Xi – By Himself

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The Chairman and supreme leader of China is sitting in his office by himself. It is early evening and he’s just had supper.

‘Deng was right. We had to wait. Had to bide our time. And we did. Our strength was our market power. Our numbers. And then the party came in and imposed their will. We promised our citizens a better world and we are delivering. We have invented a new system of government and it has been a success.

And the world is envious. America is envious. Europe is envious. Russia is envious. Envious of our discipline, of our creativity and commitment to being at the top. Envious of our ability to resolve disputes.

Some will say that we have sacrificed freedom, but that is a small price to pay for our rise to the top. And my fellow citizens have been willing to trust the party. It is their hour of greatness and they know there’s more to come.

He stands and goes to the window. A grand view of Beijing lies before him.

‘Yes, the West has helped us, but through our shrewdness we are on the way to dominate the world. It is only a matter of time. With our market power we enticed tech enterprises and all manner of businesses to come to us and share their knowhow. And our genius has taken all of it and made it our own. That is our triumph. No one has done what we have done on this scale.

To do so we needed discipline and the party imposed it. Without the rule of the Communist Party this grand leap forward would not have been possible.

Here in our land there is no free for all, no chaos and disruption like there is in America and the West.

Discipline. Vision. Commitment.

If the Uyghurs think they can have it their own way, we discipline them. We do whatever we must to make them Chinese. They have no alternative.

I learn every day from the chaos in America. It confirms how right we are. Children shooting other children at school. And it happens again and again. What is that? Do they not learn from it?

Is that freedom? No, it is not. It is a perversion of freedom.

And they still can’t pass laws to ban firearms.

We have no such problem in China.

And then there’s the coronavirus pandemic. Why isn’t everyone in America vaccinated by now? Why is anyone allowed to refuse when getting vaccinated is in the best interest of the nation? But still they refuse and more and more Americans die.

Is that freedom? No, it is not. It is a perversion of freedom.

Nearly 800,000 Americans have died, so far. And now they will have to contend with the Omicron variant. And yet, some people will still not vaccinate.

We have no such problem in China. We haven’t vaccinated everyone but if we say vaccinate, then you vaccinate.

They have too many gods in America. A god that says having guns is right, another that says no guns is right, a god that says having an abortion is right, another that says not having an abortion is right, a god that says democrats are right, another that says republicans are right.

Meanwhile they’re killing each other.

Here in China there is only one god. The Communist Party. Me.

You obey, and you’re free to make money, within limits. Don’t obey and we step in.

That has been our genius. The recognition that the human spirit is naturally unruly and fractious. Therefore, to get anything meaningful done, we must enforce discipline.

He turns to pull up a chair and sits in front of the window, looking out, enjoying the view.

‘There is despair in America… and I like it. With our rise to becoming a superpower, they see us threatening their dominance, and yet their businesses still are coming here because of the size of our market, even if the result will be to strengthen a foe of their nation.

Someone once said that capitalists will sell you the rope with which they will be hanged.

Lenin, probably.

Take electric vehicles, for instance. We got Tesla to come over and share their knowledge. They were very willing and understood the bargain which was, we make you rich but you hand over your expertise. Of course, we then take the expertise, subsidize new Chinese companies, and spread all over the world to rival Tesla. When the time comes, I will ask Tesla to leave our market. It is up to us. Up to me, to choose the date and time for their departure. One of the great benefits of our system. We don’t have to deal with any lawyers from Tesla saying that it’s unfair to do so.

And the word gets around.

The other day, an American banker, whom we have allowed to do business here because we can learn from them while making them rich – same bargain as Tesla – joked that their bank would outlast our system. Someone from his bank reminded him of the disrespect and he quickly apologized. He knew better. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

So there’s despair in America. Despair because their incentives, profits at any cost, often runs counter to the national interest and yet their government is not free to check them. They have to contend with the US Chamber of commerce, public opinion, political donors and an army of lawyers and lobbyists. Freedom to dissent, they call it.

We have no such obstacles in China. What the party says, goes. And since I run the party, what I say, goes.

He runs his hands past the sides of his head and laces his fingers on the back of his neck.

‘It’s not like they’re not seeing the problem, it’s that they’re not doing much about it.

Biden sees it, though. But they’ve been so critical of him that with all the noise, his views are devalued.

Take Afghanistan, for instance. He was right to pull out but the criticism he got was brutal. His critics went on and on about how messy the pull-out had been. But how can you have a clean pull-out from a nation in such confusion? Stay and sacrifice more American lives? No. Pull out. Just pull out.

All of his critics in Afghanistan forgot to take account of the state of things in their own nation. Racism, inequality, poor education for the lower classes, shootings, killings, people not getting vaccinated and an assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters. All of that going on and still you want a tidy pull-out?

