Mainland Chinese have been called locusts by their Hong Kong compatriots. This claim arises from their belief that Chinese swarm into the island consuming precious resources. Like Biblical locusts, the saying goes, the Chinese leave little in their wake. Such a moniker sounds inflammatory indeed, but perhaps can be understood in context. Of particular concern to the Hong Kongers has been Chinese mothers flooding their hospitals in order to give birth. This is due to the fact that babies born there have the right to abode, which is better than a “Chinese” passport. Such documents make it much easier for the child to attend international schools and travel in the future. By giving birth in Hong Kong, Chinese mothers were essentially making their babies “not Chinese”. Concern over this phenomenon had Hong Kongers up in arms as hospitals were soon flooded with mainland mothers. As a result, many native Hong Kongers lost out on hospital beds. Consequently, Hong Kong hospitals capped hospital availability for mainland mothers. These women are now heading to the USA to give birth. More Chinese Women Giving Birth in USA than Hong Kong It was just announced that more mainland Chinese mothers are now giving birth in the USA than in Hong Kong. The trend is so dramatic that a conservative estimate means up to 25% of all birth tourism babies belong to Chinese mothers. America’s liberal citizenship laws and the open door to Chinese tourists has spawned a cottage industry of “citizenship tourism” where Chinese mothers will plan months or years in advance to become pregnant, visit the USA, overstay their visa and have an “American” baby. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai are exploding with tour operators whose only function is to get pregnant Chinese to the United States in order to give birth.
Browsing Inside China
Such kidnapping knows no national bounds as it is not only Americans who are being held against their will. “Indian press is reporting that an Indian trader from Mumbai has gone missing in Yiwu…where the bizarre abduction in January of two Indian businessmen with allegedly unpaid bills caused a diplomatic rumpus between New Delhi and Beijing….the Mumbai trader…was seized at a local restaurant on the night of May 19. Two days later the Indian embassy in Beijing issued a warning to Indian businessmen to be careful in their dealings in Yiwu as their “freedom of movement could be curtailed” if they got embroiled in legal disputes with local traders.” (1) A lawyer explains that “there are thousands of cases (of illegal detention), and I have encountered a few. China does not make a distinction between the corporate entity and the individual who either owns company as a stockholder or employed as a CEO… In China, the state-owned countries see themselves as part of the government. Every form of business dispute is looked at a fraudulent case and the foreigner has to be threatened to resolve it. Since the courts are ineffective agent for dispute resolution, China thinks detention works.” What this shows is how business in China has taken a turn for the worse. Historically the act of kidnapping was illegal, although it did occur. If the law is amended, however, that changes the equation. Think of it like this, if your company sends you on business to China and a supplier claims that you owe them money, then they have the right to hold you until the debt is paid.
Kidnapping in China- business people beware…. Got an upcoming business meeting in China? Excited about seeing the dragon firsthand? Well, you may just want to make sure that the firm you work for is not in arrears with a Chinese company before you go. After all, it is rumored that China is essentially legalizing the kidnapping/detention of foreign business people. Beijing is mulling over a law allowing for foreign nationals to be “detained” if their firm owes a Chinese company money. Unfortunately, in this sense, “detained” means little more than being kidnapped and held for ransom until the Chinese firm is satisfied. If you think I am being melodramatic, then consider the case of American, Chip Starnes (1), for this is precisely what happened to him, and that was before the law was passed. Concerned? You should be if you are doing business with the Chinese.
With such strict control, not only should Beijing be able to stop individuals from breaking the law but companies as well, right? Well, it should, but that is not the case. Remember how Beijing claimed that they police the net to ensure the rights of citizens and businesses alike? Well, they must mean they will protect the rights of the Chinese but not the rest of us. Hiding in plain sight is a host of Chinese citizens and companies selling pirated software online. If you don’t believe me, then click on this link or better yet let me explain. (1) In the link, Killian Bell explains that a specific Chinese website allows iPhone and iPad users to download pirated software for free. (2) He then goes on to explain that the Chinese site has been up for over one year and has been acting with legal impunity. Mr. Bell goes on to say that part of the reason that the Chinese company has gone undetected for so long is the fact that it is hiding behind China’s Great Firewall. What he means is that if you search for the offending site from any country but China you will be sent to a generic homepage which allows you “purchase” software; from within China, however, things are different. In other words, if you live in the USA and want to find Chinese companies which are stealing your ideas and software, it is almost impossible.
Houston, Texas was home to a tenement project known as “The Village”. Located in one of the roughest areas of town, it was surrounded by a concrete fence topped off with barbed wire and only one way in or out. Guarding the entry to The Village was gun toting security personnel. To many this seemed ideal; a show of force to keep out the bad elements, but of course this was untrue. In reality, the armed guards allegedly worked for the drug dealers running The Village and their job was to regulate all illicit activity within the compound. They were more like a “mafia militia” as opposed to a conventional security force. Rather than protect the people within the borders or The Village, the role of the security guards was to oversee the rampant drug sales for the dealers who lorded over the complex. The Village was a self-contained entity which made and enforced its own rules while hiding in plain sight. To me nothing can better illustrate China’s Great Firewall (GFW) or Internet censorship technology. Beijing claims that Internet protection and the Great Firewall of China are needed in order to: “…Promote the sound development of China’s Internet, protect state security, social and public interests, and lawful rights and interests of individuals, legal persons and other organizations.” (1) Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. The reality is that like the guards at The Village, the GFW prevents “prying eyes” from peeking into the illegal if not unethical nature of China’s online activities. Truth be told, China’s Great Firewall acts as a border behind which Chinese companies can hide and offer illegal services to Chinese citizens. As you have to possess access to the Chinese Internet to know this, the GFW presents an ideal platform for thieves to [...]
