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泰国曼谷 – Siam Niramit 暹罗天使 October 20, 2013

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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A dinner buffet and a music show at Siam Niramit were included in our 2-day tour package。The food was okay but the show was entertaining.


Host and hostesses at Siam Niramit.

Host and hostesses at Siam Niramit.


The dinning hall.

The dinning hall.

The stage show building.

The stage show building.

I hope you know what this is about. I feel sorry for her/him.

I hope you know what this is about. I feel sorry for her/him.

Many of you probably don't know what this is: it is used to separate rice's kernels from straws: all done by hand. I grew up in Taiwan surrounded by rice field and have seen this device many times.
Many of you probably don’t know what this is: it is used to separate rice’s kernels from straws: all done by hand. I grew up in Taiwan surrounded by rice field and have seen this device many times.

Making a meal the slow and old-fashion way. Banana leaves are used instead of a metal pan or pot.

Making a meal the slow and old-fashion way. Banana leaves are used instead of a metal pan or pot.

A small patch of rice field.

A small patch of rice field.

Dolls sold at the shop in Siam Niramit.

Dolls sold at the shop in Siam Niramit.


The dinning hall.

The dinning hall.


The dining hall.

Fruit station.

Fruit station.

Curry with chicken, I think. Didn't try.

Curry with chicken, I think. Didn’t try.

Salad station.

Salad station.

Didn't try.

Didn’t try.

Hot food. Look better than they taste.

Hot food. Look better than they taste.

Cheese and fruits.

Cheese and fruits.

Thai beer is on my money.

Thai beer is on my money.

Ice cream.

Ice cream.


Ice cream.

Beef with vegetables. Didn't try.

Beef with vegetables. Didn’t try.

Deep fried chicken nuggets.

Deep fried chicken nuggets.

Believe it or not, this is fish.

Believe it or not, this is fish.

DSCF1285 DSCF1285

Multi-grain rice is better than white rice.

Multi-grain rice is better than white rice.

This dinning section looks nicer than the one we went to.

This dinning section looks nicer than the one we went to.

This dinning section looks nicer than the one we went to.
This dinning section looks nicer than the one we went to.



曼谷街头 October 20, 2013

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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Bangkok , like many metropolis in the world, offers different and distinctive faces to its visitors if you look carefully: palaces and temples where gold plated buildings and nicely maintained lawns offered a glimpse of how the royals lived their lives, glittering and lively sections spreading around the city where tourists spend their foreign currencies to support the third and much less glamorous section of the city where the locals live.

The parts of the city we have visited, the restaurants where we had our meals and the shopping centers we went to were always crowded with tourists day in and day out and many of them stayed until the wee hours in the morning. The traffic there was bad especially when it rained because many streets were flooded and became impassable. Additionally, the streets were simply too narrow to support the number of cars and buses in the city. Our guided told us that an extended period of rain three years ago resulted in a huge flood which damaged many cars parked in auto dealers’ parking lots. These cars were auctioned off at a huge discount to people of Bangkok. Many citizens took the once in a life time opportunity to buy a car for their kid. Ever since then, the traffic in the city center of Bangkok became unbearable and it will stayed like that for a long time to come.

As we were driven around the city and as we walked around the parts of city where tourists didn’t visit, we saw locals packed in buses with their windows wide open to get some cool air in; taxi drivers sitting by their cars or in their tricycles waiting for their next customer; people with brown colored vest, sanctioned by the government, ferrying people in and out of the traffic on their bikes taking them to their jobs in rush hours, waiters and waitresses in their trimmed uniforms taking care of their customers’ needs and street vendors putting one more layer of seasoning on chicken kaboh while his customers were anxiously waiting.

Outside of the tourist sections of the city, houses were covered with a layer of dust waiting for the rain to wash it off. The streets were in general very clean but occasionally we still smelled foul odor coming out from the sewage. Many shops on local streets were small and dark because lights were turned down to save electricity. Occasionally, people would walk up to us offering stuff to buy and places to see. We usually declined their invitations and walked away.

Yes, this is taxi too.

Yes, this is taxi too.


These people came from villages outside of Bangkok. They have camped here for months and the government hasn't resolved their issues yet.

These people came from villages outside of Bangkok. They have camped here for months and the government hasn’t resolved their issues yet.

Post office's letter drop box.

Post office’s letter drop box.

The buildings are stained and the rooms are small. The red/pink discs are satellite discs.

The buildings are stained and the rooms are small. The red/pink discs are satellite discs.

Privately owned taxi. The background is a metal shop of some sort in the midst of other type of shops.

Privately owned taxi. The background is a metal shop of some sort in the midst of other type of shops.

Government sponsored taxi are in green/yellow color. The windows of the bus are open because it has no A/C. The cost to ride this bus is considerably (several times) cheaper than the ones with A/C.