Biden is right, too, to take my global ambitions seriously. He’s trying to rebuild infrastructure, protect vital industries, strengthen defense and renew America’s relationship with Europe, but business interests there, too, will fight him and work against his plans, for they also want to come to China to make money.

I don’t think he’ll get reelected… which is better for us.

He now stands and starts to walk around his office.

‘The more chaos in America, the better for me. The more divided the better. And the reality is, I don’t really have to help that process. Americans by themselves will make sure they stay divided. It seems they just can’t help it.

It is sad to see a nation like that slowly lose their power. We all owe much to them. If it weren’t for them in World War II, we would all be speaking German. And Japanese. But they can’t help themselves.

Surely tomorrow I’ll wake up to the news of yet another school shooting. And the NRA saying, don’t take away our freedom!

What a disaster.

He stops for a moment, then resumes walking.

‘Which brings me to Putin and his intentions in Ukraine. Will he invade to annex the nation? Good question. If he does, it will make for a tense moment in the world. But Putin likes to be in the spotlight, with everyone guessing what he’ll do next. He may see his threat to invade as a way to stir up nationalism and counter internal resistance – the Navalny led movement. An invasion carries risks, of course. The Ukrainians will fight back and it will get bloody. And it could spark an insurrection in neighboring Belarus which will complicate matters.

If there are many Russian casualties, that won’t play well at home, and may fuel the internal resistance he seeks to defuse.


On the other hand, the global preoccupation with the pandemic offers a unique opportunity. And yet Putin wants the World Health Organization to approve his Sputnik vaccine. I think they will.

Yes… he could still make the move. A quick grab. Pow! Overnight. Like in Crimea. A blitzkrieg. Right in your face, like the Americans like to say… and Europeans will wake up thinking of themselves as smaller and weaker, with Russia sharing a border with Poland and Hungary and Romania.

He has the power.

I could learn a thing or two from Vladimir.

As for us… I could… maybe… synchronize efforts… he moves on Ukraine… I move on Taiwan… yes… it’s a thought… but…

He stops, rubs his face.

‘… No… it doesn’t feel right for me. Not now. It would take more preparation. Lots more. Bide your time, said Deng. Bide your time. I need to consolidate my power… so, no… Taiwan must wait. Anyway… America is likely to get weaker, not stronger, as time goes by.

What I’m certain of is that one day we will seize Taiwan. Like it or not. And America will just watch… divided as ever… wondering why they didn’t learn to talk to each other… and then return to burying their heads in Tik Tok. Or whatever game we can make interesting for them.

He smiles to himself.

Oscar Valdes.   Oscarvaldes.net.     Available as a podcast in anchor.fm, apple, google and buzzsprout.

Winter Olympics. China. An Idea in support of Uyghurs.

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Talk of using the upcoming Winter Olympics to protest against China’s mistreatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang province has been gathering momentum.

A boycott of the games by diplomats only, has been mentioned, while others have proposed it should include the athletes themselves, corporate sponsors and even US spectators.

I do not think it is fair to the athletes.

They have been working very hard to have a chance to display their talents, invested enormously in polishing their abilities, to now have this one moment before the entire world.  

The competition is fierce and only the very gifted and hard working get a chance to compete or earn a medal.

To now deprive them of their chance to shine seems absurd.

Politics should not be imposed on them.

Our government has a variety of means to make their case against China’s violations and their authoritarian rule.

But for the athletes, this is their one moment before a world audience. And it should not be blocked.

I propose we offer the athletes an option to join in solidarity with Uyghurs. A hand sign they could flash at any time, entirely at their discretion, under no compulsion whatsoever: during the opening and closing ceremonies, after a performance or whenever they saw fit.

If they want to do it, fine, if not, that’s okay. It is their moment, and it is up to them.

At a time when they are flush with the unique excitement of participating in such privileged spectacle, to show support for other human beings who are being trampled by Chinese authorities may appeal to many athletes.

But it should be entirely up to each individual, to share a moment of their triumph on behalf of those who will never have such chances because their government impedes it.

The sign I propose would be the letter U for Uyghur, made by holding up both hands, side by side, palms facing front, the ends of the thumbs apposed to form the base of the letter, with the adjoining index fingers upright to complete the U, and the rest of the fingers curled in both hands.

To urge an authoritarian country to cease the mistreatment of part of their population should not involve an act where other human beings are deprived, by governmental decree, of their own chance at displaying excellence.

The last American boycott took place in 1980 to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Jimmy Carter was president. Did it make any difference? Not on the Soviets or the Afghans. But it did deprive American athletes of a special moment in their lives. Let that one boycott be the last.

Oscar Valdes.    Oscarvaldes.net.  Available in achor.fm, apple podcasts and buzzsprout.

US Technology versus China. How Much Should We Make Available for Them to Buy?

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Nothing that they cannot now produce themselves. 

