Book Review: HENRY KISSINGER: ON CHINA
First published in 2011 by The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
DOES HENRY REALLY UNDERSTAND CHINESE?
In a few days, it will be June 4 and the 24th Anniversary of Tienanmen. In a week, the new Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with President Barack Obama for
the first time in California to discuss security issues. This is also the year of the 90th birthday of Henry Alfred Kissinger. It is a propitious time to review the Nobel
Peace Prize Laureate's latest book, "ON CHINA." Dr. Henry Kissinger is a teacher, as well as, a practitioner extraordinaire of Realpolitik - in the footsteps of
Machiavelli, Richelieu, Bismark, and his contemporary, President Richard M. Nixon.
In his book, Dr. Kissinger turns his attention from Europe and gazes further eastward towards China. Given global realities, he could have focused directly on China by
going westward, since he writes from the American national interest. The United States of America entered the world stage in the name of democracy by exerting
power across the Atlantic Ocean but presently, prominence must also be exerted across the Pacific. This geopolitical reality is almost unique to the United States and
may be readily inferred from the book.
It is through his analysis of the balance of power in Europe that Dr. Kissinger made his mark as a scholar, but he is indebted to China for his renown as a statesman.
But does Henry really understand Chinese? Let us explore this further.
Dr. Kissinger opens his book by calling China a "Singularity," noting that China is the only ancient civilization that does not have a founding myth, a story of how a
people began. Reading the first few pages, one is beguiled into thinking that Dr. Kissinger's interest in writing about China is sublimely philosophical, even
theological. This is furthest from the truth because it quickly becomes obvious that his interest firmly lies in the practical aspects of a cooperative Sino-American
relationship, notwithstanding the deep cultural and ideological divides that bedevil the liaison.
Quickly, Kissinger launches into an analysis of the ancient Chinese game of wei qi (better known in the West as "go") and the perceptive reader can grasp that he also
has on his mind the American game of "containment" (à la George Kennan). On matters of Chinese antiquity, Kissinger has the audacity to place Sun Tzu on an equal
plane with Confucius, this being sure to raise some Chinese eyebrows. I count him as quoting Sun Tzu on War more often than Confucius on Ethics (whom he
merely mentions), perhaps revealing that Kissinger knows that Sino-American relations have been strained by war, such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars (where US
troops engaged Chinese).
This takes us to the purpose of Dr. Kissinger's book - how to continue mutually beneficial and peaceful relations between two superpowers. Dr. Kissinger waxes
nostalgic about Triangular Diplomacy (USA-USSR-China) and his pivotal but then secret role in setting up the Nixon-Mao meeting in China in 1972 and the Shanghai
Communiqué. He shares, somewhat but not quite all pedagogically, key details of his various intimate conversations with Chinese leaders such as Chairman Mao,
Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaopeng (dubbed "The Indestructible Deng"), Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. These colorful dialogues which transpired over many decades, span
humorously earthy quips (e.g. "touching the tiger's buttocks"), fearsome saber-rattling, and other calculated tantrums (e.g. Mao's diatribes on his lack of fear of atomic
weapons when China still was without the Bomb) - all of which promise to be a good hearty read. Kissinger in his polished fashion is gentle, even generous in
describing friend and foe, domestic or foreign; when necessary he resorts to adjectives such as "prolix" and "mordant."
None can write a book on modern China without coming to grips with the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. Dr. Kissinger's account has drawn criticism from many
quarters, The penchant of the former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State for secrecy is legendary. His perceived disdain for imposing democracy and
the knee-jerk advancement of human rights (such as the little triangle between China-Vietnam-Khmer Rouge) have also earned him many critics.
The New York Times has noted that "the severest test of the quasi alliance, of course, was the brutal suppression of democratic strivings in Tiananmen Square in
1989," and "that violent crackdown also tested Kissinger’s tolerance for the assertion of American values in foreign relations." In his defense, it must be said that
Kissinger, at all times, gives priority to the perpetuation of cooperation between China and the USA. His highest values, perhaps as a result of infantry combat
experience during the Allied advance on Berlin and subsequent civilian work for nuclear arms control during the Cold War, are found ultimately in the effort to avoid
tensions that may precipitate war.