Government sponsored taxi are in green/yellow color. The windows of the bus are open because it has no A/C. The cost to ride this bus is considerably (several times) cheaper than the ones with A/C.

People in orange-colored vest are sanctioned by the government. They take people to work on their bikes.

People in orange-colored vest are sanctioned by the government. They take people to work on their bikes.


Bangkok rush hour our。This was on a sunny day。

Bangkok rush hour our。This was on a sunny day。

Not sure whether it works or not.

Not sure whether it works or not.
Our hotel uses this tricycle  to tkae its customers to subway stations near by. It is small and easier to move in and out of the traffic and on the sidewalk too.

Our hotel uses this tricycle to tkae its customers to subway stations near by. It is small and easier to move in and out of the traffic and on the sidewalk too.

I didn't see a door probably because it opens 24-hours a day every day of the year. Many guests were foreigners.

I didn’t see a door probably because it opens 24-hours a day every day of the year. Many guests were foreigners.

So it claims:"The Best" in Bangkok.

So it claims:”The Best” in Bangkok.

Many massage parlors are in the basement or on the second floor. 300 B is about $10 in US.

Many massage parlors are in the basement or on the second floor. 300 B is about $10 in US.

Religion is part of Thai people's life. 95% of Thai people believe in some forms of Buddhism. Statues like this one are ubiquitous.

Religion is part of Thai people’s life. 95% of Thai people believe in some forms of Buddhism. Statues like this one are ubiquitous.

Street vendors line up both sides of the sidewalk. The tarp is used to provide cover for rain which is very common in Bangkok.

Street vendors line up both sides of the sidewalk. The tarp is used to provide cover for rain which is very common in Bangkok.

Roasted fish with salt and very little other spice. Spicy sauce can be applied after fish is done. looks good and probably very tasty too. Couldn't gather enough courage to try it though.  It did a very steady flow of business though. It also offers other kind of seafood such as squid too.

Roasted fish with salt and very little other spice. Spicy sauce can be applied after fish is done. looks good and probably very tasty too. Couldn’t gather enough courage to try it though. It did a very steady flow of business though. It also offers other kind of seafood such as squid too.

You probably can see it from this picture but the power posts are squire in shape; not round. It prevents snakes to climb up to the posts. Cell phone tower is in the view too. The ad is for a seaside resort south of Bangkok.

You probably can see it from this picture but the power posts are squire in shape; not round. It prevents snakes to climb up to the posts. Cell phone tower is in the view too. The ad is for a seaside resort south of Bangkok.



Bangkok city center is in the background。

Bangkok city center is in the background。

Our van and many other cars were stopped for a VIP entering into a government compound.

Our van and many other cars were stopped for a VIP entering into a government compound.

A small 四面佛 on a street corner。

A small 四面佛 on a street corner。

Acer and HTC: 台湾的缩影 September 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Computer, Economics, Global Affair, iPhone, Taiwan.
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531期的天下雜誌 (2013-9-8) 问:台灣科技品牌为何屡屡落敗?

The magazine was talking about Taiwan’s two tech companies:  宏碁 Acer and  宏達電 HTC

I own an Acer laptop since 2011 and liked it a lot. It’s cheap and performs as well as comparable products from Dell and HP. Although I have used Apple iPhone3 and have recently switched to Samsung’s Galaxy S4, I heard that HTC’s phones are equally good. 

That being said, these two companies’ stocks can only be described as 惨不忍睹。

See for yourself:

宏碁/Acer 5-year chart


My first answer is: 台湾的顶尖人才都跑到中国大陆去了。台湾的教授也跑到中国大陆去了。Pay there is better。Period。台湾, in a way, 被别人从上面和中间掏空了。The majority of businesses staying put in Taiwan are service oriented: restaurants, massage shops, travel related companies, night markets and taxis.

My second answer is: 爸爸(国民党)和妈妈(民进党)天天吵架,家里的小孩(台湾的人民和公司)这么能长的好呢?Both parties are fighting hard to strengthening their own party. They are not working for the people. They are working for their party instead.

My third answer is:台湾的教育失败。See for yourself:



My fourth answer is: 台湾’s problems are structural in nature. Taiwan has been very good at putting things together for other companies. It may have slacked behind on fundamental researches which are very critical in the highly competitive technology space. The central government has been throwing money in the area of social welfare to please the voters for years. By doing so, it didn’t do what it supposed to do: helps Taiwan’s businesses compete with other companies in the world which enjoy total support from their respective governments.

Taiwan’s current leader,马英九, has over the past six years been fighting for the survivor of his political life. He lacks the vision to help companies such as Acer and THC and is powerless under the constant attack from the opposition party. He hasn’t shown any leadership quality and is mired in a dismal approval rating of low teens.

My fifth answer is:The CEO of both companies probably have squandered their respective company’s good fortune, became lazy at the top and didn’t adapt to the changing landscape. Once they starts to play catching up, their technological advantages were gone. We call this: 创业维艰守成不易。

If something is not done fast, both companies, along with hundreds of jobs, will by gone soon.


