Saturday, July 31, 2010

Malaysiakini: We were once 'Malaysians' -- by Tengku Razaleigh

We were once 'Malaysians'
Razaleigh Hamzah
Jul 31, 10
The following keynote speech was given by former finance minister and Gua Musang parliamentarian Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the 4th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit (MSLS) today.

I have played some small role in the life of this nation, but having been on the wrong side of one or two political fights with the powers-that-be, I am not as close to the young people of this country as I would hope to be.

History and the 8 o'clock news are written by the victors. In recent years, the government's monopoly of the media has been destroyed by the technology revolution.

You could say I was also a member of the United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC). Well, I was, except that belonged to the predecessor of the UKEC by more than 50 years, The Malayan Students Union of the UK and Eire. I led this organisation in 1958/59.

asli forum tengku razaleigh economy 150109 02I was then a student of Queen's University at Belfast, as well as at Lincoln's Inn. In a rather cooler climate than Kota Bharu's, we campaigned for decolonisation. We demonstrated in Trafalgar Square and even in Paris. We made posters and participated in British elections.

Your invitation to participate in the MSLS was prefaced by an essay that calls for an intellectually informed activism. I congratulate you on this. The Youth of today, you note, “will chart the future of Malaysia.” You say you “no longer want to be ignored and leave the future of our Malaysia at the hands of the current generation.” You “want to grab the bull by the horns... and have a say in where we go as a society and as a nation.”

I feel the same, actually. A lot of Malaysians feel the same. They are tired of being ignored and talked down to.

You are right. The present generation in power has let Malaysia down. But also you cite two things as testimony of the importance of youth and of student activism to this country, the election results of 2008 and “the prime minister's acknowledgement of the role of youth in the development of the country.”

So perhaps you are a little way yet from thinking for yourselves. The first step in “grabbing the bull by the horns” is not to require the endorsement of the prime minister, or any Minister, for your activism. Politicians are not your parents. They are your servants. You don't need a government slogan coined by a foreign PR agency to wrap your project in. You just go ahead and do it.

A man at ease with himself

When I was a student, our newly independent country was already a leader in the post-colonial world. We were sought out as a leader in the Afro-Asian Conference that inaugurated the Non-Aligned Movement and the G-77.

The Afro-Asian movement was led by such luminaries as Zhou En Lai, Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah and Soekarno. Malaysians were seen as moderate leaders capable of mediating between the more radical leaders and the West. We were known for our moderation, good sense and reliability.

We were a leader in the Islamic world as ourselves and as we were, without our leaders having to put up false displays of piety. His memory has been scrubbed out quite systematically from our national consciousness, so you might not know this or much else about him, but it was Tunku Abdul Rahman who established our leadership in the Islamic world by coming up with the idea of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) and making it happen.

tunku abdul rahmanUnder his leadership, Malaysia led the way in taking up the anti-apartheid cause in the Commonwealth and in the United Nations, resulting in South Africa's expulsion from these bodies.

Here was a man at ease with himself, made it a policy goal that Malaysia be “a happy country”. He loved sport and encouraged sporting achievement among Malaysians. He was owner of many a fine race horses. He called a press conference with his stewards when his horse won at the Melbourne Cup.

He had nothing to hide because his great integrity in service was clear to all. Now we have religious and moral hypocrites who cheat, lie and steal in office, who propagate an ideologically shackled education system for all Malaysians while they send their own kids to elite academies in the West.

Days when we were on top

Speaking of football - you're too young to have experienced the Merdeka Cup that Tunku started. We had a respectable side in the 60s and 70s. Teams from across Asia would come to play in Kuala Lumpur: Teams such as South Korea and Japan, whom we defeated routinely.

We were one of the better sides in Asia. We won the bronze medal at the Asian Games in 1974 and qualified for the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Today our FIFA ranking is 157 out of 203 countries.

That puts us in the lowest quartile, below Maldives (149), the smallest country in Asia, with just 400,000 people living about 1.5 metres above sea level who have to worry that their country may soon be swallowed up by climate change. Here in Asean we are behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, whom we used to dominate, and now only one spot above basketball-playing Philippines.

The captain of our illustrious 1970's side was Soh Chin Aun, R Arumugam, Isa Bakar, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Mokhtar Dahari. They were heroes whose names rolled off the tongues of our schoolchildren as they copied them on the school field. It wasn't about being the best in the world, but about being passionate and united and devoted to the game.

