Google Docs is Good

This is my test of the new Google Docs – it is hard to define what “new” means in Google product. Maybe when I am writing this document, it is becoming “old” version. Amazing.

The default font is changed to Verdana, 10pt, my favorite, and the same as my blog, and I can insert a picture (Google handles all the pluming work to upload the photo and assign a URL to it.

I can insert a link like this: my blog. (This is the default expectation. No surprise here)
I can even insert comment:
and block quote
Like this
Best of all, I can even publish it from Google Docs to my MovableType based weblog. Amazing!
So, you see this post, and it is created by Google Docs. However, I hope this will be the last time, since the post created from Google Docs is still too crazy in HTML – too many HTML noisy things, which I don’t like. I will still use the MovableType default editor, and Windows Live Writer.

Yifan in His 9th Month

This is my Yifan. He is 10 months old now, and I just found a photo of him at the end of the 9th month.

He is crawling on the ground, with his toy box and chair in the background.


This is another one:


As a young father, I am more and more proud of the little boy. Seeing small progress of him everyday just made me happy. Although to be objective, every boy grow almost as fast as each other, but every father just feel his son is the smartest – I also think so. (Something I know it is not the truth.)

He starts to understand things. He starts to be able to play little game with me. He has his independent thinking already, and clearly show "I want this", or "I don’t like that." He started to show some potential of a little troublemaker for me:

  • I bring him out and some times found a piece of leaf in his hand when we are back – I have no idea when he got it.
  • He just successfully push a dish onto the ground and broke it, and we paid 10 RMB for what he did to the restaurant.
  • He love to read our big paper book instead of his smaller cotton books, and to be more exact, he enjoy tearing the books much more than reading it.
  • He started to love his toys, and has some "friends".
  • I realized he love "good toys", instead of expensive ones. He enjoy a piece of thick thread much more than the toys I brought from stores. A piece of grass is also something that makes him happy a lot.

My life is fill of joyfulness with this little boy. So is Wendy.

Not Just Identify Problems for China – Solve Them!

I wrote the following in response to a reader, mac, just now. I want to share it with everyone (with little bit editorial change). The original comment is here.

@mac, calm down. I like discussion, although I don’t expect myself to answer every single comment, and even if I try to join some discussion, I will try to carefully state what I believe, with no expectation that the other end may agree with me or even understand (understanding is the hardest part, although people often claim to be).

Back to your questions, I hope I am in the position to say I understand your feeling. The collapse of value system after knowing many truth will be the main theme for many people in the next decade in China. I experience that during my month long cross North American trip in the winter of 2004.

Turning from trust of what we are educated since we were born, to completely lose trust is a very hard time for everyone who ever experienced it. I was also turned very negative for some time. However, as Tommy described it very well, that is also not the whole story. After 4 years of seeking for the truth (via this blog, and many other ways), I feel pretty calm now, and I started to learn more about China. After that, I am even more confidence about the future of China. I started to understand the root of many imperfection of the country, then we can solve it one by one. The good thing is, when we try to discover, there are many promising solutions for many problem.

As you mentioned in your question 1, 2, 3, GFW is certainly a shame in our country. With the wisdom of the great nation, we are still not able to remove it. There are even more serious problems within this country, like people’s right to make decisions, pollutions, economic imbalance, unfair treatment to people in remote area like Tibet, and Xinjiang, morale standards… I can list many of them. However, that is not the whole story. There are so many bright side also – the economic improvement, the slow but gradual awareness of the political needs of more people, and the transform of the society, just to name a few. We are the people who need to contribute to a better China, instead of just complainer, like those outside the country.

Young Generations like myself tend to be able to identify a problem, but often fail to solve the problem. The feeling that they cannot change anything turns into desperations and anger. Many problems are easy to identify, just like the potential conflict between China and France (the criss around Torch relay). My belief is, I need to do something to HELP SOLVING the problem, instead of doing something just because everyone is doing, and don’t care about the consequences. My way of doing it is to start conversation between people in France, British, US, and all the other countries to talk with people in China. Although it is not as big as people may wish, I think at least it is a solution I can think of.

Again, I’d like to help if you think my experience is worth to listen. However, don’t expect me to help you understand how the world is working (I don’t know yet), and it took me four years to understand a little better than before. Sometimes, only time can help.

Besides that, I wrote another comment back to Confused regarding the three questions they don’t know about Chinese:

@Confused, good question. I guess that is the key questions many people may ask.

First question, why anger against France is stronger. For several reasons. Reports from blog and message from people in France described that it is not just the protesters, many people (bigger portion of common people) in Paris joined the violent protests (I saw many pictures with body attack). Besides that, three particular events gave people strong impressions about Paris: 1) Disabled girl Jin Jing was attacked on the wheelchair by Pro-Tibet protester. 2) The Paris Mayor hanged banners in the city hall, an action perceived as representing the city, instead of just protestres. 3) The headline about “the miserable defeat of China” in the major newspaper. This is my guess about why anger against Paris is stronger than UK, and US. For UK and US, based on what I learned, people still think it is the Pro-Tibet group who made the trouble. For Paris, it is clearly the government (and some extends it to the people there) who are anti-China. This perception may be far from the truth, just as China’s image in the international stage, but that is how the whole thing is “PERCEIVED”.