Kissinger must be somberly read in all the chapters for anyone to come to any conclusion on this complex balancing of values, but perhaps this quote from the book
can get the inquiry started: “The best outcome in the American debate would be to combine the two approaches: for the idealists to recognize that principles need to be
implemented over time and hence must be occasionally adjusted to circumstance; and for the ‘realists’ to accept that values have their own reality and must be built
into operational policies.”
Dr. Kissinger closes his tome with that well worn Question, "Does History Repeat Itself?" Well versed in the peace protocols attempted at Westphalia onwards to
Yalta (-Potsdam), he seeks to extend the lessons of 20th century Europe, including a presentation of the Eyre Crowe Memorandum on pre-World War I Germany to
interactions with China in the 21st. China now as the newest superpower will more and more bring her understanding of "Bringing Peace Under Heaven" (平天下 -
ping tian xia) to bear on affairs of the world. So, we come full circle to that first question - does Henry really understand Chinese?
This question has fascinated me for a while. Even after reading "On China" a few times over, it is not very apparent or clear that Henry does understand Chinese. All
the salient conversations he recounts in the book were conducted through English-Chinese interpreters. He never incorporated Chinese script in his book. In the
Preface, he acknowledged that the lawyer Schuyler Schouten assisted with translations of Chinese documents. Nonetheless, it will not surprise me that over the years
Dr. Kissinger indeed has mastered a working command of a difficult language, but in the best traditions of the land of Crouching Tigers and Hidden Dragons, he has,
perhaps out of modesty, or more likely, pragmatism, never professed his competence.1
1 Unlike President Jiang Zemin, who according to Kissinger, "with non-Chinese visitors, ...
regularly incorporated English or Russian or even Romanian expressions into his presentations
to emphasize a point - shifting without warning between a rich sense of Chinese classical
idioms and such American colloquialisms as 'it takes two to tango.'"
|NEWS UPDATE: On 04/17/2006, Mr. Lamar Taylor pled guilty to all 3 counts of aggravated robbery
with a firearm in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. He and Mr. Desuan Terell will each
be sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in the courtroom of Judge Steven Martin on 04/28/2006 at
9:00am. In addition, on 04/18, Detective Jim Ohl from Springfield Township presented evidence
to the Butler County Grand Jury for the crimes committed in that County.
A Show of Donna Salyer's Fabulous Furs - The World's Finest Faux Furs
Wrapped up an exciting 18th Annual Kentucky International Trade Conference
Charleston C. K. Wang
|Detectives from Springfield Township Police meet with the
Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce to review
arrests of robbers of Asian American restaurants.
|THE NEXT FACE OF CHINA
An Opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang
During the last decade, China astounded the world with an annual economic growth rate of around 10%.
Presently, China is abundantly supplying the world with a cornucopia of affordable goods. This trade has
created an emerging Chinese capitalistic class, and also fueled an expanding demand within China for
raw materials, including oil. Economic prosperity has reignited a national pride that China yearns to
showcase in the Summer Games. However, China is also straddled with internal conflicts, the most
currently visible being the Question of Tibet.
Can a totalitarian, godless state under the hegemony of the communist party withstand the aligned wills of
the ancient gods of Mt. Olympus and those of the Himalayas with its peak at Mt. Qomolangma? This
question must be on the minds of U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and his Chinese hosts as
they met once again for Strategic Economic Dialogue during the first week of April. While Mr. Paulson
must be most concerned about stimulating economic growth for America in the face of cyclical recession,
the political conundrum of Tibet is ever present.
At this juncture of the fates, I see the need for continued vigil - the emergence of China as a 21st century
economic superpower raises the inseparable question of what will be the next political face of China?
From the beginning Karl Marx proclaimed a fundamental contradiction between capitalism and communism,
an ideology now discredited by most nations. There appears an inevitable certainty that China’s political
system must change to keep pace with her burgeoning capitalistic base. Under the light of 20th century
experience, especially from a western perspective, it may seem that China has two options from which to
choose (1) Democracy, or (2) Fascism.
Clearly, it is in the national interest of the United States to continue to engage China economically,
politically, and along all other facets. Through determined dialogue and astute economic incentive,
America should continue to promote the virtues of democracy and demonstrate its suitability for sustained
economic well-being. Only time will reveal the next face of China. Perhaps, as China is a cradle of
ancient enlightenment well before the Renaissance of the west, the Chinese can reveal to the world yet
another political theory that the World will call good. A version of this article was published as a Global
Outlook in the Cincinnati Business Courier on May 9, 2008.