It was the same in badminton, except at one time we were the best in the world. I remember Wong Peng Soon, the first Asian to win the All-England Championship, and then just dominated it throughout the 1950. Back home every kid who played badminton in every little kampung wanted to call himself Wong Peng Soon.

There was no tinge of anybody identifying themselves exclusively as Chinese, Malays or Indian. Peng Soon was a Malayan hero. Just like each of our football heroes. Now we do not have an iota of that feeling. Where has it all gone?

Capital flight troubling

I don't think it's mere nostalgia that makes us think there was a time when the sun shone more brightly upon Malaysia. I bring up sport because it has been a mirror of our more general performance as a nation.

When we were at ease with who we were and didn't need slogans to do our best together, we did well. When race and money entered our game, we declined. The same applies to our political and economic life.

Soon after independence, we were already a highly successful developing country. We had begun the infrastructure building and diversification of our economy that would be the foundation for further growth. We carried out an import-substitution programme that stimulated local productive capacity.

From there, we started an infrastructure build-up that enabled a diversification of the economy leading to rapid industrialisation. We carried out effective programmes to raise rural income and help the landless with programmes such as Felda.

Our achievements in achieving growth with equity were recognised around the world. Our peer group in economic development were South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and we led the pack. I remember we used to send technical consultants to advise the South Koreans.

Bmalaysia stock exchange market klse 141008 05y the late 90s, however, we had fallen far behind this group and were competing with Thailand and Indonesia. Today, according to the latest World Investment Report, FDI into Malaysia is at a 20-year low.

We are entering the peer group of Cambodia, Burma and the Philippines as an investment destination. Thailand, despite a month-long siege of the capital, attracted more FDI than we did last year. Indonesia and Vietnam far outperform us, not as a statistical blip but consistently. Soon we shall have difficulty keeping up with the Philippines.

This, I believe, is called relegation. If we take into account FDI outflow, the picture is even more depressing. Last year, we received US$1.38 billion in investments but US$8.04 billion flowed out. We are the only country in Southeast Asia that has suffered net FDI outflow.

I am not against outward investment. It can be a good thing for the country. But an imbalance on this scale indicates capital flight, not mere investment overseas.

Time to wake up

Without a doubt, Malaysia is slipping. Billions have been looted from this country, and Billions more are being siphoned out as our entire political structure crumbles. Yet we are gathered here in comfort, in a country that still seems to 'work' - most of the time. This is due less to good management than to the extraordinary wealth of this country.

You were born into a country of immense resources, both natural, cultural and social. We have been wearing down this advantage with mismanagement and corruption. With lies, tall tales and theft. We have a political class unwilling or unable to address the central issue of the day because they have grown fat and comfortable with a system built on lies and theft.

It is time to wake up. That waking up can begin here, right here, at this conference. Not tomorrow or the day after but today. So let me, as I have the honour of opening this conference, suggest the following:

1) Overcome the urge to have our hopes for the future endorsed by the prime minister. He will have retired, and I'll be long gone, when your future arrives. The shape of your future is being determined now.

2) Resist the temptation to say “in line with” when we do something. Your projects, believe it or not, don't have to be in line with any government campaign for them to be meaningful. You don't need to polish anyone's apple. Just get on with what you plan to do.

3) Do not put a lid on certain issues as “sensitive” just because someone said they are. Or it is against the Social Contract. Or it is “politicisation”.

You don't need to have your conversation delimited by the hyper-sensitive among us. Sensitivity is often a club people use to hit each other with. Reasoned discussion of contentious issues builds understanding and trust. Stress test your ideas.

4) It's not “conservative” or “liberal” to ask for an end to having politics, economic policy, education policy and everything and the kitchen sink determined by race. It's called growing up.

5) Don't let the politicians you have invited here talk down to you.

Don't let them

Don't let them tell you how bright and “exuberant” you are, that you are the future of the nation, etc. If you close your eyes and flow with their flattery, you have safely joined the caravan, a caravan taking the nation down a sink hole.

If they tell you the future is in your hands, kindly request that they hand that future over first. Ask them how come the youngest member of our cabinet is 45? Our Merdeka cabinet had an average age below 30.

You're not the first generation to be bright. Mine wasn't too stupid. But you could be the first generation of students and young graduates in 50 years to push this nation through a major transformation. And it is a transformation we need desperately.

You will be told that much is expected of you, much has been given to you and so forth. This is all true. Actually much has also been stolen from you. Over the last 20 five years, much of the immense wealth generated by our productive people and our vast resources has been looted. This was supposed to have been your patrimony.