For the second question about there are Chinese product in Carrefour, as I said, boycotting is an immature way of handling problems. It is based on the simple judgment that the world is completely black and white, and boycotting French Products “ONLY impact those French”. However, the current world is a well connected world, and it is so hard to distinguish who owns which part. If you ask people who boycotting some product, they may also get very confused, and may ask back: “Well. It seems so. So, tell me what’s next I can do just to make them feel bad?” I want to make it very clear that I don’t like what is happening in Paris, especially those *violent* protesters, I don’t think boycott really do the work.

For the last question, about why Chinese tend to take criticism for government so personally, there are two reasons, I think. First, due to 50 years of education by the current government, people have formed the thinking logic that the Party = the Government = the whole country. To the extreme extend, people are educated that the Party is the mother, and Chairman is the Sun…. This believe may fade out a little bit in the last 20 years, but is still there. For this part, I think it is more of a problem in China, instead of the rest world.

The second reason: because it is Olympic. If it were not Olympic Games, people may not take it so personally. Olympic is a dream of Chinese people for 100 years (please note: this is long before the current Communist Party was formed). Being invaded by many countries in the 1800s, and being a backward country for even longer, people in China do want to find a change to get back to the center stage of the world. That is the dream of almost everyone. For people outside China, it may be hard to understand the importance of this Game to normal people in China. So, by definition, Olympic don’t have too much to do with the government, in some sense. Unlike people in many other country who just take it as a sport event, people in China don’t think it that way. So, because of this, any attack to the Olympic Game in Beijing is the attack to the people.

Just as I told delegation from the US Congress, it is like the big fat wedding ceremony of the PEOPLE, not the government. Ruin the opening ceremony of a company is not a big deal for its employees, but to ruin someone’s wedding is completely another story.

In conclusion, I won’t say who is right or wrong in these unpleasant days. However, I do hope people understand each other more. I hope people in China to understand not to take political protest too personal, and hope people in France and other country to understand, people will DEFINITELY take it personal if you attack Olympic Game.

What the Term China, or France Means?

I admit, during my last post on boycott, I made a mistake, just as many people in any country in this world may make: to be confused about the term of a country name, for example, China, France, US, or UK, to name a few.

It is important that we understand the different meanings in difference context about what the names mean.

Very often, it means the government. Many times, when people talk about China, it means the Chinese government – the rule maker. Protest for human rights are very likely to be against what the government is doing. Sometimes, it refer to the people. People in one country tend to stick a label of the country name on him/herself. Sometimes, it refer to the economic body, as in the exchange rate dispute. Sometimes, it simply refer to the media of the country, as seen in the recent Torch crisis. But in any case, people have the tendency to use a much bigger, generalized concept (China, or France) to refer to just a part of it.

It is so hard to distingurish the difference, and in many occasions, it is mixed together. Protest again Chinese government is well perceived by people in China as a protest again the whole country, and it can quickly turn into a protest again France (actually, it should be against either the violent protesters, or the media).

I was sometimes mistakenly mix all these concept together. We need to be very careful about it in the future.

Thanks for my Commentors

I always want to take time to thank my commentors who helped to shape and created this blog. I feel expecially so in this week, when my commentors sincerely share their thoughts, provide facts, and help others to understand each other, no matter how different they are. And people did it with dignity and pride.

Thank you!

As you may discovered, I have quietly added a small section at the end of this page, with links to past entries and categories. I also added a section called “Contributors to this Page”, where I list the names (along with their websites if they provide one). I want to make it clear that I am just a very small part of the page. The page is created by a great group of people – the commentors.

Hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I do.

Friends Started to Boycott French Products

After what happened to the Olympic Torch in Paris on April 7, 2008, the movement to boycott French products started to spread across China like wild fire on grassland.

Conversation with Wendy

Last morning, when Wendy and I were waiting in the long line at the SinoPec gas station to fill gas to our cars, Wendy said people in her company already started boycotting French products after what happened in Paris. She added: “I will not go to Carrefour any more, and I won’t consider French cars in the future.”

Besides Wendy, when I talked with my other friends, most of them (well, to be honest, 3 out of 3 persons) said they are going to boycott French goods.

No to mention tremendous posts in the BBS space to boycott French product. This is after the 10-20 year boycotting of Japanese goods in China. It seems to me (please note: only me) that everyone is urging boycott of French Products these days.

I don’t want to talk about others. Just share what is the Paris reaction impact on me.

Impact on Me

Thanks to this blog, which is a good source for me to understand the world better. There are point-of-views from every country, and many of them are conflicting dramatically. Guided with my approach to the world: “Seek first to understand, then to understood”, I really learned a lot. For many times, comments that does not make any sense to me turned out to make some sense after I read similar comments or read it after some time. I tried very hard to understand what is going on in Tibet, how Tibet people think, and why the Pro-Tibet people think it is reasonable for Tibet to go independent. I tried to understand first, or to listen first. Unfortunately, I was quite shock when I saw what happened in Paris.