WALKS THE WALK
ON THE GREAT WALL
The last thing that President Barack Obama did during his first visit to China was to take a
solitary stroll on the ramparts of the Great Wall of China. During those precious quiet
minutes alone, what thoughts could have crossed his mind?
Earlier, many hefty issues were raised with Hu Jintao, President of China and General
Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Trade and currency, censorship, human rights,
global warning, military cooperation, – these and others were broached and none
conclusively resolved. Our President must have sensed a more muscular China, flexing
and pushing harder against a United States still struggling at home with high unemployment
and a high federal deficit.
Could his mind’s eye wander back to that oversized portrait of Mao ZeDong still framing Tian
An Men? If he did, he must have recalled the most famous, indeed, infamous of dicta of
China’s Great Dictator – “Political Power Grows Out of the Barrel of the Gun.” If he did, he
could have taken genuine comfort and even inspiration knowing that by his initiative and
display of humility, he has taken great steps towards disarming the dead hand of the
When two mighty nuclear armed nations engage in dialogue, however chilly and seemingly
unproductive, they are unlikely to resort to armed conflict, however great the differences.
And the dialogue must and will continue.
Did Obama think of another wall of recent memory – the Berlin Wall? If he did, he must have
recalled the clarion challenge issued by President Ronald Reagan: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear
down this wall.” If he did, our President must have smiled to himself and said very quietly
“Mr. Hu, I shall be back.”
And the World will be a better place for it.
An Opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang, November 23, 2009
|Photo above: On 5/15/2006, members of Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce and
other community leaders gave a warm welcome to the Ambassador of China, His Excellency and
Mrs. Zhou (seated 3rd and 2nd from right). Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong was in town on a
mission to promote trade and investment. After meeting with the GCCCC, the Chinese delegation
will tour Procter & Gamble, General Electric in Evendale, and will meet with Governor Bob Taft in
Columbus. Venue for this event was made available through the courtesy of the Regional
Chamber. The Board of the GCCCC voted last week to become a joint organizational member of
the Regional Chamber and GCCCC members can enjoy all the privileges and benefits of the
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber for one low price. For more information on joining the GCCCC
and for latest on business news and happenings with China, click here.
|Fact Sheet On the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialog
This week U. S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen and his team are meeting with a
delegation headed by Chines Vice Premier Wu on the second round of Strategic
Economic Dialogue. This high powered meeting between two economic giants is
based on an agreement between President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao
that reflects the growing relationship between the U.S. and Chinese economies.
The intent is to engage in discussions at the highest levels of government which will
provide an overarching framework for ongoing productive bilateral economic
dialogues and future economic relations. The top level meetings will address
long-term strategic issues, as well as provide coordination among the specialized continuing dialogues. The
Strategic Economic Dialogue will also be a forum for discussing ways the United States and China can work
together to address economic challenges and opportunities as responsible stake-holders in the international
The essential goal of this dialogue is to ensure that the benefits of our growing economic relationship with China
are fairly shared by citizens of both countries.
The Strategic Economic Dialogue will convene semi-annually in the United States and China, with the first
meeting occurring before the end of 2006. Each of the two Presidents will strongly support and take an active
role in the strategic economic dialogue. President Bush has designated Secretary of the Treasury Henry M.
Paulson to lead the U.S. side of the dialogue. National Economic Adviser Al Hubbard and other members of the
President's Cabinet will join Secretary Paulson. Additional U.S. agencies will include Commerce, U.S. Trade
Representative, State, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy and others.
Deborah Lehr will serve as Special Envoy to the Strategic Economic Dialogue to ensure it receives the attention
and continuity necessary to produce meaningful results. President Hu has designated Vice Premier Wu Yi to lead
the Chinese side of the dialogue. In that role, she has been given full decision making authority across all aspects
of the Chinese economy. To demonstrate the importance of the Dialogue, the Chinese government has created
its largest and the highest ranking inter-ministerial working group which Vice Premier Wu Yi will chair, supported
by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Finance Minister Jin Renqing, and Deputy Secretary General of the State
Council Xu Shaoshi, as well as the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Health, and Information Industries, the
various financial regulators, the National Development and Reform Commission, the People's Bank of China and
The Strategic Economic Dialogue will help to ensure leaders of the two countries can address critical economic
challenges facing their economies, have a forum for discussing cross-cutting issues, and can make the most
productive use of the existing bilateral commissions and dialogues. Likely themes of the discussions will include:
building innovative societies, seizing the opportunities of global economic integration to assure sustained growth,
and the economics of energy and conservation. The United States will also support China in China's goal of
building a consumer-driven economy rooted in open markets. The intent of this dialogue is to discuss long-term
strategic challenges, rather than seeking immediate solutions to the issues of the day.