The uncomplicated sense of belonging fully, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, to this country, in all its diversity, that has been taken from you. Our sense of ourselves as Malaysians, a free and united people, has been replaced by a tale of racial strife and resentment that continues to haunt us. The thing is, this tale is false.

Reclaim your history

The most precious thing you have been deprived of has been your history. Someone of my generation finds it hard to describe what must seem like a completely different country to you now.

Malaysia was not born in strife but in unity. Our independence was achieved through a demonstration of unity by the people in supporting a multiracial government led by Tunku Abdul Rahman.

That show of unity, demonstrated first through the municipal elections of 1952 and then through the Alliance's landslide victory in the elections of 1955, showed that the people of Malaya were united in wanting their freedom. We surprised the British, who thought we could not do this.

Today we are no longer as united as we were then. We are also less free. I don't think this is a coincidence. It takes free people to have the psychological strength to overcome the confines of a racialised worldview. It takes free people to overcome those politicians bent on hanging on to power gained by racialising every feature of our life including our football teams.

Hence while you are at this conference, let me argue, that as an absolute minimum, we should call for the repeal of unjust and much abused Acts of Parliament which are reversals of freedoms that we won at Merdeka.

I ask you in joining me in calling for the repeal of the ISA (Internal Security Act) and the OSA (Official Secrets Act). These draconian laws have been used, more often than not, as political tools rather than instruments of national security. They create a climate of fear.

I ask you to join me in calling for the repeal of the Printing and Publications Act, and above all, the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA). I don't see how you can pursue your student activism with such freedom and support in the UK and Eire while forgetting that your brethren at home are deprived of their basic rights of association and expression by the UUCA. The UUCA has done immense harm in dumbing down our universities.

We must have freedom as guaranteed under our constitution. Freedom to assemble, associate, speak, write, move. This is basic. Even on matters of race and even on religious matters we should be able to speak freely, and we shall educate each other.

Make BN multiracial

It is time to realise the dream of Hussein Onn and the spirit of the Alliance and of Tunku Abdul Rahman. That dream was one of unity and a single Malaysian people. They went as far as they could with it in their time. Instead of taking on the torch, we have reversed course. The next step for us as a country is to move beyond the infancy of race-based parties to a non-racial party system.

Our race-based party system is the key political reason why we are a sick country, declining before our own eyes, with money fleeing and people telling their children not to come home after their studies.

So let us try to take 1Malaysia seriously. Millions have been spent putting up billboards and adding the term to every conceivable thing. We even have 'Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia'. Can't take a normal holiday anymore. This is all fine.

Now let us see if it means anything. Let us see the government of the day lead by example. 1Malaysia is empty because it is propagated by a government supported by a racially-based party system that is the chief cause of our inability to grow up in our race relations.

Our inability to grow up in our race relations is the chief reason why investors, and we ourselves, no longer have confidence in our economy. The reasons why we are behind Maldives in football, and behind the Philippines in FDI, are linked.

So let us take 1Malaysia seriously, and convert Barisan Nasional into a party open to all citizens. Let it be a multiracial party open to direct membership. Pakatan Rakyat will be forced to do the same or be left behind the times. Then we shall have the vehicles for a two party, non-race-based system.

If Umno, MIC or MCA are afraid of losing supporters, let them get their members to join this new multiracial party. Pakatan Rakyat should do the same. Nobody need feel left out. Umno members can join en masse. The Hainanese Kopitiam Owners' Association can join whichever party they want, or both parties en masse if they like.

We can maintain our cherished civil associations, however we choose to associate. But we drop all communalism when we compete for the ballot. When our candidates stand for elections, let them ever after stand only as Malaysians, for better or worse.

Comments (DQ):

Perhaps the better PM we never had the chance to experience! Although a number of detractors have criticised him for still being in UMNO, Kuli is still an intellectual senior politician, whose humanism and Malaysianism is crystal clear. If only more would dare to listen to him and emulate his moderate and inclusive mannerisms and ideas....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Malaysian Insider (mysinchew): The unkindest cut for the poor — Thomas Lee Seng Hock

The Malaysian Insider, July 17, 2010
JULY 17 — The decision by the federal government to increase the prices of sugar, gas and petrol as the first step of its gradual subsidy rationalisation programme is sure to irk the people, especially those in the low-income group.

There will certainly be massive bitter resentment and anger among the people, especially when the Ramadan month cum Hari Raya Puasa, the month-long Hungry Ghost Festival, the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival, and the Kew Ong Yah (Nine Emperor-Gods) Festival are just around the corner. Many Chinese also hold their weddings during the auspicious Mid-Autumn Festival period.