I may rate myself as a Pro-French person before April 7. There are “France Year” in China and I participated in some program, and there is a following “China Year” in French. I have good friend Clarie in French, and I have workmate in France. The country has a very good imagine for me.

All of a sudden, Paris showed strong Anti-China tendency, and I saw it on YouTube, and on BBC, and CNN. I don’t know what others think but what Paris Mayor said and the newspaper headline in the following day seem outrageous for me. If you need an example, I am the person in China who were turned from Pro-France to Anti-France within few days. Well. I may not consider myself as ANTI-France, but at least, I don’t think France is a friendly country at all.

P.S. There is something very interesting about the different news I got. The anger in me was not triggered by what I saw in media in China, on the contrary, it is from western media. On CCTV, and local news papers, the theme was still “Relay in Paris went on smoothly. Although there are extremely small group Pro-Tibet guys trying to disturb the relay, the Paris policemen did wonderful job to make the relay a great success”. Or “The torch was never FORCED to be extinguished. It was just according to the plan…”. It is obvious that the government want to either save some “face”, or avoid trigger big reaction (like boycott) to the event. Although people may argue whether the government (or the Party) has the right to cover the truth (not just “extremely small group of people”, CNN told me that it is a very big portion of the people), they don’t want any instable factor inside the country. Is it the right thing to do for the China government is to soften the conflict? Personally, I think it is the right direction (although I agree covering and tweak the truth is the wrong method).


I believe boycotting is an immature way to handle problems. It works only when you want to create more problems. Things will look like this:

  • French boycott Beijing Olympics in Paris, which leads to
  • Chinese boycotting French goods, which lead to
  • French or European country boycotting Chinese goods, which leads to
  • Even bigger boycotting in China….

The circle goes on and each round get bigger. If that happens, people in France and China are joining hands again. This time, they are working together to create a worst future for human being, or used their joined effort to break peace :-) So as always, I am a big believer of communication, or a “bridge”, instead of boycotting.

Although I don’t want to be to quick to judge whether it is right or wrong in this complicated world, I firmly believe, this time, that people in Paris did something wrong. Taking me as an example, they successfully turned a friend into an enemy (well, again, I am not an enemy yet. Just I feel we are not friend any longer). If this is what they want, good. Well done. I suspect I am not the single Chinese who feel this way.

Government or People?

In international affairs, it is really hard to distinguish government of a country or people of a country. Many protests are against what the Chinese government is doing. For many things, if I am allowed, I will join the protest also, for example, to remove the Great Firewall, or to fight against abuse of tax payer’s money… In many events, I can tell the protest is for the government, which I have no problem at all. “Count me too!” I would even say so for some particular protest.

This time, they really made a mistake. Although I understand some of them are still protest again government, but it is well received as a protest for the whole China, as a country, as its people… Olympic is very special to people in China, and choosing the wrong target caused big reaction.

The other day, when the US Congress US-China Relationship Working Group Delegation visited Shanghai, my friends in the team asked my opinion about whether it is right to boycotting Beijing Olympic. (Don’t be surprised that I am willing to be involved in this kind of discussion. Since I am trying to understand what’s in American’s minds, and what’s for the best interest of the peace between the two countries, both of us, me and my friends, are very open to communicate about sensitive issues concerning US China relationship), I said “No. Please don’t do it and it is very dangerous. Olympics is like the Wedding Ceremony of PEOPLE in China, not the government. Imagine your reaction if someone try to ruin YOUR wedding, instead of your governor’s wedding?”

Now the wedding of 13 billion people started to be ruined. Its not the government official who are not happy, it is everyone in the country who feel being hurt. Please understand the difference, and think about what is going to happen.

Again, Educate me and Others about What you Think

As always, I don’t want to pretend that I am always right. By sharing exactly how I feel in this event as a normal people in China, I can provide more valuable information than news report. This is just my perspective (everyone has an angle, right?)

If you think people in Paris are doing something right, tell me and my other readers why (I am curious, and I don’t have an answer). If there is someone who are French, and even participated in the relay, share what you think? No offense at all by this post, I just want to understand what do you think? Why it happened?

My Experience of Culture and Religion in Tibet

I believe many people who are discussing or even devote their life into pro-Tibet, or anti-Tibet course haven’t been to Tibet themselves. Me included.

Tibet is a mysterious place for many people in China. People are amazed by the beauty of the land, the mysterious religious there. Going to Tibet was a serious fashion that many people in Shanghai dream about. I am pretty confident that Tibet is one of the top travel destination for many young people in Shanghai.

Although I have not been to the Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region – the provincial unit, but more widely speaking, it is a much bigger area where Tibetan live, including west part of Sichuan, and some parts in Gansu Province and Yunan Province.