China’s behavior has made it clear, through their aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and their policy of economic conquest implicit in the Belt and Road initiative, that they are set on a path to become the dominant power in the world. 

They have enormous technological capacity, a strong commitment to further it and are equal to us in drive and inventiveness. 

But they still don’t have America’s edge in many fields. 

Given that China has shown its colors, why assist them in their quest for dominance?

China’s push is much determined by the bargain they have made with their people. ‘In exchange for our quick rise,’ they have said to their citizens, ‘you will give up free speech and consent to the Communist Party’s detailed surveillance of your behavior.’

The party knows that those restrictions cannot last forever and feels compelled to show results to justify the repression. That is the pressure they’re under.

Why should America assist them with their plans?

It is reasonable to assume, that China will develop what it needs technologically on their own but that will take time. 

Time that we need to further our own advantages. 

Time to repair the social and economic infrastructure that has kept us from providing equal opportunities to our citizens. 

We need whatever edge we now have in the various fields to make our citizens stronger and better educated. 

Competition with China will last decades. We need sharp minds and able bodies who are convinced that our system is fair, respectful of human rights and worth fighting for. 

We need time to make clear what the American edge is.

As we produce better citizens we will likely keep that edge over China and dissuade the rest of the world from moving to their side. 

There is no guarantee that will happen, so we must work hard for it. 

The present administration, with its commitment to comprehensive infrastructure building, understands this need. 

There will be those, however, who in the interest of profits, will make the case for accommodating with China, that is to supply them with what they wish. But those interests are shortsighted, will undermine our resolve and give China the advantage.

Competition with China is here to stay and it can help us become a better nation. 

For that we’ll need inspiring leadership, bipartisan support and lots of gumption.

Oscar Valdes


China’s Challenge to Democracy. The Big Panda Embrace

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They have benefitted enormously from the West, absorbing its science, technology and ways of doing things – everything they found worthwhile in every area of development – and then rose and rose, surpassing Russia and the Eurozone and pulling itself up to become a rival to America.

That they are seeking world dominance they won’t say but judging by the manner in which they carry on their appetite seems insatiable. 

At no time has there been a greater challenge to democracy.

China is saying to us, ‘You cannot move up as fast as we can, and we will overcome you for we are unstoppable. We have become the factory to the world and all hurry to be part of our enormous markets.’

Turning to its people, China’s leadership says, ‘The world comes to us because they want money. We have that through our labor force, talented people and enormous markets. And because we have been so successful enriching others we have enriched ourselves. So we can make a bargain with all of you, fellow citizens. We will protect you, grant you the benefits of continued prosperity and provide you with all the conveniences of modern life. Furthermore, we promise you will grow proud as China rises to be the dominant nation on Earth. What we want from you in turn, is that you surrender your freedom of speech. We want from you, that you consent to being constantly surveilled to ensure there will be no dissent against the Chinese Communist Party. Think about this. It is a small concession to make, considering all the gains we will achieve as a united nation, not torn apart by petty political differences like in the rest of the West and particularly in America. What we, Chinese, are doing now, has never been done before. No nation has ever risen so fast from so low. We are a nation of destiny, showing the world by our actions, that we have discovered the best system to rule its citizens. For too long, Americans have believed that their system of government was the best. They speak grandly of exceptionalism. But take a good look at how they have treated their minorities, Blacks in particular, for centuries. And still they want to preach to the world. How dare they. At look at how money buys political influence. You make money and you go right to the front of the line, even if you are inept politically. Only in America can you turn an expertise in building hotels into a credential to lead a country. And Americans fell for it. And they did because they lack political education. Unlike here in our great land, where the hard working communist party, with 91 million members, devote their life to keeping the system flowing. 

But back to America. Look at how they kill themselves because of their unrestricted access to guns. Take a city like Chicago – the South side – the killings go on and on, administration after administration, whether it be Obama or Trump, they just keep killing each other. And look at how poverty is widespread. As for their cultural life, sure, now and then they will make a good movie or write a good song, but we, too, are working on that. Fellow Chinese citizens, the restrictions that we have imposed on free speech and surveillance will not last forever. We estimate, that with proper political instruction and our steady development it will take us no more than another 25 years – a conservative estimate – before we become the most powerful and most advanced nation in the world. In that time, we will have achieved total superiority. And yes, everyone in America will be wanting to speak Mandarin for that is the most beautiful language the world has ever heard. Your children and your grandchildren and heirs to follow, will revere you for the sacrifices you are now making on their behalf. The fact that we will achieve superiority will not mean that we will impose our system on others, but as other nations see how effective we are they will try to emulate us. And yes, eventually Taiwan will be part of the mainland, in the same way Hong Kong is returning to our embrace. The big Panda embrace. How can you not like that feeling?

Others will follow our lead willingly, joyously, for we will lead through our example. 

In America, today, Joe Biden is trying to get his citizens to renew themselves, but our leadership feels his efforts have come too late. 