Obviously, the price-increase move will cause a domino effect on the economy, sparking a rise in prices of other goods and services, especially in the food and transportation sectors.

The move is also expected to cause some major political repercussions for the Barisan Nasional, especially with the impending Sarawak state election, which must be held before the end of the year, and a possible general election early next year.

The timing of the price increase announcement, just a few hours after Parliament adjourned its latest sitting, has also cast uncomplimentary aspersions on the Najib administration for wanting to avoid an open debate by the country’s lawmakers on such a vital issue.

The federal government has described the cuts as part of a difficult but bold decision to reduce fiscal deficit, and said that it would still have to spend RM7.8 billion on fuel and sugar subsidies this year.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the subsidy rationalisation would allow the federal government to reduce its expenditure by more than RM750 million this year.

The so-called savings through the cut in subsidies will surely become a point of contention as the people are upset that they have to suffer the increasing cost of living while the government spends hundreds of millions on what they perceive as non-essential things, such as the mega building projects and the purchases of defence equipment.

There had also been massive wastage of public funds, such as the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco, which arose after the cost to develop the massive 400-hectare integrated cargo distribution hub spiralled from RM1.9 billion to RM4.6 billion.

Then there is the mega purchase of two France-made Scorpene submarines. According to figures supplied to an MP in Parliament by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, total costs, excluding annual maintenance, works out to €1.34 billion or RM6.7 billion. This breaks down to €969 million for the two submarines, €219 million for missiles, €38 million for miscellaneous equipment and €114 million for commission paid to the middle-man company Perimekar. Maintenance fees were originally agreed at RM600 million for six years or RM100 million per year. However, this has been increased to RM270 million per year.

Sure, the people will support the government in what it has described as the “long-needed” economic reforms to help the country maintain the strong growth it had achieved to become a developed and high-income nation.

But the people also want responsibility, competency, accountability, transparency, and authenticity in the Barisan Nasional government’s stewardship of the hard-earned tax money they contribute to the nation’s coffer.

Although Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has promised that the government would adopt an approach that would not burden the people when implementing the subsidy rationalising plan, the truth is that the move will certainly result in an inflationary economic environment, with a general increase in the prices of goods and services, and the people who will be hit hard most will be the low-income families.

The government has argued that those that benefit most from the subsidised items are the businesses which used twice as much subsidised sugar than households, and owners of luxury cars who enjoy cheap fuel although they could afford unsubsidised prices.

Of course, those in the privileged class will not feel much impact from the cut in subsidies, and they will go on enjoying their upmarket lifestyle with nary a care for anything.

The poor, however, will have to tighten their already tight belts to make ends meet. As it is, many are just living from hands to mouths, with nothing left in their bank accounts before the end of the month.

It is anticipated that the ah longs will be doing roaring business, especially among the small petty traders and hawkers who will find it hard to survive in a tight market situation with their regular customers cutting their spending.

By making a general blanket withdrawal of subsidies, the government is causing much hardship to the low-income families who form the majority of the country’s population.

The so-called subsidy rationalisation to curb the wrong beneficiaries, wastage and abuse is like a machine-gun shooting at all, and those who get hit are those who couldn’t afford the bullet-proof vests.

I propose that the federal government take the following three measures to help relieve the financial difficulties of the low-income people:

  • (a) Those earning less than RM50,000 a year should be exempted from paying personal income tax.
  • (b) A family of three or more with an household income of less than RM30,000 should be given a cost-of-living allowance (Cola) of RM200 a month for each schooling child or disabled dependent of the family, and each non-working old folk above 60 years old. 
  • (c) All those who have reached the mandatory retirement age, but are still working should be exempted from paying personal income tax. These people have been paying income taxes all their working life and they deserve a respite to enjoy their sunset years.

The move to increase the prices of sugar and fuel is surely the unkindest cut for the poor. But, if Najib and the Barisan Nasional implements the measures I proposed before the next general election, I guarantee that the Barisan Nasional will return to power with a landslide majority. —

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or the publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Former US Ambassador John Mallot: 'Anwar-CIA': Rais Yatim should apologise

'Anwar-CIA': Rais Yatim should apologise
John Malott
Jul 12, 2010
Minister of Information, Communications, and Culture Rais Yatim owes Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian people, and the US government an apology.

Rais recently was named as one of three persons in Malaysia whose job it is to "thwart the dissemination of false news by irresponsible people."

That is indeed a worthy goal. No one want to see false news disseminated.