I was lucky enough to planned a visit the Tibetan area in Sichuan Province, at the border of Xizang. I have posted many articles about the trip in my Daocheng category:

Last time, I mainly focused on my trip (in the pure sense of travel) and the break-taking beauty of the land. Due to what is happening in Tibet these days, I am trying to search in my photo archive to find some photo related to the local culture and its people.

My Cultural Trip to Tibet Area

People in Tibet do believe in different thing than Han Chinese, and especially different from the modernized world. Look at the flag with religious articles on it (I don’t know the right word to describe it). Look at how small the characters are and how much time it take to create such a flag – it is everyone in the vast land where almost no people live there. They believe in spiritual things. They believe in something that we don’t believe at all.



My question is, from the spiritual signs everywhere, is it to early to conclude that they don’t want economic progress?  I don’t think people who are not Tibetan cannot answer it, and even in the Tibetan group, there should be different point of view, just like it is silly to ask what "Chinese is thinking". I don’t know about the answer either. It really depends on when, and where you ask the question to whom…


This lady gave me deep impression during my visit to Riwa – a place on the way from Daocheng to Yading.  He did nothing, and he used the Buddhist Necklace (this is the closest word I can find to describe what’s on her hand) and recite Buddhist Bibles all the time. She is very nice and kind.


Something to note in the picture below: the Hat! It is the style of hat of the People’s Liberation Army. When I talked to many of the

m, their memories of the outside world still keep like 1940s, when the PLA troop past their village. It seems after that, their door to the outside world was closed, until recently.


This is the whole group of people. When visitors and tourists busy taking pictures, and having dinners, they just gather there and chat.


With the economic development with the tourist, they are very happen, and are very kind to tourists. They are all very nice people.


I love to interact with people. In the last visit, I talked with a Monk (with respect) in the temple. Look at how splendid his chair is. He was very kind and gave me the permission to take a phone of him.



The land is lack of people – in the scene, you can identify some residential places, but people are really so small compared to the big nature.

Daocheng is already a relatively developed Tibet area even back to 2002 due to the boom of tourism. I heard they are even planning to build an airport (the highest in the world).  I don’t know any news about the airport after my visit, but during my visit 6 years ago, I do see the electronic lines. They are equipped with electricity power – which is really a miracle when you see the vast majority of the land that barely have any people living there.

daocheng- 020

From the architecture point of view, Tibet is so unique that you don’t miss it. However, there is some sign of combined customs in this particular house – the Duilian, or couplet – the pink paper on the side of the door. This is, based on my knowledge, pretty new to the Tibetan culture. Unlike many places in China that culture mix is hard to find since the mix happens almost 1000 years ago (when different ethnics come to the same place due to war or conquer), Tibet still keeps its uniqueness, so fresh, and so solid.

This is another scene of the mixture of architecture in Daocheng. Look at that building in the garden – it is a typical Han house.


daocheng- 071

This is a normal morning in the area. Local Tibetan wear its traditional cloths and walked on the street – should I call it traditional? It should be the current daily dress for them, just like suits and T-shirt to people in most cities in the world.

daocheng- 187

To me, I even don’t use the world different to describe my first impression of Tibet. It is not just different, it is unique! I cannot find the same feeling in any other places in the world yet – not in any city in China, nor countries in Southeast Asia, not to mention America, or Australia. I guess the comparable uniqueness feeling should exist in Middle East, or the Islamic area.


daocheng- 198

Tibetan are the miracle in this hash environment. Because the Tibetan Plateau is so high in altitude, most people coming from other part of the world may feel serious Altitude Sickness. We were seriously worried when our bus runs in the following condition for hours, with the risk of break down in the middle of the snow.

daocheng- 213

Religious signs are everywhere in the area. Look at the white stones found almost everywhere – not because of creation of nature, its because of tremendous effort by the Tibetan. They spent their whole lives to do religious things that I do not understand yet. 


yading- 012

In many places, almost everywhere someone has ever been to before, there are some signs that I cannot tell the meaning. I am not to surprised with the stone in the wooden frame – pay attending to the bigger stone, and the smaller round one at the corner – stones were laid everywhere, in a way that only human can do. What does it mean? I said, it is everywhere.

yading- 024


Along with the Tibet villages are some of the newly built buildings. It seems that the style is different, and similar to those found in other area of China. This Tibetan area is already the mixture of Han Chinese, and Tibetan. I have never been to the core Tibetan area, near Lhasa, or west of it. I GUESS, the mixture does not happen yet.


1 USD = 6.9966 RMB

Just checked Yahoo Finance, the current exchange rate between RMB and USD is:

1 USD = 6.9966 RMB

Look at the exchange rate between USD and RMB in the last 5 years:

Graph credit: Yahoo Finance

Please note: This is not a stock chart – it is the exchange rate between two of the most important economic bodies in the world.

I remember Alexandra, author of China Price told me that during her two year research in south China, many factory owners told them that if the exchange rate keep going on the same trend for one more year, they are going to close the factory.

I suspect the current below-7 exchange rate will cause big problem for them. Anyone can confirm or show evidence to object my guess?

Disturbed Lunch

I have wonderful lunch with my friend, I intentionally keep him/her anonymous about our conversation. There are something interesting during the chat.