The discussion of long-term structural issues in the Strategic Economic Dialogue will provide a stronger
foundation for pursuing concrete results through existing bilateral economic dialogues and ensuring citizens of
both countries benefit fairly from the growing bilateral economic relationship. The new strategic dialogue will
provide support and guidance for these existing bilateral economic forums, which will remain essential to
managing specialized aspects of the interdependent U.S.-China economic relationship. These high level
discussions will enhance, not diminish these existing forums. Bilateral issues will continue to receive full
attention, including pressing China for floating exchange rates, greater intellectual property rights, and increasing
market access. This Fact Sheet is courtesy of the U.S. Treasury and more information may be obtained at
An Independent Source of News & Views
|Current U. S. Eastern Time:
|Those who would give up
Essential Liberty to
purchase a little Temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety -
Benjamin Franklin (1759).
|Photo below shows Mr. Chao Wang, Assistant Minister of Commerce of China with Ellen van der
Horst, President of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Mark Mallory of the
City of Cincinnati and Commissioner David Pepper of the County of Hamilton, Ohio on 05/14/2007.
|Photo below: Chris Bortz, a Member of Cincinnati
City Council, Charlie Zhao, President GCCCC, &
Jim Raussen, Ohio State Representative at the
|Photo below: Chinese dignitaries are entertained by Greg Irwin, Finger Fitness Expert who
demonstrated an amazing variety of Chinese juggling and hand tricks. Greg also explains and
amuses with his Chinese language.
|Photo below: Mr. Lee Wong, a Trustee of West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio, addresses
the dinner guests, he being the singular elected official whose speech was made in Mandarin
Chinese. Mr. Wong encourages investment and development in West Chester which is a thriving
suburban township of 35 square miles with a diverse population of 59,000 and boasting a well
balanced mix of residential and commercial development.
|Photo below: Mr. James Zhang, Dinner Chair
opens the dinner by expressing his welcome
of the Chinese dignitaries and American
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
|Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce
Welcomes Ambassador & Mrs. Zhou to the Queen City
Chinese Sculptor Lei Yixin To Create
National Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument
Lei Yixin, an artist from Changsha, Hunan, China who has
received the designation of Master Sculptor, will complete
two sculptures at the National King Memorial: “Mountain of
Despair,” consisting of two columns at the entrance, and
“Stone of Hope,” which contains a 28 foot likeness of
Dr. King. Earlier this year Mr. Lei was awarded the
contract by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial
Project Foundation, Inc., the organization charged with
completingthe $100 million project on the National Mall
located in Washington, D.C. Shown in photo, courtesy
of Mr. Lei Yixin, is the artist with a clay prototype.
The awarding of the contract, while being celebrated in China, has drawn a mixed
reaction in the United States. Jesse Jackson has asked that the project be made a
joint venture with other American artists, amidst protests by artists who argue that an
African American or any American sculptor should have been selected for this
celebrity project. Among the protesters is Ed Dwight, a former advisor to the King
Memorial Project and himself an accomplished sculptor who has completed 7 King
memorials, who claim that the award was made in the hope of attracting a $25 million
gift from the Chinese Government, an allegation denied by the Foundation. Some
Asian Americans have objected for the reason that China does not follow the ideals of
Dr. King. Harry E. Johnson Sr., president of the Foundation reported that $82 million
of the $100 budget had been raised and that Mr. Lei will be collaborating closely with
Jon Onye Lockard and Ed Hamilton, both of whom are African American.
Beginning with ceremonial ground-breaking on 11/13/2006, the King Memorial when
completed in 2008, will cover 4 acres next to the Tidal Basin. The King sculpture will
stand in visual line between the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King made his "I Have a
Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 8/28/1963, and
with the Jefferson Memorial.
|A Show of Donna Salyer's Fabulous Furs -
The World's Finest Faux Furs
Wrapped up an exciting 18th Annual
Kentucky International Trade Conference
|Taiwan, China & Cincinnati USA:
A Commentary on
Things to Come in 2008
An Opinion by Charleston C K Wang, 1/12/2008
Yesterday, the people of Taiwan cast their votes for a new legislature and gave the opposition National Party
(aka Kuomintang) a landslide victory (KMT 81 seats, Democratic Progressive Party 27 seats, Others 5 seats).
