Chairman Xi Speaks to a Group of University Students

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

It is a fair sized room in the university’s theatre – and it is packed with 500 elite students.

Xi begins. ‘If you have any doubts that we will defeat America, consider this: how many people have died from the coronavirus in China?’

Pause.

‘A little over 96 thousand. That is a lot, but we will do better next time if there is a next time. I say if, because we’re already working on preventing the spread of any other viral disease the moment it arrives.

Applause.

‘How many people have died in America because of the coronavirus?’

Silence.

‘Over 706 thousand… and counting’.

Gasp from the audience.

‘Which shows the ineptitude of that system. Put simply, the government in America lacks the capacity to persuade its citizens to do what needs to be done. And just what do some Americans say when they object to getting vaccinated?

“Oh, I have a right to my beliefs…”

Laughter from the audience.

“I have my principles…”

More laughter.

‘But no, you don’t – continues the chairman – because your not getting vaccinated puts a burden on all other citizens and the entire system, and if you become infected then you may transmit the virus to them. Plus the additional health costs that could be prevented.

Here in China we say No. No to anyone claiming the so called privilege of infecting anyone else.

So there it is. We, Chinese, believe strongly in the power of the collective, in the power of caring and respecting each other.

To do that we must surrender some of our individuality – not all – but most of it in the interest of the greater good.

While in America people are seen in the streets of every city lying on the sidewalk begging, hungry and ill, or abusing themselves with drugs as well dressed and well fed passersby don’t even glance at them, here in China we pick them up and give them shelter and medical care. And if they answer that it’s their right to lie there and kill themselves, we say no.’

Applause.

‘In the state of Texas in America, a very rich state, people over 21 years old now have the right to buy and carry a gun, concealed if they wish, no permit necessary, and go around all day doing so. And the thing is, they are very proud of that so called right. But I ask you, what is the purpose of it? To say to others “don’t look at me the wrong way because I may have a gun?”

Laughter.

‘I think people from Texas that do that must have very fragile egos…’

Laughter and applause.

‘… and are paranoid.’

More applause.

‘By the way, that state voted heavily for Donald Trump… one of their own.’

Laughter and applause.

‘And after Trump’s defeat, they complained loudly that the election was fraudulent.’

Silence.

‘In no developed country in the world is there such high number of mass killings as in America, people who are unhappy with their lives for one reason or another, deciding to buy a gun or machine gun or a cannon to fire on innocent people. And they can do it because all those weapons are for sale. Everything is for sale in America. Everything. There is no morality in America. Except for the one the dollar buys. Because if you make a lot of money, then you have arrived. Then you are a saint or a god. Never mind who you trampled on.

Silence.

Xi looks around the room. ‘There are a lot of women students here. But if you were in Texas, you would not have the right to have an abortion. That’s right. You would have to go to another state to have it done. So the same state that insists on the right to carry a gun to defend themselves from who knows what, denies women the right to their bodies.’

Boos from the audience.

‘There was an article in the American press the other day about judges who did not recuse themselves when hearing cases between parties when they had a financial interest in one of them. In most cases where they had a financial interest, they made a decision that favored their side. So corruption is everywhere, even in the courts.’

Boos from the audience.

‘So why do I say all of this? I do so to remind you that we are better than Americans.

That we will defeat them when the time comes. We are fighting that good fight as we speak. Their military and technology are presently better than ours, but we will soon surpass them. We will surpass them in science and technology and social organization, and we will because their individualism will keep them from organizing effectively.

We will defeat them while they play Tik Tok.’

Laughter

‘We will defeat them because they do not wish to learn to speak to each other.

If they did, then they would be harder to beat because they are a strong people. But we in the Communist Party believe Americans will fail to unite, and that alone will give us the power to surpass and conquer them.’

Standing applause.

‘Thank you. Thank you very much. Let us not take time for a few questions,’ continues Xi.

Student – Chairman, we here in China, have surrendered some of our personal freedom in the interest of the nation. In matters political we have to defer to the party at all times. How long is that to last?’

Xi – Good question. We must first dominate America. We must first be the uncontested leader of the world.

Other Student – Chairman, do you think we will need to go to war with America?

Xi – No. We will beat America with our markets, with our creativity and daring, with our superior intelligence, while they play video games. I am confident that America will implode from within. The Right and Left will not learn to speak to one another and slowly crumble as they kill each other.

Another Student – Chairman, how long do you think that will take?

Xi – 20 years. Maybe less. Our weapons to victory are our economic and scientific might. Though we keep strengthening our army and developing nuclear weapons to act as deterrent, our victory will be economic and scientific. Consider this, we have been able to send spacecraft to the other side of the moon entirely on our own. We were the first to do so.

America rejected our request to be part of the international space station, and yet, there we are in space. And we will keep building. And we will build a space station that will be the envy of the world.