There is Another Way of Media Control

During the conversation, he mentioned these days, some people (maybe from “Culture Auditing Organization”) arrived at his company. There are many of them. Since my friend is running website related with video, the guys asked him to put Tibet related news to the top position. It is for sure that the related news needs to be the same as the official news in China.

I heard of many times of people asking webmasters to take content down, and the occasion to put on something is rare. For portals and important websites, it happens all the time, and everyone act with the orchestration of the big boss, but for a relatively small website, this time is unusual.

Well. I love my country, and just because of it, I want a better future for the country, and this can be hardly archived with tightened freedom of information.

Disclaimer: as I always stated in many of my post, I can only guarantee the fact that I heard the message, but I never guarantee that what I heard (either from my friends, or from newspaper, TV) is true.

Disruption of the Lunch

A small incident happens during my lunch today. A big and old guy were having meal next to us with his family. For some reason, he started to argue with the waiter. From what I heard over the table, it seems he is using a coupon to pay the meal, while the waiter claimed it is fake.

Then the guy start to shout out loud to the whole audience in the restaurant, and finally stand up to shout to everyone to get some support from his “audience”. It seemed he was delivering a speech. He is very annoying to me that we cannot continue our conversation.

I was thinking about what is happening in London and Paris these days, and I suddenly found these scenes are pretty similar. I don’t know whether he is right or wrong. Maybe he is right, and he holds the true coupon, but if I don’t care, why he has to disturb the peace of the restaurant?

I don’t know why, but when he came to our table and started to talk to me something: “How can the restaurant treats me like this…”, I said, “calm down. Get back to your seat, and keep quiet. Don’t disturb the so many people”.

They guy was shocked, and he obviously didn’t expect I am on the side of the restaurant (I assume he must be thinking so, while I am on neither side yet). He started to argue with me about the fact he is holding a true coupon. I said: “I am not interested, but you have disturbed my lunch”. The guy was really angry this time.

I just ignore what happened next. In short, finally, I dialed 110 (Police Number) with my mobile phone, and policeman came in 3 minutes (pretty efficient, I would say. Thanks). This is the third time I called a police in Shanghai. The last time was when Goudaner Scratched by Drunk Driver (note: Goudaner is my car).

The policeman just patiently listened to that guy’s complain, and asked him to handle things peacefully, and everyone was dismissed. I am not satisfied with the final result, but I didn’t ask for more.

This is very true story of today. I don’t know the reason I reacted so aggressively this time – typically I just sit there and say nothing. It may be due to the recent thoughts about the violence in protests during the Torch Relay. I do worry that if either the Pro-Tibet protester or the pro-China side of the protester started violence first, that can be a huge disaster in the history of Olympic.

My point is, it is OK to insist on what you believe is true, but don’t ruin other people’s lunch.

More Discussion on Tibet

I wrote two articles on Tibet these days:

Just like any media can cut off some important background information, my last post on the screenshots didn’t mention the background that my laptop lost battery power, and I was not able to really be able to analyze the issue. The other background is, I only have few minutes today from the busy daily work. This is the performance review stage, and everyone is pending on me to finally sign off the final results. I do hope I have more time to talk about it.

The last two article received many comments, and I was overwhelmed by the quality of the post – although people have different point of views, I saw open and sincere discussion there. Keep the discussion coming!

Just claim several things:


I am a firm believer of communication. I always see myself and my little blog as a bridge between the two worlds (in fact, many worlds). I saw people in the west are frustrated about China, while people in China even have no idea about why they are frustrated at all. The same to the people in U.S., Europe or other western country. Although I don’t think we can change people’s mind, it is better to offer a place for people to talk.

Understand first, then talk

I would ask my reader to try to understand first. When I talk with my friends in Shanghai, they showed great anger against the pro-Tibet protester. In this case, I asked: Do you know why they are doing that? What they are going to say? and I often got some answer copied from local TV – far from the truth. It is the same for people in U.S – why people in China are so angry? Brain wash is a simple answer, which is also far from truth. People in China are shouting out loud that western people don’t understand China, and want to put whatever that works there to China, while we are doing the same thing to people in Tibet. US claim that China is forcing Tibet to do what China want to do, and US is doing the same thing to China.. I believe this is all about understanding. People who don’t want to understand others are often the people who think they are not understood.

So, I believe the first thing everyone can do his/herself a favor is to understand what the other side is talking about first – which is pretty easy on this forum. Just spend time to really READ carefully. Although you might not agree, do spend time to understand their logic.

This is not a Two-Sided World

This is multi-sided world. By saying BBC didn’t report the truth does not mean I agree CCTV is doing the right thing. By stating local media complete used propaganda does not mean I agree with western media. By saying American or European is doing something wrong, does not entitle China government to do the same thing, or by pointing out what’s wrong in China, does not mean what is going on in other part of the world is reasonable. It is ironic that on one hand, I am claiming that BBC misused my sentence in my blog and on the other hand, the article itself is banned by the Great Firewall, and we cannot access it. On one hand, I am criticizing people who intentionally attack China – not just the government which does not bother me too much, but the country and people as a whole, but on the other hand, I am risking my blog by mentioning the “sensitive” topic, so that this blog can be easy shutdown or banned because of this.