Joe Biden has ambitions plans for the renewal of infrastructure, for education, for research and development, but already the Republican party is objecting, so Biden’s ambitious reforms will be trimmed, which is good for China. 

America is just too divided while we are united, which is our great strength.

We believe that America will not be able to make the necessary reforms to their system to catch up with us.

Let us give you one example. China tried to be part of the International Space station but we were no accepted. They were afraid we would learn too much. And so we have started to create our own. On April 28th we launched Tianhe or ‘Harmony of The Heavens,’ the first of three modules that will form our own space station by the end of 2022. Does that not make you feel proud of what our system can do?   

Slowly, over time, America will acknowledge our superiority, but there will be those who will want to resort to violence. Leaders who prefer to fight an enemy without than confront the enemy within. Envious people. But we will be prepared. We are building more and more nuclear weapons to act as a deterrent.’ 

That is the message the Chinese leadership is giving to their people.

What will Russia do in the face of China’s rise?

Putin has cast a spell on the Russian people which has interfered with their political development but my take is that the Russian people lean more to the West than to China. 

Eventually, as Russia emerges from their stupor, they will elect a more pro-Western government.

But can America answer China’s challenge?

Can we make the necessary structural changes and shine? 

Can we evolve to having a dialogue amongst ourselves and eradicate racism? 

Can we improve our education and health systems sufficiently that every citizen will have the opportunity they need to be the best they can be? 

Can we defeat crime? 

Can we stop the high level of incarceration that is a sign of poor investment in our people?

Can we stop killing ourselves? 

The answer lies in pulling ourselves together and working toward a common purpose. To do it we need bipartisan leadership willing to dialogue. 

And we have to get started right away.

Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net

The China Problem. Money is Free Speech

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China has become a challenge to the essence of your system. A challenge far more subtle than the one that Fascism and later the Soviet Union presented to us during the last century.

Before us now stands a nation which has risen faster than any other. A nation that has used their market power (at 1.4 billion people, more than three times our own) and unquestionable ability and made itself the most desirable destination for businesses the world over.

The prospect of being in China is so enormously attractive to business, that most will look the other way when the matters of suppressing  the Chinese people’s free speech and the repression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang are raised.

Money talks, reason the Chinese autocrats. And for business that is what is most important.

The Chinese autocrats are careful observers of our system and have learned that it is money that wins elections in America. If you don’t have it in abundance, then you can’t win an election in this country.

In America, the Chinese autocrats are convinced, money is the true free speech. (they are trying to convince their own citizens of the same)

China needs only to look at the electoral contest for the US Senate in the state of Georgia earlier this year. If money had not poured in from the Democratic Party coffers, the Republican party would have won at least one of the two seats at stake and then held a majority in the Senate. President Biden’s hands would have been tied, with no other recourse than to try and convince Mitch McConnell to let the administration pass a bill or two.

China knows that our system is riddled with malfunction.

It has taken forever to address racism in our land and violence tied to it is widespread.

Legislators (in both parties) will do whatever possible to rearrange the boundaries in their districts to ensure their supporters are in the majority and thus retain their seats.

There is a vast number of highly paid lobbyists in congress doing whatever they must to win favor for their business interests.

The Chinese autocrats know that the injustices in our system will not go easily away and may take decades to fix. They can see it in their own Hong Kong – where the financial sector is vastly rich but the rest struggles and housing is punishingly expensive.  

And so China has come to feel certain that their political system is superior, and will eventually lead them to become the world’s most powerful nation.

So long as their people remain productive and hungry to become wealthier, China will have the most attractive market in the world, and western business interests and their lobbyists will do whatever is necessary to keep pouring in.

With their growing riches, the people in China will continue to bow to their leaders and accept the electronic surveillance of their activities, while looking the other way when dissenters and non conformists in their midst are caught and silenced.

The prospect of world supremacy is now within reach, says the Communist Party to their people, and if some don’t get to see it, then their children will, so every sacrifice is worth it.

And America, like Britain and other European powers before her, will accept that its time has passed, all the while muttering to ourselves, ‘but isn’t money free speech? Or did we get that wrong? Did we let our soul end up in business’ pockets?’

And we will remember Teddy Roosevelt,

“The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We talk frequently about how we can rise to the occasion and indeed have done so often. But China’s challenge is quite different. They are aggressively seeking markets everywhere, Africa, the rest of Asia, Latin America, even in Europe, while saying, ‘Like what you see? It’s our political system that makes it possible. Be like us, adopt our system and riches will be yours too.’

Implicit is the message, ‘Money rules. Make that your focus.’

But isn’t that what most of us believe also?

The Chinese have, very cleverly, adopted a most tangible aspect of our system – the importance of money to reward productivity – and then paired it with an equally appealing notion to many. ‘Leave the political thinking to us. Don’t trouble yourself with such cumbersome thoughts. Let us all make lots of money, but let it be clear that such money will not allow you entry into the higher ranks of the political system that rules the nation.’