Applause.

Xi – There is no need to hate America. They have helped us get started. So we are grateful for that, but we must rise to our rightful place as the most capable people on earth.

Here I add a historical note. If the Germans during WWII had not targeted the Jews, if they had left them alone and instead made them their own, they would have conquered all of Europe, and the United States would not have prospered from European markets as they did and a different balance of power would now exist.

If the Japanese would have done business with us instead of trying to slaughter and rape us all, then it would not have ignited in us the rage to fight back and Mao may not have had the strength to form the Communist Party.

So we must avoid the hate of others as a motivator, and instead let our markets conquer the world.

Another student – Chairman, which do you think will be better to negotiate with in America, a Democratic or Republican administration?

Xi – Democratic. Republicans are too elitist. And they still think of Ronald Reagan as the Second Coming.

Laughter.

Xi – The best president they have ever had was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who guided them during the depression and WWII and started much needed social programs.

Other student – Chairman, what about President Biden?

Xi – We’re still trying to figure him out.

Other Student – Chairman, you really think we are destined to rule the world?

Xi – Yes. And do so by example, not by force.

Student – Chairman, president Biden is saying the same thing to Americans, ‘Let us rule by the power of our example and not the example of our power.’

Xi – Yes, but to do that you must be able to speak to each other, and Republicans and Democrats are unable to do so and they will sink their nation. Which will help China rise faster.

So be patient and work hard. This is our time. This is China’s time.

All the students stand and give Chairman Xi a standing ovation.

All Students – in unison – Long Live China! Long Live Chairman Xi!’

Oscar Valdes       oscarvaldes.net

China and Trump

They’re beating him handily.

First he picked a fight with them over trade and intellectual property. It wasn’t that there weren’t real issues to be addressed, but our president had to make a great show of it. Defeat China, force her to her knees. But they didn’t go down.

Instead of working with our European allies to enlarge the negotiating bloc since they also were affected, he dismissed them. Trump thought he knew better. He would do it alone. After all, he had decades of experience making deals in New York buying and selling hotels.

But that hasn’t translated well into dealing effectively with the world, has it?

The trade war with China raised prices for us and led to huge subsidies to our farmers whose products China chose not to buy in retaliation. Eventually a deal was reached that favored the US slightly, but it was a pyrrhic victory because a lot of resentment was stirred.

Then came the virus.

China did what it had to do. That China is an autocratic and repressive regime there is no doubt, but they fixed their problem. They were heavy handed in quarantining and tracing their people, but they fixed their problem.

As of this writing, 4600 deaths from the virus have been reported in their nation of 1.4 billion and their economy is revving up again.

Contrast with over 71000 Americans deaths in a country of 330 million, less than a quarter the size of China.

Contrast with 550 deaths in Japan, with a population of 126 million, less than half of America’s.

So what happened?

Think on it for a moment.

Yes, that’s right. We screwed up. Big time.

That’s 71000 Americans.

The difference in the death tolls is not the price of freedom. It is the price of folly.

And that price keeps rising.

Known for our abundance we got caught off guard and scrambling for ventilators, for masks, for protective equipment to assist our burdened and valiant health workers.

What happened?

It is so sad, isn’t it?

It is not that we lack the productive capacity or the ingenuity or the will or the drive or enterprising push to get things done. No. It’s not that at all.

We knew the virus was coming.

On December 31st 2019 The Wuhan Health Commission alerted the Chinese National Health Commission and their CDC. That same day the World Health Organization (WHO) was also notified of the outbreak. Mind you, it took another 30 days to January the 30th, for the WHO to declare it a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ but on January the 23rd , Wuhan city, with 11 million people, was shut down. If that wasn’t a momentous event, then what is? When was the last time a city that size was shut down? To anyone paying attention it should’ve sent a big warning sign. Danger ahead! Watch out!

But we missed it.

Washington DC, America’s seat of power, was distracted.

Our great leader was tweeting on one or another inconsequential matter.

I can only imagine what was going through the president’s mind. When is my next rally? When will I, again, be showered with great praise?

His impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of congress had begun on December 18th 2019 and would not end until February 5th 2020. But all along the outcome was assured. With Republican Senators firmly under his control, Trump would be acquitted. Still he didn’t pay attention.

And the virus gathered force.

The president’s defense? Denial. Grand Denial.

It was like the flu, nothing more, it would go away quickly, he said. We, Americans, would be just fine.

71 thousand Americans have died since. The damage to the economy enormous.

Coronavirus was beyond his grasp like it is beyond him to apologize for not seeing it.

And the virus keeps pummeling us.

We’re all hoping for medical researchers to save us. Those gifted men and women from all over the world, who toil tirelessly to come up with a weapon that will stop the virus on its tracks.