So never assume I am on one side or the other. Don’t ask me which side I am on – I am trying to be on the side of wisdom, truth, and rational, which is may be the hardest thing to do in this world. Please keep the discussion in the topic we are discussing. Objection and agree on one topic does not imply point of view of another topic at all.

I am still in the listen mood, and want to be a bridge.

P.S. As a final note, I am very upset about the violence I saw on YouTube or CNN during the Torch’s relay in Paris. I have no problem to see protest from pro-Tibet groups at all – they have their rights to do that. But I am very upset about the violence. I hope during the Torch Relay in San Francisco, we don’t see as much violence as in Paris. (BTW, I don’t trust what CCTV shows me at all. I am using YouTube. It is a miracle these days that YouTube can be accessed in China). The best way to destroy something is to argue it in a wrong way.

Error in Western Media Report about Tibet

During the SARS period in 2003, I wrote an article Protect China – Not Only From SARS. Just as I am not a big fan of CCTV, I am not a fan of the CNN or BBC. I am not new to incorrect media report from western media, especially BBC (I was quoted by them many times, and the last time was like this).

As far as I remember, the last time BBC quote what I said was on its Chinese homepage: "Chinese Netizen: We can Say Whatever We Want to Say", and in the article, they said:

Chinese famous blogger Wang Jian Shuo accepted BBC’s English interview after the Chinese Blogger Conference. He believe the journalist misunderstood his meaning.
He criticized BBC for getting words out of contexts, use the edited sentence to get a misleading conclusion.
He pointed out, that even though you said "no comment", BBC will say "You are under political pressure (and don’t want to comment)".
Wang Jian Shuo also wrote on his blog: "Obviously, this is no censorship on this blog, and I can say whatever I want"

The original blog is there untouched since published, and find out the whole picture. I quitted the discussion with BBC, since one is using the power of a strong media, and I am fighting with my small blog. I am sure my name is in their database, and I am often called to ask for live radio broadcast of BBC, which I all rejected.

More Errors

Not only BBC. Many media love to cut things out of context – pretty understandable in news report due to limitation of page, but if you use the cut version to tell a different story, that is another thing.

I am sharing some screen shot created by netizens in China, and I quoted from I am not sure why but everyone seems like Nepal police more and all use their photos to report what is happening in Tibet.















14 g


My National ID Duplicated with Another One

A policeman called me and asked me to go to the police station this morning. The reason is, someone in Guangxi Province sent a post mail to them and claiming that someone there has the same national ID number as mine.

National ID Number

People in China are numbered – there is a unique ID assigned to everybody. I got mine when I was 18 years old, just before I came to Shanghai, and Yifan got his several days after his birth. It is the number printed on the Naitonal ID card. Obviously, it is an important number.

The number is pretty long – 18 digits, and you’d better keep it secret, since the information reveals your location to get the number, the date you were born, and your gender.

The Formation of the Number

This is the format of the number:



AABBCC is the area code of the location where you got your ID.

YYYYMMDD is the birth date, like 19700302

SSG is a serial number – just in case there are more than one person born in the same area on the same date, the police station is responsible to issue different numbers to different people. The 17th digit is gender digits – odd numbers are assigned to male, and even numbers are assigned to female.

X, the last number is check sum – that computer can check to see the previous numbers are correct.

Someone has Exactly the Same Number As Me

From the record, I found someone in Guangxi has exactly the same National ID number as me.

That means, this guy is also male, born on the same day as me, and lived in the same neigborhood as I did.

AND, the policeman there made a big mistake by giving the same serial number to us.

According to the police, this happens all the time, since the ID was issued before computer was widely used, and they are putting big effort to correct the mistakes. That is the reason they call me.

The Resolution

Finally, it turned out that I need to write a statement, claiming that I have already gotten the notification, and I don’t want to change my national ID number, and signed the letter. That’s it.

“What’s next?” I asked?

“I will send all the documents along with your statement back to the police station where the mail came from.” The policeman answered.

“Then what?”

“Then the policeman will talk to the other guy to see if he is willing to change his national ID number.” He said.

“What if he don’t want to change either?” This is an obvious question I need to ask.

“Then, the policeman in Guangxi will send a mail to me again.” Said the policeman before me.

“Then what?” I became a little bit impatient.

“Then I will give you a call again. BTW, could you please leave your mobile phone with me?” He answered.

“Then what’s next?” I asked?

“Let’s talk about it when it happens” was the answer.

So, I left the police station – it ruined my beautiful Sunday afternoon. Knowing someone in this country has exactly the same national ID as me is a strange feeling – and to change it is just a nightmare for me – I even don’t remember how many systems, especially those in banks, and on my driver’s license, record my current ID number.

Good luck to me and the other unlucky guy.

Why I Didn’t Cover About Tibet

Three weeks from what happened in Lhasa, Tibet. I didn’t post anything about it. Why?