‘There will be no Donald Trumps here in China’s system – people making their fortunes in business and then parachuting into political leadership. The highest posts in our system are reserved for those who have devoted themselves from an early age, to the business of running a nation and apportioning its fortunes.’

‘Why should riches and politics, both, be the privilege of the very talented or very persuasive?

‘If we divide up those two realms, we will all be better off. Politics must be a discipline separate from the accumulation of riches. It requires special talents to better distribute the wealth. That way it is done fairly, and not according to the wishes of the person who made the money and whatever biases they may have. We communists say, come to China and make money, but we will keep enough of it for the government to better spread it around and make the nation stronger and fairer.’ (later on, we’ll want more of what you’re making, but not now)

If China can keep money from corrupting the communist party, they will be very hard to beat.

But they can be beat.


By using our liberties to strengthen our nation.

China is exposing our weaknesses. Our challenge is to correct them quickly enough.

Why is it that the richest nation in the world has such problems with poverty, with access to medical care, with providing quality education to all our citizens? In New York City, year after year, the school system cannot deal with the blatant segregation that keeps Blacks and Hispanics marginalized.  

Why is it, that racism has been allowed to fester in the country for as long as it has?

Why is it, that in the richest nation in the world there is so much violence?

What is wrong that we feel such distrust for our fellow citizens that we must keep ourselves armed to the teeth and cannot consent to regulations limiting the purchase of weapons?

The rest of the world looks at us and says, ‘yes, America, you have shown much creativity in many fields, but there is something very flawed about you. We would like to try out the Chinese model instead.’

The rest of the world looks at us and says, ‘yes, America, you have great companies, Apple and Google, Amazon and Facebook, Intel and Qualcomm, Disney and Netflix, but in a very short time, China has come up with Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and they are a force in electric vehicles and a leader in artificial intelligence. Yes, the Chinese have stolen technology, but they are creating their own, too.’

The rest of the world looks at us and says, ‘There are imperfections to both systems, yours and the Chinese, but the Chinese model seems to work faster, so we may just go with them. Do understand that we, too, are in a hurry. And our people will accept that some freedoms will be restricted and deferred.’ (never mind how long)

For the first time ever, then, the rest of the developing nations in our world are seeing close competition between two systems that believe in markets and want to pursue maximum riches.

And while China keeps rising in spite of their freedoms being severely curtailed, to those who point out the contradictions in our system, we answer, ‘The path to equality of opportunity is most desirable but tough. We’ve been at it for a while but have not been able to prevent the wealthy from dominating politics to secure their privileges at the expense of the rest. But we believe that, eventually, we will have a fairer nation.’

Eventually? When will that be?

Can we in America take the challenge that China now poses and speed up our renewal?

I hope so. But China will keep beckoning and whispering in the ears of businesses, ‘come, my friends, make money and trust that you will be able to go back and hire lobbyists and finance campaigns to keep yourselves in power. But you must not say a word about the ‘reeducation’ of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the suppression of freedom in Hong Kong or our plan to retake Taiwan.’

‘Trust us,’ says China to our businesses, ‘the soul of America is in your pockets. We will help you keep it that way. Shake that money and all will listen. It’s the money folks that are the true gods of this world and money the true free speech. Never lose faith and may the best nation win.’

And if we here in America fall for it and forget that free speech is the right to dissent, even if we are wrong, then we will play China’s game. If we forget that free speech must always respect other people’s rights, whether we approve of them or not, then we will play China’s game. And so fall under the spell of autocracy and dictatorship – governments that make gods of their leaders and compel the person to bow.

Soon enough the Thought Police will come for our neighbor.

‘Did you hear what happened to Fred?’

‘No, what?’

‘He was down at the pub and talked too much.’

‘How so?’

‘He was being critical of our leaders.’

‘Hmm… you know… I warned Fred about that. He’s a good guy… has a good business… makes money…. has a nice house,too… what’s the point?’

The point is we tarnish our humanity when we surrender our right to express our own thoughts.

With our humanity tarnished, we then become less creative, lose personal power and diminish our capacity to fully love.

No amount of money will make up for it.


Elsa and Xi Jinping (8) Racism in America

Dear Xi,

Hope this finds you well.

Democracies are, indeed, problematic, and the process will often appear to be wasteful and even chaotic. But give a closer look and something else will be found.

Societies, like individuals, are in a constant search for higher integration.

In the individual, the pressure is to integrate the emotional and the intellectual, for the greater the integration the better the overall functioning and hence, personal satisfaction.

So, too, with nations.

In America, while making significant advances in science, technology and industry, we have not kept pace in our collective emotional development. Thus, the profound dysfunction of racism.

At the core of racism is the premature closure of the inquiry into what it is to be human.