So one would have hoped that at the first opportunity he had to perform the job he was appointed to do, Rais would ensure that the news he received was true. But that was not to be.

Here's what happened.

On July 11, Utusan Malaysia published an article claiming (not for the first time) that Anwar is a CIA agent and stooge. For its evidence, Utusan quoted a blog in America that no one has ever heard of. Utusan falsely said that it is a “well-known” blog.
Rais didn't check the background of the blog's author, and I doubt he even read the blog before he spoke. Instead, he ran with what Utusan reported.

If Rais had checked, then after a 15-second Google search, he would have learned that Utusan's "expert" says she has been struck by lightning 10 times - inside her house - and that the Queen of England is engaged in money laundering.

She says she lives on a mountain in New York with her horses and cats and dogs and chickens.
So how could she know anything about Malaysia and who is a CIA agent?

Before Rais disseminated false news from such a person, why didn't he check the truth and save himself from embarrassment? Why didn't he do the job he was recently appointed to do?

But it is not just Rais and Utusan. It amazes me that today people in Malaysia still continue to disseminate the nonsense that "Anwar is a CIA agent" for their own political gain.

I dealt with this issue 10 years ago in an article I wrote for Malaysiakini ('Anwar was never an American spy', Sept 2, 2000) in which I said categorically that Anwar is not and never has been an American agent.

If I was lying 10 years ago, then why couldn't Mahathir - after 22 years in control of the Special Branch - prove me wrong? And why hasn't anyone been able to prove it in the seven years since Mahathir left power? Why can't they prove it today, instead of relying on the ramblings of mountain top bloggers in New York? Why hasn't Anwar ever been arrested on espionage charges?

It's an easy answer - because it is not true. Anwar is not and never has been an American agent.

I say this for the same reason I told then-foreign minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 1998: If you say that Anwar is an American agent, you also are saying - falsely - that America is interfering in the internal political affairs of Malaysia, and that is not true.

As I wrote in Malaysiakini a decade ago ( I had then said I went to 'a very senior official in the Malaysian government. I can reveal now that the official was Abdullah), I said that on behalf of my government, Anwar was not a CIA agent.
And if the Malaysian government arrested Anwar and claimed that he was an American agent, we would immediately issue a denial of the strongest order and challenge the Malaysian government to issue any proof to the contrary.

I also bluntly told Abdullah that his government would be embarrassed because they could never offer any proof to the contrary – because it does not exist.

I went on to say that the Malaysian government might have its internal political differences with Anwar, but if it made a false claim against the US, namely, that we have interfered in your internal affairs, that someone in the government is an American agent, then it is involving the US, and we will expose it for the lie that it is.

Today, twelve years after I met with Abdullah, Malaysia still has not offered any proof that Anwar is an American agent - because it is not true.

Finally, there is one more person that Rais Yatim needs to apologise to, and that is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. That is because Najib has made a special effort to improve relations with the US. People in both countries think that so far he has succeeded.

So why are you now undercutting your prime minister's efforts and claiming that the American government is interfering in Malaysia's internal affairs and supporting the opposition?

And if the US government is happy with Najib's efforts, then where is the logic in supporting Anwar and the opposition?

JOHN R MALOTT was the United States ambassador to Malaysia 1995-1998.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

(AN AWAKENING MESSAGE) [China Bashing deconstructed!]

[China Bashing deconstructed!]

A Poem by Duo-Liang Lin, Ph. D.
Published by the Washington Post
When we were the Sick Man of Asia , We were called The Yellow Peril.
When we are billed to be the next Superpower, we are called The Threat.
When we closed our doors, you smuggled opium to open markets.
When we embrace Free Trade, You blame us for taking away your jobs.
When we were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.
When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet you screamed, It Was an Invasion!
When we tried Communism, you hated us for being Communist.
When we embrace Capitalism, you hate us for being Capitalist.
When we have a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.
When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.
When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.
When we loan you cash, you blame us for your national debts.
When we build our industries, you call us Polluters.
When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.
When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.
But when you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.
When we were lost in chaos and rampage, you demanded rules of law.
When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it violating human rights.
When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.
When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed-xenophobics.
Why do you hate us so much, we asked.
No, you answered, we don't hate you.
We don't hate you either,
But, do you understand us?
Of course we do, you said,
We have AFP, CNN and BBC's...
What do you really want from us?
Think hard first, then answer...
Because you only get so many chances.

Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for This One World.
We want One World, One Dream, and Peace on Earth.
This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.