As one rule I setup from the day one of this blog five years ago, I only want to post something I personal experience and I never post something that I know it is not true. For what happened in Lhasa, it does not match either of the criteria.

Personal Experience Matters

I am often criticized for not mentioning something that all media is talking about, but this blog is not a media. I want to add value by telling people what I, this person, see, and experience, instead of repeating what I read. I want to give facts, instead of opinions – especially opinions based on no-so-solid facts.

I Don’t Post Something I Know is Not Truth

What is going on in Lhasa, to be honest with you, I really don’t know. I watch TV everyday, and read news on Internet everyday, but I am still not sure what is happening there.

The last thing I believe is official news for situation like this. I believed in exactly 19 years ago, when I was just 12, but it turned out that it was not truth at all. The terms, and the way the official media broadcast it is very familiar to me – if I replace the city name with Beijing, it should be almost the same news many, many years ago.

I don’t believe in CNN and other media. I believed 19 years ago – at that time, we only have Voice of America. But it turned out that many of the news are biased, and very far from the truth. If the official media in China is intentionally “creating” an imagine, western media sometimes use the western angle to see something much more complicated than their knowledge can cover, like this one.

What I Need

What I need is just time. I want some time to understand the issue better, including a planned trip to Lhasa myself (I haven’t done it yet, although I have been to some Tibetan area). I want to be humble to learn first before I talk with big mouth, pretending I know something. I will definitely talk about it, when I get more information.

My Question on US Constitution

I am not a big fan of the government, but I am not as extreme as many “angry youth”. What I need is just a balanced view. Before I do my homework to research, I think I can add a little bit value by offering some insights about how people in China think about a “united country”.

Last Saturday, in the lobby of a hotel on Hengshan Road, I chatted with the delegation of the U.S.-China Relationship Working Group of the United States Congress. I asked one question that I always wanted to ask:

If one day, for whatever reason, the dominating majority of people in a U.S. State, say, California, or Texas, decide that they would rather be an independent country, can they do that? If they can, what is the process? If they don’t have the right, why?

The reason I asked this question is, after hours of study of the U.S. Consitutation, I had the impression that it is allowed, since the Constitution seemed to specify how a State can join the Union, and how to depart from it. Correct me if I am wrong, since to pretend I know U.S. Constitution, or I am a researcher in this field is deadly wrong.

My question behind it is, in a country like U.S. who claim to respect everyone’s freedom, and their choice, shall the “country” honor the request for being independent? If the answer is no, my third question is, who grant the right to the “country”, to reject the will of the people of the land? I think no one in the country can answer my question better than people from the Congress.

The Price of being United in US – a War

Well. It seemed to be a tough question. Someone (respectfully removed his name) told me:

This is the question presented to the Federal during the civil war, and the question was solved using a war.

I assume it means “Before that war, the answer is Yes, and after that, the answer for my question is No.

We continued to discuss about the impact of the War to the States. This echoes to a piece I happen to watch in recent movie: National Treasure: Book of Secrets. In the film, there is a saying:

Before Lincoln, we use the sentence “United States are ….”, and after the war, we start to use “United States is

I was pretty impressed by the feeling of being a “united” country by Americans, and I respect it lot. As the gentleman said, American paid the price of a war to keep united in 1860s. That price is the lives of 600,000 people.

The Price of being United in China – Thousands Wars?

Regarding to Chinese history, what is the price of being a united country? A war? Hundreds of Wars? Even Thousands of Wars is a understatement. I can easily list 20 wars (I really did) that cost more people’s lives than US civil war, just to keep the country united.

China was a united country since the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, and in the next 2000 years, imagine how many attempts by different part of the country, or from outside the country, to try to seperate the country. Although there is no solid proove that a united country is more meaningful than thousands of millions of people’s life, the tradition of being united has been firmly ironed into the mind of every Chinese – we never thought of a country that is not united. The very unique history of China created a group of very unique people, and they think, from the western’s point of view, “differently” than many of them.

I didn’t expect people in U.S. also treasure united so much before I heard the “war as the price of being united” statement, then I suddenly understand why people in China want united so badly – it is because of history, including wars.

Again, don’t be hurry to give me evidence about Tibet, or even Taiwan – I read a lot about it, although may not as knowledgeable as my readers, my point is, it is important to take it as an important background knowledge that vast majority of people on this land believe China should be a united country.

So Tell Me about What You Know

If you have solid experience (please, not something you read, or hear), please feel free to share. I am humble and opened my ears. I want to learn more about it. I always take reading comments as an educational experience for me, so I see many perspectives, and start to form mine.

Three Best Neighborhoods in Pudong

Don’t be shocked by the firm tone of the title. Well. I would say, my three most favorite places in Pudong for coffee or dinning.

The Decision Making Process of Moving to Pudong

When Wendy and I bought our current apartment in 2003, many places in Pudong seem empty (except the Lujiazui area) while all of them seem promising. We choose somewhere that is, basically a suburb area,  AND is promising.