When one looks at someone superficially different than one is and, failing to remain open to what that person may offer, devalues them instead, then one turns oneself into a hindrance to one’s personal development and the larger group we belong to becomes the poorer for it.

Racism is an ugly blemish for each of us individually and for the nation as a whole.

It has held back the development of the discriminated against and of those doing the discriminating.

America is guilty as charged as being a racist country and yet, we are a democracy.

We are both racist and democratic. There is no contradiction there.

We are profoundly imperfect and still a democracy.

People can protest in favor or against racism and the government will not censor what they have to say.

But is this useful?

I hold that it is because it keeps the problem on the table. It does not push it down and out of sight. If we can see the problem, then we are more likely to know its true extent and thus talk about it.

The racist in America can go on believing that White is better than anyone else, but it is to their detriment. In holding on to such belief they harm themselves for they are deprived of the richness that expanding their understanding of others brings to their own existence.

They lessen themselves by their own hand.

You may ask, if not prohibiting such beliefs is favorable, how come racism is still present in America?

Good question.

Racism is still present in our land because there has not been the leadership to emphatically and consistently say to all Americans, ‘it is wrong to be racist and we must make it a priority to overcome it.’ Then go about the process vigorously, without fear they will be voted out of office.

Racism is still present in our land because there have not been the same opportunities for the development of Blacks that Whites have enjoyed. Lacking those opportunities, the rest of the nation has not seen all that Blacks can do.

Racism still lives in America because many Whites have not confronted their fears that Blacks may show abilities they do not have.

And so Americans are poorer because of racism. We are weaker because of it.

The good news is that things have been changing.

Let me turn now to the question of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province. They are Muslim and have their own language and your leadership has settled on a policy to reeducate them against their will, forcing them into special camps.

China is wrong to pursue such policy.

It is one thing to tell the Uyghurs, ‘we need you to learn Mandarin because it will allow you better opportunities for advancement in our nation and we wish for you to be part of us’. It is quite another to force them to abandon beliefs they have grown up with and long cherished.

You may be thinking that in another generation or two, Uyghurs will forget about their origins and embrace only Chinese values. They will not. And they will not because it has been forced.

Blacks in America will never forget that they were enslaved, bought and sold, abused, lynched and treated like chattel. They will take advantage of what opportunities are opened, but they will never forget having had their growth stunted, generation upon generation.

Uyghurs won’t either.

So learn from us. Don’t make the same mistake we’ve made. Change course and woo the Uyghurs into your society, not force them.

The way you have chosen to treat Uyghurs derives from the power your government has amassed and from the lack of resistance of your people. You have chosen such actions because Chinese have lacked the free speech that could have brought you to your senses.

By depriving yourself of the dissenting opinions of other Chinese, you miss out on the creative solutions they may have offered.

You do not own the truth. Neither you nor your politburo nor the Chinese Communist Party. Solutions need to be agreed to by the majority of the people of a nation because they have to live with them. Allowing them to have a say in the nation’s choices is essential for the emotional and intellectual integration necessary for the healthy civic growth of a country.

Should you persist in your present course of forcibly reeducating Uyghurs, China will live to regret it. Power unchecked by dissent or free speech leads to abuse that is never forgotten and instead festers like an infected wound.

Will America ever conquer racism? I believe it will. In fact, we have no real choice. Should we not conquer racism we will be unable to compete effectively with you.

Americans understand the challenge you represent and we will rise to it.



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Xi Jinping Replies to Elsa (7) Our Model vs Yours

Dear Elsa,

There are many advantages to democracy and I am glad you in America are satisfied with it.

We in China like what we have and see no reason to change it.

In years past many of our citizens left to study abroad and some did not return. But now, seeing the clear progress our nation has made under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, more and more are starting to come back. They are not under any pressure to return. They do so because they want to be part of one of the greatest experiments in social, political and economic organization the world has ever seen.

Nowhere, ever, has a project of this scale been tried out and because of it, Chinese feel very proud.

In a very short period, historically speaking, we have transformed our vast nation. We have become a power in science and industry, and soon will become the leading economy of the world.

There is no stopping us.

How can you argue with this kind of success?

If the great majority of people were not happy they would not be working hard. Sure, there are some dissatisfied too. There will always be those.

Is there corruption? Yes. But if you are caught you are punished severely, not just given a slap in the hand like in America.

One of the most important steps forward for the Communist Party was the recognition that money is a wonderful incentive. In the earliest periods of social organization under the rule of the Communist Party, money was criticized. But that has changed radically.

Now anyone with good ideas can make good money in China, so long as they play by the rules we set. We do have capital controls, for instance, so we let you take some of the money out of the country but not all, for we need it to run the nation.

Anyone can build a great company in our land, but they will have to allow for supervision by members of the government. This makes for discipline and helps avoid excesses.