Facing this debacle, President Chen Sui-Bian promptly announced his resignation as DPP chairman. Democracy
again appears to be flourishing in Taiwan. The presidential election in Taiwan is scheduled for March 1 and I
hope for another peaceful reaffirmation of the democratic process. For you see, democracy should suit not
only the West, but Asia as well.
In the meantime, China is feverishly putting on the final touches for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games scheduled
to begin on August 8, 2008. By this world event, Beijing intends to showcase China as a world power in
sports, economics, and whatever else that makes a Nation such. As a state under the solid tutelage of a
single political party, much can be completed in the shortest time towards a national objective, in this case the
hosting of tourists and sports enthusiasts from all corners of the Earth. True to the original spirit of the ancient
Greeks who "invented" the Games as well as democracy, sports shall replace war, at least for the duration of
the gathering under the Sanctuary of Zeus.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, certain lawmakers in Congress have declared their intention to use the limelight of
the Olympics to focus attention on their various grievances against Beijing. For example, Rep. Chris Smith, (R-
N.J.) urged in an interview, "The Chinese want this ‘Show’ - with a capital ‘S’ - to showcase their government
to the world. Congress should use that as leverage to ‘bring maximum scrutiny and light to their egregious
human rights abuses.’" Global politics once again will scramble to bask under the glory of sports.
Meanwhile, back in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the end of December, 2007, the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber
of Commerce completed an election for a new Board of Trustees. 17 volunteers were elected to the Board
with a vote count ranging from a low of 11 to a high of 16 votes cast. The ballot permitted the caster to vote for
1 or all 17 of the candidates. Never mind the small number of voters, it was a good start - a small but nice
tribute to the democratic process. The volunteers deserve our congratulations and the previous individuals
who gave of their time and effort, our thanks.
Given the global issues that are looming across the Pacific, just three of which are mentioned above, 2008
promises to be an interesting year for the Chinese Chamber. The US will feel the push from China and China
will also be discomfited by movements in Taiwan and further west, from the USA. Cincinnati, despite that
immortal quip of Mark Twain about our inability to sense the end of the world, surely will also feel every bulge
and surge. Global love-hate pressures surely will be felt locally and in all directions. The Chinese Chamber
must develop the vision to see what the future portends and maintain the wherewithal to turn the forces of
challenge into showcases of opportunity. That famous adage, “Think Global and Act Local” is entirely
The leadership of the Chinese Chamber must first think and then rise above personal self interest and pursue
broad action for the common good. This means the provision of value to its membership, and the advance of
the Chinese American community, and the community-at-large. And all in fair and commendable proportions. A
conscientious effort must be made to avoid even appearances of favoritism and conflict-of-interest, maintain
budgetary discipline, and provide transparency. Because of global forces from without and narrow forces
from within, the pressure for discord is ever present but so are the opportunities to do good. I will observe and
report back to you on these fronts as 2008 unfolds. WANGNEWS
|ANNE PU, PUBLISHER OF ERIE CHINESE JOURNAL VISITS
GREATER CINCINNATI CHINESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
|GREATER CINCINNATI CHINESE CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE LUNAR NEW YEAR GALA
|Playing with Ghosts of the Asian Holocaust
On June 7, 2007, former Taiwanese President, Lee Teng-hui,
while in Japan,visited the Yasukuni war shrine and prayed in
its inner hall because his brother is listed in the Shinto Book
of Souls kept there. As Taiwan was under Japanese
occupation from 1895 to 1945, his brother served with the
Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II, was killed on
duty during February 1945 in the Philippines, and is enshrined at Yasukuni.
In televised comments, Mr. Lee proclaimed that it was a private affair and asked that his
appearance at Yasukuni not be linked with either politics or history. But the fact is that he is a
former President of the Republic of China and his politics radically favors an independent
Taiwan, separate and distinct from China. In this respect, he will always have his supporters
Leaving politics aside, there is the greater issue of closing our eyes to history. Beginning in the
late 19th century and culminating in defeat in 1945, Japanese imperialism had caused the
deaths of tens of millions of civilians and prisoners-of-war throughout Asia with such brutality
that these acts are referred to as the Asian Holocaust, or more charitably, Japanese war
atrocities. Thousands of those who had played key roles in the atrocities were tried and
convicted by Allied war crime tribunals.