Duo-Liang Lin, Ph. D.
Professor Emeritus of Physics
University at Buffalo
State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14260-1500
Email: DLLIN@buffalo. ed
When Japan was economically successful,  it was Japan bashing.  Now its China bashing when China is getting a bit successful.  If you haven't heard of China bashing before,  the above poem pretty much summarised it. 

In the following paragraphs, I'll  try to clarify some of the facts and mindsets about China , hoping they can help some people to understand.   The West ( US & formerly Europe & Britain) practice hegemony and don't seem to care what the third world feel at all.  Third world countries have a right to grow, be strong and be successful too!  
Inspite of the last 30 years of advance in city infrastructure and other hardwares, China is still  a very poor country of  1.3 billion including a  poverty-stricken farming population of 650 million, and  a corrupt /backward government.  Anyone who  have been to China can see that.   

We in HK are so close to China that we probably know it better than anyone else.    But the West blows the whole thing out of proportion, calling China a Superpower, and a threat, which is simply not the case.   

Author Helen Wang rightly pointed out in her book,  saying...... .. China is in many ways, too backward to qualify as a superpower.. has a long way to go.  

However what she should realise  is that the West is using the rise of a Superpower as  a covenient pretext  to blame and bash China for their own economic woes and diplomatic failures.  Yet business is business.  Trade still go on as long as there is a profit.
As far as I can see,   China has a lot of catching up to do.   China has more internal problems than it can handle.   China is more involved in solving its own problems, such as feeding its millions, providing them with  jobs, keep the rich/poor gap narrow down , fighting corruption & inflation, and give people a decent living .....etc etc.  So far the progress  made are stained with blood ,sweat and tears.  

Every time one uses an INTEL, HP or Apple, there are many parts inside that are made in China 's sweat shops. This is just one example which is all over the news in recent days.  Cheap products from China actually kept US inflation down for years!  Sounds like a win/win situation.  However what does the average worker gets for assembling the IC chips....... ...a mere US$120/m.  They work very hard, but very very  sad.  I have stories to tell........ much later.
Its really a conspiracy of the West to contain China from expansion, just like containing the Soviet Union from expansion in the Cold War days.  Why is  there a European Union and  NATO, SEATO and other alliances?  

It's the post-WWII Western strategy to contain the two communist giants, a strategy which is still in force today,  but rather out-dated, since Russia and China are no longer communists.  

Why does the US has over one thousand military bases around the world and seven fleets patrolling the seas? ( China has none.)  Because the politicians in the West have  to justify their  governments' expenditure on the military.  Because the arms dealers and manufacturers have to lobby the politicians to sell their weapons.   Because the Western nations want to perpetuate a Western dominant world.   Fair assessment?
200 years ago , after  fallen behind the West , China was attacked by Britain first, then plundered, looted, colonised by a league of 8 nations,  even conquered by Japan.   The next 100 years, China  suffered 2 revolutions, 2 World Wars,  plus Civil War and internal struggle,  China, as a nation,  is flatout, downtrodden,  and experiencing total collapse. All it wants now is to rebuild a country from its pieces, to give its people food, shelter, clothing ,  a decent life and restore some dignity to a "sick" nation.  What can be more noble and humanistic than that?    

Many people do think China 's leaders deserve to be awarded a Nobel Peace Price for their contribution to lead  a quarter of mankind out of poverty and starvation!  President Gorbachev received a Nobel Peace Price for liberating the Soviet Union in 1989, a huge political change for  Eastern Europe .    

I think China 's achievement is more internal, but economical change is just as great if not greater.   Why the West are so negative about  China !   Fair assessment or not?
What about the arms race?  The US and Russia  have enough nuclear arsenal to destroy the world ten  times over.  But China can hardly defend itself against the real Superpowers.  China just want to stand on its own two feet, and not being bullied  by any other powers.  

If one should understand the Chinese mindset, our culture of Confucius, Mencius, Laotze, Chuangtze and Buddha, all teaches harmony among men, harmony between  men and nature...... ...what 5000 years of history has taught us that wars and killings will not solve any problems, but will create more problems.  

That's why China's leaders kept stressing China's position is not to seek the first strike in any conflict,  a sharp contrast to some other country's "pre-emptive trike" mindset.  China has not invaded any country in the last 200 years. China has not one soldier  combating abroad today.  It seems that China  may not want to be a Superpower now.  It's Economics 101 ......guns or butter?   The answer is clear. 
Guess I spoke enough...... ...not in defence or accusation, but to help international understanding.