America‘s Pivot to Asia August 17, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, Economics, Energy, Global Affair, Military, Muslim, Obama, Oil, Politics, Taiwan.
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The first country习近平 “Xi Jinping” visited after he was appointed the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. 中国共产党中央委员会总书记,  was Russia. And judging from Putin’s facial expression, I believe he had a great time playing host to 习近平 too.



Well, why Russia? Why Putin? Why not America? Why not Obama?

Isn’t America wildly recognized as the most powerful country in the world? How come Obama wasn’t showing Xi Jinping around the White House at that time? Are Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin trying to send a not-too-subtle message to Obama and the United States?

And who prompted Xi’s visit to Russia to begin his international tour anyway?

Well, just for the fun of it, before I talk about the “因果” of America’s pivot to Asia, let’s take a look of Putin and Obama when they had a chance to work together recently. You’ll find out whether they were having fun time together.


Source REUTERS/Kevin Lamarqu

Well, enough of this fun stuff. Let’s talk about the topic on hand, i.e.: 言归正传。

There is no doubt that the ones who started the whole thing; or “始作俑者; shǐ zuò yǒng zhě,” were none other than Hillary and Obama.

Hillary and Obama were responsible for China’s pivot to Russia and Russia’s pivot to China. Hillary and Obama were the ones who made Xi and Putin friends at the expense of the United States. The 21 century version of the Cold War has officially started but this time America has two enemies: China and Russia.

Obama has a bigger problem though: he has made Vladimir Putin his enemy (Remember the picture?) and made half a friend in Xi Jinping.

Ever since the beginning of Arab Spring, Obama has in essence walked away from Middle East and has ceded the world leadership position to whoever came forward to fill the void. Obama instead focused on ruining more American people’s life with more liberal agendas.

Of course, that didn’t mean Hillary was sitting on her butt and enjoyed the perks afforded to her paid by us; the other 53% of American people.

In fact, she tried very hard to mask her ineffectiveness in foreign policies by flying in and out of JFK and IAD and pretending she was busy with diplomatic matters. One of the areas Hillary visited a lot was Asia.

For more than a decade, America ignored Asia because it had its hands tied with al Qaeda, Iraq wars and war in Afghanistan. Ever since Osama was killed by navy seals, not Obama because he was merely carrying out pre-existing orders passed down from Bush, Obama has been telling American people that al Qaeda has been defeated. He said that al Qaeda has been on the run and was on the brink of total collapse.

With Obama’s “mission accomplished against al Qaeda” narrative, American’s military machine needs another adversary and China’s rapid buildup of its military made it an obvious target. Of course, the fact that China is destined to overtake America as the largest economy in the world also made US policy makers, including Hillary, uneasy. The threat of U.S. dollar losing its reserve currency status made the matter that much more urgent.

With liberal think tanks’ urging and Obama’s approval, Hillary pivot America back to Asia. The dagger is aimed squarely at China.

Of course, China knew Hillary’s intention because when something quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a 如假包换的鸭子, real duck.

In other words, the seeds of the 21st Century version of cold war have been sowed.

This was the “因.”

Of course, seeds need constant attention and continuous cultivation to prosper. Hillary knew that. She flew in and out of Asia, visited many Asian countries and attended several meeting in Asia too. In the end she was able to recruit a few willing participants including Japan and a couple of 小角色 (small potato): Philippine and Vietnam. Her visit to India didn’t produce anything concrete for the US and nothing has come out of her visit to Myanmar either.

Of course, Japan has never ever considered China a friend. To Japan’s hard right, China has been a takeover target since Japan first started invading China’s coastal villages and shipping ports since the 1300’s. It culminated into Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 and its ultimate defeat and unconditional surrender in 1945. Hillary’s invitation to Japan was a god-send and Japan accepted it without any reservation whatsoever. Japan was glad that US decided to take on China because ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan has been a loyal servant to the imperialist America.

Philippines and Vietnam were recruited because of their territorial disputes with China. They were two pawns or two 摇旗呐喊跑龙套的小角色 if you like.  They are inconsequential in the great scheme of things but may offer some minor headaches for China here and there. Let’s face it, at the end of the day, America will not send American soldiers to defender Philippine or Vietnam if China threatens military actions against these two nations. However, I will not be surprised if Philippine allows the US to build a port for one of American’s air carrier fleets if the price is right. Vietnam will stay more or less neutral because of its ties with Soviet Union in the past.

All this being said China and Russia are glad to see this development because China needs Russia and Russia needs China.

China needs Russia because of its vast amount of crude oil and natural gas. Russia’s military technology and weaponry are a good source for China’s technological development in years to come. There are a number of things that China will be glad to receive Russia’s assistance.