I wrote many articles about the moving to Pudong 5 years ago, and the articles so many that I created a category for it: Moving. Here are the articles:

I already said: "Bye Bye, Pudong", and "Continued to Seek for an Apartment", but finally decided to move to Pudong so my "Life in Pudong Started". If you are interested, maybe you can use the time-back machine (my blog entries) to understand why. 5 years past, when we reviewed our decision, we can see it more clearly.

Pudong Develops but Area by Area

In the last 5 years, three really good neighborhood emerge, according to my standards – good restaurants, good coffee shops, and good environments.

The first one is the Biyun International District. The shops and restaurant near the football court is great.


The second is the Liangyang Neighborhood. The Thumb Square is an emerging center in Pudong. There are hotels (Radisson) and restaurants, and shopping centers. My favorite – very rare in Shanghai – they also have a Zendai Museum of Modern Art.


The third is just opened. It is Jinyan Road, on the other bank of the River (Zhangjiabang River) of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. A Starbuks coffee was opened one month ago, and become the nearest Starbucks for me.


There are many other areas in Pudong that are nice, but these are the most frequently visited places for me. Hope you like it.

There are three things in common in this three neighborhoods:

  • The buildings are all not rectangle – strange space, and twist in direction
  • There are river, or nice parks nearby and high-raising apartment buildings
  • They all have a nice Starbucks Coffee at the entrance


Future in Pudong?

With the World Expo, maybe, the south bank of the Huangpu River may start to boom, and with the plan of a new commercial center one block away from my current apartment, I hope another "nice neighborhood" start to grow near where I am.

5 years ago, there are no such places in Pudong, and now, it turned to very good and promising places.

In the next 5 years, I hope not only more and more buildings were built (I don’t want to see it), there should be some good "neighborhoods". This term is not familiar to many people, but with the emerge of the nice places I mentioned above, people may start to love the feeling that a place is not only building, but there are streets like I showed, and there are LIFE in it. I am looking forward to seeing more "raising stars" in Pudong.

Meu Carro Novo

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t buy a new car, nor did I started to learn Portuguese.

I found this term in my Google Webmaster report, the term “meu carro novo” is represents 30% of all search queries to my little blog. What’s that? I am curious enough to find out.


When I see Yifan growing up, I would predict that curiosity is one of the most important characters he should have when he is very young. That is the key driving factor for people to learn. I am happy that I am still curious in many things, including the mysterious three word: Meu Carro Novo

It Means: My New Car

My guess was:

Meu = My

Carro = Car

Novo = New

Pretty good guess. With the help of Google Translation Tool, and several try, I found it this sentence comes from Portuguese, and means: “My New Car”.

Novo gave me a lot of inspiration

I suddenly understand why there is a commercial center called Novo on Tianyaoqiao Road, and in Chinese, it is called 永新城, or “For Ever-New City”. If this is the case, Novo should mean new, in Portuguese, and in Latin, and many other Latin based language (but not in English).

It also reminds me of another word: De Novo. I had a hard time to remember whether it should be spelled as “Donevo, Denevo, or Do Nove…”. Now it is clear, that De means nothing, and Novo means New, so De Novo means anew, afresh, and start from empty again, but in a different way. De Novo was a code name for an project within eBay.

Well, at least, I learnt some new words in Portuguese. To get started to learn some language is easy, the key is to get started, as I talked in this article: Dislike Doing, or Start Doing

My Friend Alexandra’s Book: The China Price

Hi everyone,

Today marks the official debut of my first book, The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage. The book is an insider’s account of the unintended consequences of the explosion in trade between China and America, an examination of the cost China has paid to produce goods for the world so cheaply. Two years in the making, The China Price touches on many of the issues in the headlines today: Chinese product safety, social unrest, and the future of Chinese competitive advantage.

Chinese factories play such a big role in all of our lives, producing many of the consumer goods we buy. The China Price takes us inside these influential institutions and introduces us to their staff, their owners, and their customers – people we may never meet, but who have a direct impact on what we eat, wear, and use.

Kirkus Reviews called The China Price "essential reading for anyone concerned about how dangerous pet food and clothing manufactured in China make it into American stores". CSR Asia’s Stephen Frost says the book has "exposed a largely hitherto unknown world via a forensic examination written in a crisp style usually reserved for good novels." Access Asia called it "excellent and highly recommended".
The China Price, published by the Penguin Press, is now available in all major bookstores and online at, Barnes&,, and other retailers. An audio version from Tantor Audio is also available.


Barnes & Noble

Please support my book by picking up a copy and passing on this email to your friends and anyone you think might be interested. I will be in cities across the US in April to talk about the book, and will be appearing on radio and television as well, starting this week. For more details about the book, media and talks, please visit my websites: and
Thank you so much for your support!

All the best,

The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage by Alexandra Harney

I don’t really like to send emails to all my friends, so I am support Alexandra by posting a blog entry about her new book. I didn’t read the book yet (still waiting for Amazon to ship it for me), but I know Alexandra. She is a sweet girl who have lived in Japan, Mainland China and now in Hong Kong (of cause, in the States).