During the Second World War, Japan was one the Axis powers whose dream of a Fascist new
world order cast a dark shadow on humanity across the face of the globe. Their ignominy is an
indelible part of modern history. The fact is that while memory of such war crimes in China is
particularly bitter (19 million died in the war), atrocities were committed in Asia and the Pacific
islands wherever the Japanese military invaded and attempted to secure its conquest. The
victims were civilians and military personnel from all over the world. This infamy has caused
Japanese politicians to eschew Yasukuni which honors 1068 war criminals of World War II,
including 12 top convicts, along with 2.5 million other Japanese war dead. Those Japanese
politicians who do visit a memorial tainted with a Fascist legacy are regularly castigated by
pubic opinion within their own country and certainly by those in the world who remember.
So why would Mr. Lee make such a gesture that many Japanese politicians would think twice of
doing? His core motive shall remain known only to himself and to the ghosts of war. The
objections of the living can be objectively stated. Mr. Lee at Yasukuni is an affront to the
memory of the victims of the Asian Holocaust. Mr. Lee’s presence at Yasukuni is an affront to
all humanity who have lost family and friends to the atrocities of that sad period of our history,
atrocities which all good people should remember in order they are never again repeated.
If Mr. Lee’s true intention is to pay filial respect to his elder brother, in lieu of bowing, praying,
and making other obeisance in a foreign shrine, would it not be more fitting for the former head-
of-state to request his brother’s symbolic re-interment to a private family resting place in the
land where he was born and which Mr. Lee loves so dearly, Taiwan? An Opinion by
Charleston C. K. Wang, 6/20/07
|CHINESE NEW YEAR
Click on Photo
|MAYOR MARK MALLORY WELCOMES
ERIE CHINESE JOURNAL TO CINCINNATI
|Photocredit: Charleston C. K. Wang
|Ke Ming Playing the Pipa
at China Earthquake Relief
Fundraising Show 5/24/08
|ONE DAY IN JUNE, TWENTY YEARS AGO
|Photo on left: On 4/6/2009, Charleston Wang presented a
lecture at the College of Business Administration of Miami
University in Oxford, Ohio. The presentation entitled
CONFUCIUS: The Key to Doing Business in the Pacific Rim in
the 21st Century was given by invitation for students who
will be going on travel-study program to China this
summer. A summary of the lecture material may be
downloaded free by clicking here.
|The agony of a changing China
|A CURE FOR
THE AMERICAN MALAISE
Thanks to all the election finger-pointing and blame-casting at a time when national
unemployment hovers around double digits, a realization dawned on me, one that I thought
best shared after the New Congress are back in business. As a nation, we are infected with a
creeping disease that forebodes more agony unless we confront it for what it is. The malaise
is our addiction to debt. Debt is debilitating us collectively as cities, counties, states, and the
federal government are unable to balance their budgets.
Surely, all this is nothing new to me and to you. The extra realization is that the addiction to
debt does not begin with our governments. It all starts at the personal level because it is the
addiction to individual over-borrowing that contributed to the subprime mortgage banking
crisis which in turn precipitated the last economic recession. This in turn led to worsening
deficits in the budgets of all levels of government. We are so inured to the addiction of debt,
that few politicians have been willing to even discuss the cure. To reduce a deficit,
according to conventional wisdom, one must cut spending or increase income. For the
public sector, increasing income means to increase taxes.
The problem is even more severe as its tentacles reach beyond our national border. We
have run up a chronic deficit in our balance of trade, particularly with China. China thus
holds a surplus of dollars which that creditor nation uses to buy our treasury paper which
accounts for the imbalance in our federal budget. As of June 1, 2010, China (excluding Hong
Kong) owned $868 billion in U.S. Treasuries which is 21% of a total $4.2 trillion held by foreign
nations, making it the largest lender to the U.S. Government.
Our domestic deficits are exacerbated by our internationalized national debt. When an
individual defaults on his or her mortgage payment, the banker has recourse by foreclosing
on the house and forcibly selling it to recover the loan. When our government runs a deficit,
we have the political expedient of authorizing more debt, this being particularly true for the
federal government. But, what happens when a major foreign creditor nation decides to call
in its loan?