Russia needs China too. This is because Russia’s largest economic customer, Europe, is mired in several years of recession. China is a natural replacement for Russia’s European markets. In addition, China’s deep pocket can help Russia maintain its economic growth and China can be a good source of capital if Russia wants to develop its Siberia resources.

This is probably why Xi Jinping paid Putin a visit right after he was appointed the new leader of China. He wanted to tell Putin that China valued Russia’s friendship and China considers Russia the most important ally in the world. The message was loud and clear and it also looked like a slap on Obama’s face. But since Obama didn’t think he is the leader of the free world, the slap on his face didn’t matter at all.

With the stage of Cold War set, both sides continued their empty threats by conducting military exercises: US with Japan, US with Philippine, US with Vietnam verses China and Russia having several of their own too. For instance, China and Russia had their largest-ever joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan and Russia held its largest military exercise ever about a month ago: 160,000 troops, 5,000 tanks, dozens of ships and 130 combat aircrafts. I believe that the show of force was aimed at Obama and the message was:”Step aside, Obama. Russia, under Putin, will take part and be recognized as an important player on the world stage.” Since then, Russia was on the opposite end to Obama on many international issues: Iran, Syria, G20, Japan, nuclear arms talk and finally Snowden.

This is one of the “果” from Hillary and Obama’s pivot to Asia: Obama gained an enemy in Putin.

Now, China, being the cool head and a smart guy in the room, quietly secured multi-decade contracts on crude oil and natural gas supplies from Russia via newly completed pipelines, worked with Iraq to developed its vast petroleum resources, continued working on China’s ambition of sending a team of astronauts to and back from the moon, set up a space station for military and scientific researches, built up its air force and navy include several air carriers and advanced fighter jets, tightened the noose around马英九and 民进党’s necks, and secured numerous natural resources in Canada, Africa, Central Asia, U.S. and Europe. On Snowden, China got what it wants from him and let Snowden go to Russia so that it won’t openly upset America that much.  

This is what has been called”韬光养晦,” or staying out of the lime light and constantly improving yourself: militarily, technologically, scientifically, and economically.

This is also the other “果” from Obama and Hillary’s pivot to Asia.

The new, 21 century version of the “新三国演义” has officially started. The first chapter has been written even though one of the three players, Europe, was missing in action.


Before the second chapter can officially begin, America has to take care of this not too small problem that will stay with American people for decades if not centuries to come: al Qaeda.

Obama lied to American people on al Qaeda and on Benghazi. America had to close 21 of its embassies and told American people to stay away from certain parts of the world. This messy side show will continue because al Qaeda will not let it die; not when drones keep killing innocent Arabs and Muslims.

Europe Union will not be a major player for a long time because it has to take care of its mounting sovereign debt problem first. After that, the issues of economic and political union will keep them occupied for decades.

Several other things to pay attention to:

1) The US national debt clock. The arm race will bankrupt America first.

2) The status of U.S. dollar.

3) Oil price.

4) China’s gold reserve.

So stay tuned. The show just started. And it is getting much more interesting with Putin in the middle.



Must See:世界遺產在中國 August 13, 2013

Posted by hslu in China.
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World Heritage sites in China, 世界遺產在中國, is an informative and nicely made documentary video series that you have to watch.

It will take you some time and effort though: 38 video shows with about 30 minutes each. But it is absolutely worth every minute of your precious time.

China, a mysterious and beautiful place.

It has been five thousand years in the making. 1.3 billion people occupy a piece of land stretching from 黑龙江 in the north, to 海南岛 in the south, Taiwan island in the east and 新疆 in the west. A history filled with brutal wars against outside invasions and numerous civil wars which pit one tribe/nation against another. Dynasty after dynasty typified power struggles within the royal families and the severe hardship Chinese people had to endure in the past. 

Yet, over the past five millenniums, our ancestors have left us countless treasuries and their beauties have y absolutely captivated my attention. Some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are included in this video series. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

My wife and I have been only to a few of these sites. We wish we can visit many of them in the near future.


01. 青城山與都江堰

02. 黃山
03. 大足石刻
04. 新疆维吾尔-木卡姆
05. 九寨沟风景名胜区

06. 武当山古建筑群
07. 周口店北京人遗址
08. 龙门石窟
09. 黄龙风景名胜区
10. 峨眉山和乐山大佛

11. 昆曲
12. 平遥古城
13. 苏州古典园林
14. 承德避暑山庄和周围寺庙
15. 澳门历史城区

16. 三江并流
17. 曲阜孔林、孔府、孔庙
18. 云岗石窟
19. 泰山
20. 皖南古村落——西递·宏村

21. 武夷山
22. 秦始皇陵 1
23. 秦始皇陵 2
24. 秦始皇陵 3
25. 武陵源风景名胜区

26. 明清故宮 1
27. 明清故宮 2
28. 天坛
29. 开平碉楼与村落
30. 丽江古城

31. 河南殷墟
32. 古琴
33. 拉萨布达拉宫、罗布林卡和大昭寺
34. 庐山

35. 長城 1
36. 長城 2
37. 莫高窟 1
38. 莫高窟 2

$2,819.73 per sq ft August 9, 2013

Posted by hslu in Life, Death and Yuanfen, Taiwan.
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According to a news report on money.udn.com today (8/9/2013,) it is only a matter of time that one of a most expensive condos in Taipei will command an asking price of $3,000,000 新台币 per 坪。I made a slide using the information included in the report and added an example of such a condo for this post. 