People with money in our country cannot simply decide one day that they want to run for president. That will not happen in China.

But it can happen in America. And Elsa, that is not good.

To be part of the governing body in our land you have to have been educated as a party member and have spent a lifetime serving the people. You cannot, like Mr Trump, decide one day that you want to be president, just because you were bored building hotels.

In your country money buys the elections. If you do not have money then you cannot pay for advertising and the people will laugh at you. It doesn’t matter how competent a person you may be, people will say, ‘show me the money!’. Do Americans not have firm convictions of their own that they have to go by what advertisers tell them?

And it is that same money that opens doors for people to make deals so they can turn around and have even more money.

So what happens to the average person? They get left out. They are not heard. Sure, the politicians go around shaking hands and asking questions and kissing babies, but in the end it is the people with money who influence the big decisions. The rest is a good show.

There is another more problematic side to democracy. People have trouble getting along.

In your congress, for instance, one half thinks the other half does not know what they are talking about.

And after more than two centuries as a nation you have yet to solve the racial problem. What does that tell you about democracy? All those years and you could not come to the table and acknowledge that Blacks are just like Whites. (We can discuss the Uighur problem another time).

Elsa, China is the future. Our political system is the future. And we Chinese designed it.

America is in decline. How else can you understand the lack of a coordinated effort in handling the coronavirus, the assault on the capitol, the continued bitterness between brothers and sisters.

Politics is a sport in America and much energy is wasted because of it. Not in China. And because of it we will surpass you.

It is sad to see your fast decline. You still have a few decades left but, unless there is a miracle, I do not see your citizens ever uniting. They do not want to. Texans believe that your God looks on them more favorably than on Californians, and vice versa.

Elsa, the world is now looking to us as we shine a bright light on the path to follow.

If you have not visited our great land, please do so and witness history in the making.


Xi Jinping


People’s Republic of China

Founded Oct 1, 1949

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Elsa and Xi Jinping (6) Intellectual Property

Dear Xi:

I would like to return to the topic of the theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, a matter of great concern for all of us.

I did not find your answer to be satisfactory (letter of January 16th/2021). You said that all Chinese people know that such appropriation is justified, as the price foreigners have to pay for the privilege of doing business in China and having access to its superb labor force and vast markets.

I disagree.

You could have said to foreign companies, ‘our growing nation needs to build technology expertise to prepare for our future. In exchange for granting you full access to our markets for 5 years, we would like for you to allow us the use of your knowledge at no cost for a subsequent 5 year period, after which we would enter into an agreement where we would pay you a percentage of the average cost of your licensing fee.’

And maybe that amount could have been deferred for a length of time, to be payable for instance when China reached a certain GDP per person.

I can see how there would have been political pressures from within not to enter into such agreement, given your development needs. But don’t you think that being open to some form of payment, even if deferred, would have sent and could still send a signal to the world that your country was willing to play by the rules?

The observance of rules is key to mutual respect among individuals, groups and nations.

Intellectual property rights act as powerful incentives to creativity. They must be preserved.

And here I must return to your censoring of speech.

When speech is censored, there are fewer voices and ideas in the public arena. Nations are poorer, not richer for the lack of free speech.

Free speech does not hinder but increases the economic, industrial, military and civic growth of a nation, while helping to keep a proper balance between all areas of development.

If you had free speech, the question of paying or paying under certain terms for the use of intellectual rights could have been openly discussed and a different approach found.

So long as mutual respect is observed, there is no reason for free speech to be impeded. The task of enlightened government, through its laws, becomes one of ensuring that mutual respect is observed at all times.

You say that every person wants to be king. Maybe. But say it were true, still, as people evolve, they must learn the value of limits and realize that others have abilities, beliefs, property that they don’t have, and that to acknowledge such difference is essential to personal growth and satisfaction.

Your fear of free speech interfering with the growth of China is misplaced. Discipline is essential, but discipline can be had without censoring free speech.

The good news is that there is still time to make necessary corrections.

And doing so will be telling the world that China is here to be all that it can be, certain in the knowledge that the strength and creativity of their people assures them a bright future.

Best to you



Let not the past hold us back, let it not torture us, but instead serve as marker of how far we’ve come. Keep moving forward.

Xi Replies to Elsa (5) Democracy Is Not Good For China

Dear Elsa:

I, too, am very pleased to see your country elect a new president. I think Mr Biden and I will get along.

You speak of the power of renewal. You are right in this. Renewal for us means providing the conditions so that every person can change their lives.

Because we are such a large nation – more than 1.4 billion people – our projects for renewal require massive amounts of investment, planning and a strong commitment to make sure they are completed on time.

The People’s Republic of China is doing this and the Chinese people see that it is being done. They see the roads being built and the new homes go up. They drink better water because of the aqueducts. They can go to the doctor because of the health clinics. They see themselves advance because of the schools and universities. They can play sports because of the fields and stadiums we have built. They can fly to see relatives because of the airports. They can travel on the ground with speed because of our bullet trains. It is a huge project to bring modern facilities to our citizens but we are doing it. The government is doing it.