But the White House cannot lead.

Just the other day, a global effort was put together to raise funds for vaccine research. We didn’t pitch in. Mind, you, there’s already much work being done here, but an American contribution to the grand effort would have been symbolic of the desire to join in and be part of a world team. We couldn’t do it.

Our Secretary of State, however, has been very busy trying to get other world leaders to agree to labelling coronavirus the Wuhan virus. But world leaders have not been persuaded.

Not wanting to stop blaming China, the president has spoken of imposing new tariffs in retaliation. They should’ve warned us, the White House says. China should’ve done more to prevent the catastrophe.

Well, they did. China made their own mistakes silencing doctors that told of the incipient outbreak, but eventually they turned around and got to work.

We didn’t.

But we could have.

We had plenty of time to take action and prevent the viral spread.

But all is not lost, is it? No. We can still put more blame on China, still time to make up a story that the Chinese actually manufactured the virus so they could inflict us great pain.

And for the gullible that might just do.

For the rest of us, however, let the virus be a warning of what we must do to remain a strong nation.

One key ingredient is to be willing to face the facts as they are and not deny them, to be able to see the truth and act decisively.

And no, China is not in descent as a nation. Let us not delude ourselves. Their economy has temporarily contracted but they remain a powerful engine of growth, a huge market to the world and a mighty rival.

And yes, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in that land, entrepreneurs contributing significantly to their GDP and representing a huge source of employment for their countrymen.

Eventually, that spirit will prevail in China and their system of government will change.

Meanwhile, we’d better give up the idea that the future is ours. It is not. We have to make it our own, and to do so we must be willing to face the facts at home and abroad and act accordingly.

With a population less than a quarter of China’s size, America’s openness to immigrants and our commitment to freedom of speech, we have a great advantage. But let’s watch out. A short sighted, tribal leader, can squander it all. In less than one term in office.

China Has Arrived

There is a certain majesty to China’s move to command the world stage. As the number of infected and dead rise worldwide, China is stepping up and saying ‘We have got this. We mitigated as was necessary and we have controlled the coronavirus epidemic.’

So far, the results back the assertion. Their economy is starting up again and, filled with confidence, are now sending experts to aid other nations in the grip of the virus, such as Iran and Italy. They are even building hospitals for them.

The Chinese did it.

And they deserve recognition.

China went into full battle with the virus and has come out ahead (South Korea has done the same).

The Chinese imposed severe restrictions on movement, mobilized resources, and got the job done. My hat off to them.

The Chinese do not deserve, to have the US try to devalue them by calling the virus the Wuhan virus. What that shows is how envious the present American leadership is. Trump and company had ample time to take the necessary steps to prevent the wide spread of the disease but instead wasted the opportunity. Is there a word for it? Yes. It is Denial. Massive Denial.

Preoccupied with lesser and partisan concerns, i.e. the building of the wall, his impeachment, Mr Trump could not think ahead to what was looming and how it endangered the lives of Americans. He could not bother to summon the multitude of experts the nation has at its disposal, because he needed to attend the political rallies that he requires to prop up his confidence.

Surely, the crowds chanted vigorously, Make America Great Again! just as dark clouds drifted menacingly in our direction.

The preoccupation with getting elected, prevented the president from hearing the advice that would have led to us having the necessary masks and testing kits and ventilators. But to think in those terms, requires a mind that is free to rise above partisan concerns and look beyond.

Mr Trump could not do that.

As of today, our nation has had nearly 4 thousand deaths from the virus, a figure larger than China’s, with a population 4 times the size of ours. And the forecast of future deaths is ominous.

Consumed as we are with tending to our own, we must now cede the stage to China, and we must because they were vastly more effective than we have been.

It would do us a world of good to recognize it.

It would do us a world of good to state openly, that China has done a most competent job at saving lives. Even as they segregate Uighurs and curtail freedoms to their citizens, which stains their standing as a leading nation.

And yet, as things stand, it would do us a world of good to be frank and upright and recognize that, in combatting the virus, they have done a better job than we have.

As we endeavor to follow the instructions to slow the spread of the disease, we will soon limit the lurid escalation of the death rate. There are already signs that the rate of infection is beginning to slow.

But our economy has suffered a major hit, many businesses will not reopen and unemployment is soaring.

Who knows how long this contraction will last.

China’s economy, by contrast, is revving up and, for now, will be the dominant world economy.

It will do us a world of good, our leaders foremost, to recognize it.

It wasn’t long ago, that nations in need would have looked to our country for urgent assistance.

Preoccupied with divisive concerns, we have shirked from the world, and now we see the cost.

There’s a price to pay for being short sighted.

A price to pay in lives and in prestige.

That matters.

Day 3 After National Emergency Declaration. China versus US, South Korea, Europe, Japan etc.