At current exchange rate of 29.899795 NTD/USD, the soon-to-be asking price for 皇翔御琚 will be $100,335.14 (USD) per 坪.

Now, one 坪 is equal to 35.5832 sq ft.

When, not if, this extravagant unit price becomes a reality, you will have to pay $2,819.73/sq ft for a condo in one of the busiest sections of Taipei.

皇翔御琚 is located at 忠孝東路5段236巷 in the 信義 district of Taipei.

NTD 3,000,000 per 坪 condo for sale 皇翔御琚

NTD 3,000,000 per 坪 condo for sale 皇翔御琚

If you are looking for a river, it is a few miles to the west. Ocean is about an hour drive to the north. A small, about 1.8 acres, park is a few blocks away although you have to be on the right side of the building to see it though. A high school and an elementary school are about 200 feet away. You won’t miss them because students walk by all the time. The view can be spectacular if you like buildings after buildings on each side and some small mountains to the north.  101 is a few blocks away though if you like very, very tall building.

If you have money, you can have a 6,760 sq ft condo for 570,000,000 NTD. The larger unit, about 10,319 sq ft, will cost you a cool 1,035,000,000 NTD; that’s $19 million and $29 million, respectively. Penthouse will cost you even more.

Many rich Taiwanese businessmen who have made tons of money from their plants and operations in China bought condos like this for couple of reasons: status and flipping. It appears that condo prices in selected areas in Taipei will continue to go up. Real estate prices in the rest of Taiwan are either stagnant or trending downward because of slow economic growth in the rest of Taiwan. 

This not-too-unique-phenomenon in Taipei epidermises what is commonly referred-to as “穷者越穷,富者越富.“ For new college graduates in Taiwan who struggle to make ends meet with their puny 20,000 NTD per month salary, this is an explosive issue facing  马英九 and the ruling 国民党. Many new regulations have been put in place but the condo prices kept going up and up to levels out of reach by 99,9990% of the people in Taiwan. 

A few years ago, my son spent about 15 months in Taipei. He lived at a rented condo near 忠孝复兴 (subway station) about 3 subway stations away from 皇翔御琚. When we visited him in Taipei, I was completely taken aback by the exuberant condo prices in Taipei. Many small condos, around 1,800 sq ft, were asking for $1.5 million USD. I said to my wife that there was no way that we could afford a condo in this area. Since then, we have been back there a few times but the asking prices of newer condos just kept going up and up to unbelievable levels.

May be we can afford a small, one-story house somewhere at the foot of a small mountain in the middle section of Taiwan. The wooden house may be situated in the back of a small plot of land which matches what Feng shui calls:


A small creek flows by to the east; a winding country road to the west; an open space, preferably with a good size fish pond, in front of the plot and lastly a hill or a small mountain in the back.

We could catch a fish or two in the pond, plant vegetables and a few fruit tress to the west of the house and watch sunset in the mountain when we have nothing better to do. A mid-size city with 高铁 connection may be half an hour away by bus. A dog runs around by itself but we’ll have no chicken or pig. They would be too time-consuming to take care of. TV is not necessary but wifi or Internet connection is a must. Too bad, Taiwan has no snow in the winter otherwise we could just watch snow falling while sipping a cup of tea or coffee together. 

NTD 3,000,000 per ping condo for sale - a house in the country 1

It sounds pretty good and it sure beats running a restaurant for living, doesn’t it!

Well, it doesn’t hurt if we dream a little! We only have one life to live and time waits for no one.

China’s Ambitious Agenda in its smallest Province; 海南省 August 3, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Energy, Oil.
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China’s Ambitious Agenda – View from one Province’s Construction Projects

I came across this announcement while searching for a vacation spot in China. I was amazed by the number of project initiatives completed and proposed by one of the smallest provinces in China – Hainan Province 海南省. I included Hainan in my Internet search because one of my chefs is from Hainan.

It is an list of projects to be discussed at a provincial level meetings held recently in March of 2013. There were 349 projects all together. Some projects are funded by the government while others are from private sources. The enormity of these projects is simply amazing. The total amount of the investment is 1.51万亿元, or US $246,249,184,605.35 at current exchange rate of 6.1320 RMB/USD. That’s $246.3 billion. Of course, this amount is stretched out over many years.

