently came from imported Russian pigs. My friend told me that this has become very serious and that one can view videos showing a huge number of dead pigs lying on and around rounds in farm country.

As you may know, pork is by a long way, the most eaten meat in China. I believe there are something like 400 million pigs being raised in China for the food industry. As the flu spreads, this industry will be exposed to greater risk. Since it is a flu, there is no cure and apparently this strain is very deadly. It would seem that the time is approaching that the only way to stop this disease will be to start slaughtering and burying the pigs still left. If anyone knows farmers, particularly Chinese farmers, then one will know that this action will be very difficult to impose and will be very unpopular. Force will have to be used.

If this is required, then that will mean that there will be a shortage of pork for Chinese tables. Giving the timing of things, with Chinese New Year coming on February 5th, this will mean that there will be no pork available for the most important holiday in the year. My friend says that if this happens there will be big trouble for the government. And for those of you who appreciate irony, the upcoming year on the Chinese calendar will be The Year of the Pig.

The reader might ask, "Why re you going into this detail?" This reason is that it seems that this whole problem has arisen in response to Trump's China tariff policy. As my friend explained, China has been importing a huge amount of pork and pigs from the USA for years. In response to Trump's new tariffs, the Chinese government cut off imports of pork from the USA and switched its buying to other countries, where disease control is less strict than in the USA. One of these countries is Russia, which would appear to be the origin (DNA testing matches Russian stock) of the Swine Flu presently afflicting China.

According to my friend there are now fears that this disease will spread across S.E. Asia, where millions of overseas Chinese live.

I hope this story demonstrates, in a small way, the amazing complexity of economics, and how the rule of unintended consequences should be taught in every school across the world.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: China
on: December 18, 2018, 10:02
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Something tells me they'd be better off accepting the tariffs than facing the costs of this one decision. But they wanted their own restrictions to hit Trump supporters. Since pork is popular through most of non-Muslim Asia, this could be very serious. And if, as often happens, the swine flu spreads to people, it could be a lot worse.

A Chinese fast food place we used to go to (the Egg Roll Machine) had sheets under the plates that discussed the 12-year cycle. I never memorized it, though I do know that years divisible by 12 are the Year of the Rat. But I don't recall what year 1939/1951 area (Elizabeth's and my birth years). Year of the Rabbit, maybe?

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: China
on: December 18, 2018, 10:39
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If Elizabeth was born on or after February 19, 1939 and you on or after February 6, 1951, you are both Rabbits.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: China
on: December 18, 2018, 10:51
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So I remembered rightly. The restaurant didn't explain about the dates, but none of us were born that early in the year. One of our group was born in March, and the rest in October (including Elizabeth, October 29, with Lisa Major a day later) and December (including me, December 12 -- and December 24 for Joseph Major).

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: China
on: December 18, 2018, 11:05
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The Chinese calendar is the old lunar calendar based on phases of the moon, thus the first day of the Chinese New Year changes every year, but it always falls around the period between mid January and mid February, at least I can't recall it falling outside this time.

I just checked and over the last 88 years, and the latest date of a Chinese New Year Day is February 19. That was in 1996. The earliest is January 22. That was in 1947 and 2004.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: China
on: January 9, 2019, 14:27
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I believe this is further proof that the Trump duty policy is effecting the Chinese economy.

http://www.atimes.com/article/china-car-sales-post-first-annual-decline-in-20-years/

Don't believe those who say Trump's policies are hurting the USA more than they are hurting China.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: China
on: January 9, 2019, 14:36
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The difference is that those harmed by the trade conflict have no political influence in China, but they do in America. In fact, even the Chinese victims may have more influence here than there, not that that says much.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: China
on: January 9, 2019, 14:52
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The difference is that those harmed by the trade conflict have no political influence in China.

They have more influence than many of us know. I discussed this subject with my British friend in Hongkong as well. He believes there is pressure on Xi to stop his aggressive rhetoric against the USA and to come to a trade agreement of some kind with Trump. What the US has to be careful of is the age-old Chinese technique of making a lot of very wonderful sounding promises with nothing behind them.

I was talking to a friend in Taiwan last night and he told me that something like 7.5 million people have lost their jobs in China over the last months. Apparently, this effects about 100 million Chinese citizens economically. That is not a small number of people.

Believe me, the Communist Party of China take note of what is happening on the ground. They would fight tooth and nail to hold on to power, but one of the ways they hold on to power is keeping a large portion of their people happy economically.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: China
on: February 21, 2019, 10:14
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The link is to an article in the South China Morning Post which details how a new social policy by the Chinese government is aimed at pushing those who commit "socially damaging" acts to straighten up.

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/2186606/chinas-social-credit-system-shows-its-teeth-banning-millions

Given Chinese culture, this type of action will likely be very effective. Westerners would find this type of action tyrannical, but much of what is happening would theoretically covered by law suits in the West. Sadly, as anyone who has dealt with the American legal system knows, winning a law suit is only the first step to gaining justice.

It would seem this new Chinese method is effective in getting its targets to rectify their mistakes.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: China
on: February 21, 2019, 11:23
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As alway, it would depend on the moral code in place. Should one be banned from an airplane because one hasn't taken a bath in weeks or because one doesn't believe in global warming? I trust this kind of power (ironically) in the hands of the Red Chinese murderous Communists than I do the flakes and nuts in America on the Left.

I can see these assholes telling people they can't get a driver's license because they own a gun or drive a truck. Or you can't get married unless you eschew a designation of gender on the marriage license. Or you can't walk your dog in a public park unless you have been certified to be a vegetarian. Etc.

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