We have come such a long way in such a short time.

You speak of democracy. I am not against it. I think it is a wonderful concept. We would all like to express our feelings and thoughts. But as Mr Biden himself said at the inauguration, democracy is fragile. Just two weeks before, a mob broke into congress intending to strip him of his victory. The electoral ballots could have been destroyed. And it happened as the television cameras rolled.

Democracy is too fragile for China at this stage of our development.

We cannot afford to derail the great project of providing the infrastructure the country needs.

We cannot afford some charismatic person who decides they want to be king, to set about distracting our citizens from the grand task of building China.

And what person doesn’t want to be king?

Our collective leadership, which I am so honored to guide forward, recognizes this human failing. We recognize, too, that censorship is an imposition on our people but our citizens understand it is a sacrifice that must be made for the future of China.

Otherwise there would be chaos.

Your nation has a great tradition and as Mr Biden’s election shows, you are able to change direction. But look how hard it was to elect the two senators from Georgia that you need to have a majority? If you had not had so much money pouring into that election, the Senate may have stayed Republican, and what would that have meant for the future of your nation?

Deadlock. Obstruction. Lawmakers who want to be king interfering with the growth of the country.

We Chinese do not believe our economic model is for everyone but it works for us.

Yes, there are problems and we must censor speech at this stage, but soon we will have achieved all that is needed so that every citizen has a chance to develop as much as their capabilities allow.

Our nations are different so let us have mutual respect.

The Chinese people wishes for your nation to prosper as you pursue your path while we pursue our own.

Thank you

Xi Jinping


People’s Republic of China

Founded October 1 1949

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Elsa and Xi (4) In A Democracy We Can Change Our Minds

Dear Xi:

Thank you so much for your reply. I was not expecting it.

Tomorrow is a great day for America. The nation gets to see a new president take office. We chose a different one because we disagreed with the direction Mr Trump was taking us in.

We didn’t like that he showed no inclination to bring us together as a nation. With him it was all about pleasing his supporters. But America is composed of many groups, all of which must learn to work together.

We didn’t like that he didn’t show competence in handling the pandemic.

We didn’t like that he tended to dismiss our longstanding allies, underestimating the work that had been patiently done over many decades.

We didn’t like that he got us out of the Paris Accord on climate change when the entire world is making efforts to stem global warming.

We didn’t like the way he was addressing our racial issues.

Xi, we could remove Mr Trump, because we have a democracy and the president is up for reelection every 4 years. And even if we liked a president, they wouldn’t be able to serve more than two terms.

Why do we do this? Because we know that human beings are fallible, all of us, and renewal is essential to our survival.

So, even if the Chinese like you a lot, they should have a right to hear other viewpoints and decide if you are the person to continue leading them forward.

There are so many examples of human beings’ propensity to think they own the truth. But truth about anything is hard to own. The search for it takes time and we must be open to hear other opinions.  

Science teaches us a great deal about this. To explain natural phenomena, scientists first come up with a theory. Then people set out to prove it. So long as research shows support for the theory then it is valid, but the moment new evidence is produced that disproves the theory, then the theory can no longer be supported and scientists have to come up with another one.

Science teaches us, then, that living with doubt is essential and so is the working to resolve it.

In a democracy, we can change our minds. In a democracy we accept that mistakes are part of growth and that we can rectify them.

This is why I was so disturbed when you decided to eliminate the limits on your presidency.

I understand that China has suffered from many invasions by foreign powers and that the Chinese people wish to affirm themselves in the world, but why should freedom of expression be sacrificed?

Just like inventions come up that help us do things better and more efficiently, so too with leaders. Others will come up who have a better idea to lead us forward.

To let the process work, we need freedom of speech. When speech is censored, those imposing the restriction are saying they are afraid of free thought and will use whatever force at their disposal to suppress it.

But that blocks the forward path of the nation.

Are you so afraid of what your people will think or say that you have to censor them?

To censor speech is to do to a mind what locking a child in a box will do to stunt their growth. The child will not have a chance to grow and when he or she is let out of the box their bodies will be deformed. It wasn’t so long ago, that some women in China had their feet bound to prevent their growth.

There is no justification to censor speech in a nation with the abundance of talent and creativity that China has. To do so is to stunt its development. To do is to deprive not only China of its possibilities, but the world’s as well.

Xi, you are now a respected leader. You have helped lead a nation to economic and military might. But the nation’s civic growth is just as important if it is to achieve a proper balance.

I am sure Confucius would agree.

The good news is that you can still change direction. We will all be most grateful. And in the eyes of the world you will have a very special place.

I look forward to hearing from you again,

Very best to you,


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