Here is the situation of Hainan Province; one of the smallest and one the poorest province in China:

Population       8,671,518                    0.64% of China’s total

Area                33,920 km2                  0.35%

GDP                 US$ 39.9 billion           0.32%

Here are some of the projects:

Two airports, a nuclear power plant, several chemical/refinery projects, a new fishing fleet of 188 ship, six 5-star hotels, water plant, electric plant, hydraulic project, sea port, a massive (three million acre) vegetable farm for winter vegetables, several stretches of highways, a high speed railroad, a LNG terminal, a paper plant, three airports, several vacation and resorts projects.

Hmmm…, I wonder what China is up to in Hainan other than building China’s fourth satellite launch pad, the first since the 1960’s.

One thing is so clear in Hainan when compared to the situation in the U.S.: without a centralized government in China, many projects have little hope to get them started if only private funding is involved; the way it is done in the United States. The fact that China has a vast amount of resources is also on display here.

You can draw your own conclusions.




(2013年) 3月20日,全省重点项目建设工作会议在海口召开。会议指出,我省将2013年继续确定为“项目建设年”,省政府确定今年建设省重点项目349个(其中,结转项目159个,新增项目190个),项目总投资1.51万亿元,至今已累计完成投资2542亿元,今年计划投资1505亿元。其中,备受瞩目的海南航天发射场计划6月达到合练条件,2014年进行首飞,配套公路今年底建成通车。













































































馬英九, the apologist-in-chief July 25, 2013

Posted by hslu in Taiwan.
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馬英九, the apologist-in-chief

Taiwan’s president, 馬英九 who moonlights as 國民黨’s’ party chief, has another job: Taiwan’s apologist-in-chief. Apologizing on behalf of the government for something he didn’t do has become one of the job descriptions of Taiwan’s president.

Well, he did it again about two weeks ago. This time a soldier by the name of 洪仲丘was dead because his sergeant(s) harassed the poor guy for days. They refused to stop even though 洪仲丘was totally stressed out under extremely heat.

Well, what usually took place was this: when a person in his cabinet or a branch of his government did something wrong, 馬英九would first make a statement on national TV condemning the terrible activity. Next, he’d make a deep bow and maintain the posture for a few seconds to show his sincerity and seriousness. He’d then apologize to the citizens of Taiwan for his lack of leadership and take full responsibility for what went wrong under his watch indicating that the buck stops at his lap. He’d then say something about personally looking into the matter according to the law and vow to get to the bottom of the matter soon; in Chinese parlance: 盡快給大家一個交待。

This kind of routine performance repeats itself again and again like a broken record to the detriment of his image and the presidency. Every time when I read this on the Internet or heard it from someone else, I couldn’t help but cringe and really feel sorry for him. Unfortunately, once he started the practice a few years back, he has no other choice but to continue the performance so that the opposition will get off from his back. I am not sure whether this has something to do with the oriental culture or he got the tips from Japanese CEOs or politicians.


What should have been done was this: if something went wrong with his administration, the superior(s) of the guilty person(s) should take full responsibility because馬英九can’t be and should not be expected to know everything that goes on in his administration. He simply can’t and this is common sense! President’s spokesman can follow up with a statement to the effect that the president has appointed his key deputy looking into this matter. At the same press conference, the deputy should brief the press and bring them up-to-date of what has happened so far and tell them that he’ll keep them informed when new information is available.

In other words, people who work for 馬英九should do everything they can to shield the president from the press and from the opposition party. Instead, whenever something bad happened, his people pushed him to the front of the TV cameras and make him the scapegoat to the delight of the opposition party. What these people did degrades the presidency, damages 馬英九’s image and destroys 馬英九’s approval ratings.

What a bunch of fools! I really feel sorry for 馬英九!

馬英九, why don’t you give it a try? It might actually work!


苦笑不得 July 23, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Global Affair, Military, Taiwan.
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I didn’t make this up because it actually happened!

Taiwan’s defense department, under directive from 馬英九, used sound effect from their CD collections to simulate sounds from guns and artillery shots during the island’s annual military exercise, 漢光演習, in 2012. The official rational: to “conserve energy and to reduce carbon footprint.” And likely to save a few bucks.

Wow! Only a “書生” could dream up or approve this kind of absurd idea! If the chief didn’t take it serious, why should his generals and soldiers? The cannon fodder probably laughed so hard during the five-day exercise that their teeth might fall out of their mouths. BTW, no real bullet or artillery shell was fired and馬英九delegated his commander-in-chief responsibility to someone else because he had a foreign policy matter to tend to in Africa.

Yeah, it happened a year ago and馬英九seemed to have learned his lessons but I couldn’t help but blame 馬英九 for the decline of Taiwan’s military readiness.


But seriously can we blame馬英九 on the lack of crisis awareness of his military? I guess we can’t. Think about it: a growing military budget (see chart below)and strong military presence just don’t fit with his 倾中 policies, does it?


