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When Shangri-La Decides to Secede From China

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William K.
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Re: Shangi-La
William K.   5/13/2013 9:00:47 AM
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At one point in my career it was stated by others that what made me so great was that "I had an acute grasp of the obvious". I was never certain about how sincere that compliment was, but I did solve a few problems with that grasp.

Ned Ludd
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Re: Shangi-La
Ned Ludd   5/13/2013 8:19:49 AM
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Good point! I think we should all be grateful to Bill for a refreshing dose of obviousness.

William K.
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Re: Shangi-La
William K.   5/13/2013 7:45:46 AM
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Ned, my intention is still to caution everybody to the hard fact that while much of China seems to be very similar to what we are familiar with, which makes us more comfortable in dealing with them, that underneath that layer is still a police state. 

I suppose that all of those people you mention are not advocating that we copy Cina's political system, but it is clear that on many occasions those in the acedemic realm are fairly detached from reality about political issues.

My point is that we must be aware at all times that regardless of how congenial the relationship may appear to be, and how nice and decent those that we are dealing with are, that there is a fundamental difference in the system beneath it, which is willing and able to rise up and cause all manner of "discomfort" for us. It is not the individual people, it is the government.

Ned Ludd
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Re: Shangi-La
Ned Ludd   5/13/2013 4:13:38 AM
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Willam K:

Calling today's China a Communist-run police state is a simplification that does no credit to the complexity of the state of China's current political transition. It is definitely a repressive state, with restrictions on speech, religion, assembly, travel and association that are alien to our Western traditions.

However, please note that neither the university speakers of whom I wrote, nor the vast majority of Western businessmen dealing with China, nor I, no any sane person I know is advocating that other nations emulate the Chinese political or economic models. It is the task of free nations to bring China closer to our way of living, speaking, thinking, doing business and even worshipping than the other way around.

Meanwhile. our best strategy is to keep open our contacts with China. The more we know about China, the less we have to fear.

Benjamin

William K.
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Production Synthesizer
Re: Shangi-La
William K.   5/12/2013 4:57:57 PM
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I spent a few weeks in China a few years ago and it is certainly a place lacking quite a few of the problems that we have in the USof A, no question about that. And the economy there is growing and a lot of folks are getting rich, and a middle class is having enough money to spend on things besides food. China certainly does have a lot going for it, no question about that.

BUT one day I saw some things that reminded me of the other truth:CHINA IS A COMMUNIST-RUN POLICE STATE! The fact that it is not a Stalin type police state is fortunate for the rest of the world, that is for certain. And the folks who get up and go to work every day are allowed to do that with a minimum of interference. And the may even prosper. But it is still a police state, and while I was there the news came out that three businessmen were hanged for economic crimes (against the state?), which is a bit different from the way justice is delivered here in the US. 

So while we can certainly do business with China, and get along with them, we need to remember that they do have a different agenda, so that we should not be just like them.

FLYINGSCOT
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Different from Soviets
FLYINGSCOT   5/11/2013 12:50:07 AM
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It seems China is allowing more individuals to become wealthy citizens and they don't necessarily need to be party officials or criminals like they are in other communist blocks.  Maybe that mentality will enable China to avoid a hard correction.

Ned Ludd
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Re: Shangi-La
Ned Ludd   5/10/2013 11:51:40 AM
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Ariella:

You're right. The clash of agendas was obvious, if only by the absence of knowledgeable faculty who were neither invited nor present in the audience. But let's not forget my other point -- that this ivory-tower optimism among the UW panel is common in the business and investment communities, who seem to see no political complications brewing for them in a vast, diverse nation whose politics are barely understood by most of us who stand on the outside looking in.

Benjamin

Ariella
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Re: Shangi-La
Ariella   5/10/2013 11:40:00 AM
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@Benjamin, but perhapd not quite as rosy and self-affirming. Much as we like to believe in universities as bastions of knowledge that would contribute to the search for truth, there are also plenty of agendas at work within the ivy-covered walls of the ivory towers. 

Ned Ludd
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Re: Shangi-La
Ned Ludd   5/10/2013 10:11:20 AM
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Ariella:

My impression at the forum is that we were observing an ivory tower within an ivory tower. The group inside the University trying to develop contacts with China seems to be focused within the business administration realm. If they had tapped the intellectual resources in the History, Journalism and Poli-Sci departments, the discussion would have been more complicated, nuanced, controversial, and fun.

Benjamin

Ariella
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Shangi-La
Ariella   5/9/2013 9:28:06 AM
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Isn't this type of attitude common in ivory tower settings that have their own favored world-view?



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