Here we enter uncharted waters. No one knows for sure what will happen and when. Will it
lead to a catastrophic loss in the buying power of the dollar, thus unleashing double digit
inflation as prices rise in the U.S.? As the U.S. defaults on her international debt, will flaring
national tempers lead to war between two superpowers? What if China experiences a burst
in its economic bubble and casts about for someone to blame for its misery?
These are some bewildering and frightening scenarios. There is however, a happier
alternative. We, as individuals, must once again and at once muster our creativity and
productivity to expand the economic base. We did it during the high-tech boom of the 1990's
and we can do it again. It means taking stock in ourselves, individually and collectively as a
nation with renewed optimism and focused purpose towards generating real value. It means
invoking the will to cure ourselves of irresponsible overspending and financial chimeras. It
means the gritty, tangible, and clever rebuilding of America. It means drawing upon our
demonstrated Yankee prowess for invention through science, technology, and innovation.
We must work harder and smarter. The cure is found not with our politicians but with each
and everyone of us as we go about our daily work. It means not mortgaging our future to
another country. And we must do this in a time of peace and never because we are in a
Charleston C K Wang 1/11/2011
References: http://www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/NPGateway
|CHARLESTON C. K. WANG, ESQ. PRESENTS MR. EVAN BROOKS, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE GREATER CINCINNATI CHINESE CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE WITH THE ORIGINAL BANNER FEATURING THE PROMOTION OF
THE BEIJING SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES 2008 "ONE WORLD-ONE DREAM."
At the Taft Museum, Cincinnati , Ohio, USA on April 14, 2014.
Mr. Wang is one of the founding members of the Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
|Ms. Jacki Jing
Master of Ceremonies
Fox 19 Morning Anchor
|Mr. Evan Brooks
|Mr. Lee Wong
West Chester Township
|CHINESE NEW YEAR 4713
OF THE SHEEP CELEBRATED WITH
THE GREATER CINCINNATI CHINESE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
AT THE HORSESHOE CASINO
THE CHINESE ARE COMING!
GCCCC Welcomes an Investment Delegation from Shandong Linyi, China.
|NATIONAL CHINESE DELEGATION OF
DISTINGUISHED DESIGNERS AND ARCHITECTS
Shown in photo below are members of the China Institute
of Interior Designers visiting the University of Cincinnati
(College Conservatory of Music Plaza)
|OHIO STATE REPRESENTATIVE JIM RAUSSEN IS JOINED BY
MEMBERS OF GREATER CINCINNATI CHINESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE &
OHIO CHINESE AMERCAN PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION IN A LUNCHEON TO
EXPLORE DYNAMIC BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN TAIWAN
|Photo above On 5/14/2007, the State of Ohio signed a Memorandum of
Understanding for trade promotion with the China Investment Promotion
Agency. In photo below is the signing as witnessed by Charlie Zhao (furthest
right) President of Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce and
Xiaojie Zavon (VP/ GCCCC on furthest left ). The Chinese Assistant Minister of
Commerce, Mr. Chao Wang stands in the center.
|TAFT MUSEUM OF ART HOSTS
CHINESE CULTURE FEST:
A delightful afternoon of art, music, food, and fun activities for all.
The Greater Cincnnati Chinese Chamber was present.
|With Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls
|"Charlie" Baisong Zhao, First Presdinet of the
Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce
|On October 25, 2006, Baisong Zhao & Charleston C. K. Wang
attended a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Luncheon
featuring Vice President Dick Cheney
Copyright 2006-2008 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq.,
|Charleston C.K.Wang with James Fallows & Dr. Tom Lun-nap Chung
at Xavier University's Presentation of "Does China Exist?" with James &
Deborah Fallows October 27, 2011
|Dr. Santa Ono, President of
the University of Cincinnati
and Keynote Speaker
|With Roxanne Qualls,
former Mayor of Cincinnati
|With Yuzhen Zhou
University of Cincinnati
Taiji Dan Bian
|GONG XI FA CAI
|STAY CALM READ WANGNEWS
|Nazly Mamedova, Esq.
Charleston C K Wang, Esq.
|Charleston C K Wang, Esq.
Nazly Mamedova, Esq.