Military Spending as % of GDP 2000 - 2011

陳文茜:崇美,夸张 , 混淆视听 July 17, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, Economics, Energy, Euro, Global Affair, Obama, Oil, Politics, Taxes.
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A friend forwarded me the following article from 陳文茜. I searched the web and found many sites quoting 陳文茜 as the original author。

I know it was an old post dated sometime in  2010。 Furthermore,my post is seriously out-of-dated but there are a few points need to be addressed.

The following is a copy of 陳文茜’s original post:

美國人又來了 (老美真厲害).

My comments continue after 陳文茜’s piece.


美國人又來了 (老美真厲害)



第一次差不多於1985年時達到高峰期,當時《Japan as No.1》的書籍剛出版,撰寫書籍者為一位哈佛大學教授;美國各大報紙紛紛發表社論,有的充滿畏懼,有的充滿憤怒。也就在那一年日本為了平衡對美貿易順差,壓力下簽署「廣場協議」;之後美歐聯手拉抬日圓,漲幅近三分之一,吃掉了日本大半外匯,日本正式進入泡沫經濟時代,也終結戰後最大繁榮期。


現在事後看來,日本人真是傻!1988年還高興地抱著現金買下洛克斐勒大廈,甚至打主意入主紐約地標「World Center」。「歐元之父」諾貝爾經濟獎得主孟代爾去年9月接受香港鳳凰衛視專訪,明白點出當年「日本人做了愚蠢的決定」;日本從此經濟消20年;前10年泡沫經濟留下壞帳,1997年亞洲金融風暴,「Japan No.1正式結束神話;後10年經濟停滯,只靠出口微成長。












詹姆士,美國人到中國旅遊,用10萬美元兌換到68萬人民幣在中國吃喝玩樂了一年,花了18萬人民幣。他要回去了,到銀行去,因為人民幣兌美元升值到 1:5這位美國人用剩下的50萬人民幣換到了10萬美元。來時10萬美元,回去還是10萬,高高興興地回家了。


布萊恩美國人,也拿10萬美元換了68萬人民幣。在中國花50萬買了房子,吃喝玩樂花了18萬,想回去了。房子增值了,賣後淨得100萬人民幣,以匯率 15,剛好能換20萬美元。布萊恩在玩,也在掙錢。


PS: 匯率真厲害,不可不小心。



To me,  陳文茜 article reads like someone who admires the strength of an all mighty empire, or a bully if you will,who wielded tremendous power  in the world doing whatever it wanted to do without any negative consequences. This might be true in 1985 but it is less so since Obama became president of the United States in 2009. It was clear to me that 陳文茜’s 崇美 mentality was in full display in her article.

陳文茜 ‘s “漲幅近三分之一 “ assertion on the Japanese yen after 廣場協議 is misleading. In 1985, one US dollar would get you on average 238 Japanese yen. After 廣場協議 which took place on 9-22-1985, Japanese yen rose to 128 yen for one U.S. dollar in 1988: that‘s almost doubling its value against U.S. dollar in three years. In contrast, Chinese 人民幣 appreciated a little more than 25% in eight years: from 6.8人民幣/US dollar on June 11, 2005 (when it last traded at this level) to 6.14人民幣/US dollar on July 17, 2013.

Now a little background on 人民幣/USD exchange rate first:陳文茜 used the exchange rate of 6.8人民幣/USD in her examples. The last time when one US dollar could fetch 6.8 人民幣was in June, 2011. 

Now, we’ll exam 陳文茜’s three examples further which, to me, also showed 陳文茜’s “崇美” mentality. But some fact before getting into the actual discussion.

Fact: the actual 人民幣/USD exchange rate one year after June, 2011 was around 6.5; not 5 as stated by  陳文茜.

Case I: 詹姆士

Let’s for the argument’s sake take the stated exchange rate of 5.0人民幣/USD in 陳文茜’s examples, the purchasing power of 詹姆士’s 10萬美元 is in effect reduced by 26% in 人民幣terms. In other words, after 詹姆士 returns to the U.S., he will have to pay 35% more when he buys stuff made in China at local Wal-Mart. In essence, his 10萬美元 is no longer the same 10萬美元 he bought to China. 詹姆士 高高興興地回家。Buts James will be 伤伤心心地花钱 once he is home.


CASE II: 布萊恩

Here 陳文茜 didn’t specify how long 布萊恩stayed in China. If she implies the same one year time frame as in the other two cases, it is not likely that布萊恩’s house can double in just one year of time.

 Be that as it may, let’s take a look of 布萊恩‘s Play and Earn scenario.