After the first case appeared in December 2019, China bungled the initial response, which made things worse. Since then, however, they’ve managed to halt the spread of the virus.

We bungled in our own way, because with knowledge of what had started in Wuhan, and that in the age of travel an ocean is not a barrier, our response could’ve been more effective. For instance, we could’ve had plenty of testing kits for the virus.

So they bungled and we bungled also.

Now for the second phase. China instituted strict quarantines. Their economy has taken a hit but they’ve halted the spread of the virus. Those results are a challenge to us.

Can our open society, with a plurality of voices and a wide diversity of competencies and political views, manage to present a united front to stem the tide of infections and limit the damage so it’s less that what China has endured?

The battle is on. The number of infected cases and deaths will tell the story.

The stock market (which is not the economy but tells us something about it) plunged another 3 thousand points today.

The virus has already sent us into a bear market. With the severe contraction in the service sector, most economists agree we’re headed for a recession.

There is consensus that this is not 2008. The disruptive force is not buried within our financial system but swimming in our body fluids, so this is very different.

China is ahead of the game. How they do, how quickly their economy bounces back, will tell us a great deal. If they pull out of the stagnation they’re in we will know that at least one path works. Maybe ours will too, but we’ll know that theirs works for sure.

The hope is that, once their travel restrictions are lifted, the infection will not return. I am definitely pulling for them. And if the infection does not return then their economy will start to climb back.

There’s much more at stake here than getting over the virus. There’s the sense, at least in a lot of people watching these developments, that contrasting political systems are in fierce competition; that overbearing state control is being pitted against individual liberty.

I don’t have any doubt in which world I like to live, and will do what I can to make sure we control the spread of the virus.

Pasadena was dark and rainy today.

Most eateries were doing take out business only, but the mood seemed positive.

This morning I went into a store to buy some fresh vegetables and the shelves were barren. I was able to get some other things I needed. I have yet to find hand sanitizers but put my name on a list at a specialty pharmacy. A single surgical mask was going for 6 dollars. I passed.

One prediction has it that sooner or later, all of us will catch the virus. But the longer it takes for most of us to get infected, the more likely it will be that we’ll have the resources to help us heal.

At an early morning appointment with my dental hygienist, I mentioned that coronavirus was showing us how interdependent we are. ‘Yes,’ she answered, ‘it’s humbling.’

No cough, no fever.

We’re going to beat this.

Good night.

On China

If we had been in China’s shoes, and it had been us having to offer the cheap labor, land and tax concessions to lure a better developed nation to come in with their expertise and set up factories and the like, we would have done exactly what China has done. We would have learned all there was to learn so we could copy what the more advanced nation was doing and then improve on it. And we would have stolen ideas and pressured them so as to gain an advantage as soon as possible.

Forty years of fast development and China is now a power to contend with. More than that, they are challenging us for world dominance.

Xi Jinping had the daring to announce the 2025 project for his nation to be tops in technology and robotics.

Something wrong with that?

China can’t dare to be tops if they’re not willing to invent and surpass us doing so.

Is there something wrong with wanting to be the best you can be?

China does not have the freedoms we have but they’re choosing to forgo them in the interest of economic and military advancement. At some point they will have to reckon with that but for now they’re pushing ahead.

In response, some sections of our country have chosen to panic. ‘We can’t let them do that, no, put tariffs on them, hold them back!’

Does that sound American to you?

It does not.

It seems to me that, aside from their lack of freedoms, in terms of their sheer ambition and willingness to work for it, China has become more American than us.

And rather than see their rise as a challenge and focusing on better developing and revamping our society, we’re choosing to bellyache. Put another way, some sections of our country are filled with envy of China.

Instead of rushing to our fellow Americans who were left behind by the initial phase of globalization and say to them, ‘here we are with all the training and support needed so we can transform you into world class workers,’ we instead have decided to complain that the Chinese want too much, that they need to stay ‘in their place,’ and tariffs is just one way to keep them in check.

But that strategy is cheap and, additionally, it won’t work. Forever and ever we’ve been the champions of free trade, now the envy of China makes us give up on what we have valued dearly.

Afraid to compete? Yes.

We have freedoms that they don’t have, but we’re not using them to answer their challenge.

We have been a magnet for talent from all over the world but now are paying attention to the chant of ‘send them back’ and believing it.

Immigrants have been an engine of progress but we are paying attention to voices that say ‘why can’t our immigrants look more like Norwegians?’

We have been a cradle for relentless innovation but now, some sections, are choosing to run scared.

Enough of it!

Our openness to the world has always been a treasure. Our willingness to be creative a source of immense pride.

China’s challenge should be welcome, not scorned. We can meet the challenge. But it will take for the bold and imaginative amongst us to step front, and for the resentful and short sighted to step aside.