Much of the business conducted in China is done after hours. This usually means long nights spent eating lavish meals and then a night of KTV, which is China’s version of a karaoke bar. In China, however, KTV’ing means more than just a night of singing and merriment; it frequently leads to a night of purchased love as well. Most Chinese KTV’s are staffed with “students” who are paid to sit by your side and keep your wine glass full. They will sing a few songs and play some bizarre dice game with you starting at $40 and up. Once the night winds down, however, it’s game on as most of them will go to your place for a night of frolicking and sex. I witnessed this first in 2009 when I went to a KTV with high placed telco officials from a few southeast Asian countries. An American friend had invited me and said that although I had lived in China, I had not really “lived the China experience” and sought to change that. He introduced me to a passel of men whose titles started with Chief this and vice that, and then we took a seat. Quickly thereafter a stern faced woman of indeterminate age entered the spacious KTV room trailing along ten Chinese women in varying degrees of undress. “Pick one,” my friend said. “YYY company is paying for it. The girls will sit by your side, keep you company and then if you want, you can take it to the next level. The cost for sex varies, but is from $100 and up, depending on the length of time you want her. Of course you will have to pay that cost yourself, the telco is only paying for what goes on in this room.”
Guo’s story is not unique, but is interesting as it provides a glimpse into the reality of China that so many of us never see. Like I said, Guo studied at one of the most prestigious laws schools in China and then went into private practice. Upholding his oath of protecting the people and constitution of China, he defended the country’s most vulnerable. He witnessed first-hand how they were marginalized by the system, wrote about it and now is a poster boy for what makes the term “Chinese justice” an oxymoron. Guo was taken by the police from his office and his whereabouts kept from his family. After a period of time, he reappeared as if nothing had happened, but was even bitterer. The atrocities he had suffered were shared with only his family, which left a mark on them all. This being the “benevolent China”, he obtained his freedom, albeit with a cost. Now his movements are monitored and even though he was released from jail, he will never be free. He spends his days shuffling papers and wondering when his freedom will once again be yanked away from him and if he will ever see his family again. To his credit, he has not relented and is still critical of the communist regime. Due to the fact that his case received a measure of acclaim, he has been cut more slack than others, but this too is relative. I considered it a coup to be able to speak to such a man and gain an insight into the realities of China that we never see.
Guo is a civil rights lawyer in China and has been through the ropes. Due to his “outspoken views” of China’s take on what the term “human rights” means, he has had his share of problems. Hailing from one of the preeminent law schools in China, Guo knows his stuff. Imagine how happy I was when he agreed to speak with me about the reality of practicing human rights law and China’s legal system. While this may seem a non-issue to many of you in the USA, I would disagree. As the economies of these two countries become more intertwined, it is even more important that we understand the Chinese and their worldview. Remember, the Chinese now send more students to the USA (1) than any other country and now have over 22 million people seeking to live here permanently. (2)
There you sit considering your life’s path, goals and perhaps retirement. You have been sent by your government to one of those conventions that are far from home and at times a bit boring. All of the sudden, like a gift from above it happens. A sexy young thing is giving you the eye, or so you think. After several anxious glances, the young Asian catches your eye and approaches you. One thing leads to another and pretty soon you’re off to a fine restaurant with this heretofore unknown lovely wrapped in your arms.
Multiple personality disorder, aka dissociative identity disorder, is a severe form of dissociation, a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. (1) China is communist? “Mr. Xi has said absolute military obedience to the party is essential to ensuring the Chinese Communist Party is not wiped out like its Soviet counterpart.” (2) No wait a minute, they are socialist! “Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping Tuesday called on officials and members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to enhance efforts to build socialism with Chinese characteristics and improve Party building.” (3) said communist mouthpiece Xinhua. Maybe China is democratic? “China improves people’s democracy through legislation.” (4) Or maybe China will never be democratic? “China will never be a multiparty democracy,” said Wu Bangguo, former number two man to communist party leader and president Hu Jintao. Wow! If all that confused you, then join the club. How can you figure out China from half a world away when I live here and have yet to do so? So what can we divine from all of those excerpts? China is sort of a Franken-monster of knocked off communism/socialism/Marxism/Mao’ist thought with a little fascism thrown in for flavor; they are not, however, democratic. So why am I even writing this article? The reason I am writing is to clear up any confusion about how China is governed from an insider’s perspective. While I do not work with the Chinese government, I have had many dealings with the communist party in a variety of settings. Aside from this I also have decent contacts who have done so as well. The so what of all that is that I am in a pretty good place to give you an idea on how communist [...]