 It is not only possible but it had actually happened all over China albeit at a slower pace. The sky-rocketing appreciation in Chinese real estate (30-50% rise per year) has all but disappeared in recent years. But I still think 布萊恩 should get a lot more from his real estate investment unless he bought it in a 四,五线城市。

Here is why:人民幣 is a controlled currency and it appears that 中国人民银行will only let人民幣appreciate 4 to 5% per year. To appreciate from 6.8:1 to 5.0:1, it will take 人民幣at least 7 years to reach that level. It is more than likely that houses in上海or 北京 can double in value in 7 years. Since 布萊恩 already wasted 18萬人民幣in the first year 吃喝玩樂, he has to work to make a living or borrow against his real estate investment to get by for the next 6 years. Gone are the days of 吃喝玩樂! 布萊恩actually had to work for a living:waiting tables at 上海新天地or teaching English for 新东方for six years just to get by。He may even have to borrow some money using his real estate investment as collateral。In the 7th year, 布萊恩 sells his house, pays off his loan and probably still has 100 萬人民幣when he goes back to the U.S.A. Not bad at all.

 Yes, this is totally possible in 7 or 8 years! But not in 1 year.

Well, I think  陳文茜 exaggerated to make a point. But she needs to make sure her facts are right.


First of all, 王念祖 probably isn’t’t very smart. Everyone knew 人民幣 was an appreciating currency. There was no compelling reason for 王念祖 to wire his 68 萬人民幣 and converted it to the U.S. dollar. Besides, deposit in 人民幣 gets at least 3% interest in China. Deposit in U.S. dollar received a mere 0.25% interest in one year. Unless 王念祖 is a 傻瓜, he won’t wire his 68 萬人民幣 to America to begin with.

 Even 王念祖 did wire his money to the U.S., the purchasing power of 王念祖’s  68萬人民幣a year later is 26% higher than the 68萬人民幣 he took to the U.S.A. Based on 陳文茜’s 5 to 1 USD/人民幣 exchange rate. 王念祖 will find out that all the stuff made in the U.S.A. at 上海好市多(Costco) is a lot cheaper now。王念祖又高兴起来了。

Now, let’s take a look of “ 匯率确实厲害,不可不小心。”

Here I, like many others, totally agree with this point and I hope every country in the world can learn something from American’s bullying act in 1985 and the prices Japan and Japanese people paid in its aftermath.

日本人是真傻!The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.「廣場協議, Plaza Accordis the third atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. on Japan’s economy. The damage on Japanese economy can’t be calculated because Japan is still paying for it in the form of lost decades, lost pride and mounting national debt which is estimated to be 230% of its GDP. We’ll see whether Abenomics can or can’t revive Japan’s failing economy in a few years. If it fails to do so, Japan will bankrupt on the weight of its debt and Japan will have no one but the U.S. to thank for.

日本人是真傻 because Japan still treats U.S. like it is Japaneses best friendLast time I checked, Shinzo Abe came to America looking for guidance and assurance. He should have demanded retribution from the U.S. for all the damages 廣場協議 did to Japan’s economy.

But he didn’t!

日本人是真傻 but 日本人活生生的例子taught Chinese government a very good lessona lesson worth trillions of dollars. How successful Chinese government can defend its currency and its economy will depend on how good that lesson is. 

There is no doubt that China knew what had happened to Japan since 1985. 中国人民银行, on one hand takes in billions of U.S. dollar and Euro from exports but, on the other hand, controls the level of appreciation of 人民幣 to ensure it will not hamper the growth of China’s exporting industries. In 15 to 20 years, 人民幣 may be allowed to float and by then 中国人民银行 will have a few more trillions of dollar and trillions of euro to defend人民幣’s trading level on the open market. So far, Chinese government uses its foreign currency reserve buying out natural resources all over the world because this is what China needs the most.

The United States has deliberately devalued its currency in order to, according to 陳文茜, 

將美國人的債務丟給包括中國、台灣等持有龐大美元資產的國家分攤。But, the United States will ultimately pay the price in the form of diminishing purchasing power, rising international and domestic inflation, rising interest rates, crushing national debt, growing tax burden by all Americans and reduced service to its citizens from federal and local governments.

The pivot of American’s foreign policy from Europe and Mideast to Asia, or making China America’s enemy going forward, has an expected consequence: forcing China and Russia to a united front to combat America’s aggression.

The era of a new “Cold War” is happening right now!

The rise of China coupled with Russia’s cooperation, however, will have an immediate impact on the behavior of U.S., arguably the only bully in the world for the past 70 years. China, along with Russia, will provide the sorely needed check and balance on the world stage. It is actually happening right now on Iran, on Syria and on Snowden, just to name a few. In addition, Obama’s “America is no longer the world leader” attitude isn’t helping America’s case either. When Europe eventually gets out of its current crisis in three to five years, a stronger and more competitive Europe will rise from the ash.

By then, a new world order; 三国鼎立, “will play out in front of our eyes again.

What an interesting time we are living in right now.

I can’t wait to see the new 三国演义“ as it is written in real time.

July 19, 2013




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