Tagged: China

The Happiness of Fish

The “happiness of fish” refers to a story in the Zhuangzhi, which is a Chinese book (c. 286 BCE), and one of the foundational texts of Taoism. The story consists of a dialog between Chuang Tzu and Hui Tzu, Most of the Zhuangzi passages portray Hui Tzu (or Hui Shi) as a rival of Zhuangzi. Hui Shi acts as an intellectual opponent –  he argues the alternative viewpoint, or criticizes the Taoist perspective, and his arguments are often laced with humor. The following famous story of the Zhuang-Hui dialogues concerns the subjectivity of happiness, and whether we can know anything about other...

Chai Jing: Under the Dome

China’s economy has grown around 9 to 10 percent for the last 20 years. One of the side-effects of this economic miracle is extreme environmental damage: Pollution in China is by now legendary, but the full picture is still emerging. On March 2nd, Chai Jing, a Chinese journalist and writer, released a documentary about air pollution that she produced herself “Under the Dome”. By March 3rd, 2015, the film had been viewed more than 150 million times in China, and sparked widespread discussions. On March 7, the film was blocked on Chinese websites. The Chinese government was consulted during the production...

Ancient Chinese Proverbs

The proverbs of China form an embodied philosophy; they transmit a common-sense approach to life mixed with a deep sense of humor, and compassion for failure. The origins of most these sayings and quotes are lost in the mists of time; some appear to be related to comments by Confucius and other ancient sages. Some also appear elsewhere, for instance in the Zen sayings from Japan. You can fond many sources of Chinese proverbs; Amazon has many books dedicated to Chinese proverbs. Here is a small collection: A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because...

China: Charter 08

The Charter 08 was signed by over three hundred prominent Chinese citizens, and published in 2008. It was conceived and written in admiration of the 1977 Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. The Chinese document calls not for reform of the current political system, but for an end to it. It wants to abolish one-party rule, and replace it with a system based on human rights and democracy. The publication day, December 10, 2008, was selected because it is the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948. The Declaration is reflected in the Charter because it outlines the vision of a...

China, India, and the United States: A Comparison

Why does the United States need urgent economic and political reform? An economic comparison between China, India, and the US reveals the stagnation of the US economy since 2000. The US has engaged in two useless and wasteful wars, and has failed to invest in infrastructure, education, research, health care, etc.The Obama Government is bogged down in a political stalemate with the Republicans, who lost the last two Presidential elections by relatively wide margins. Nevertheless, Republicans use a constitutional system of checks and balances, which was meant to protect political minorities and foster compromise, in order to block many Government...

China

China is one of the most dynamic and interesting countries today; it’s emerging power will shape the 21st century. Here are some facts about the country that I find useful to understand it better. Population China is the largest country in the world with 1,349,585,838 people, (July 2013 estimate), or roughly 1.35 billion people. By comparison, India has 1.22 billion people, but is slowly overtaking China, because of a higher birth rate. The whole continent of Africa has 1.11 billion people in 2013, but China has a population density that is almost 4 times as high as Africa. Life expectancy...

Chinese Dynasties

I learned almost nothing about Chinese history when I went to school in Germany. In our times, it is really important to learn global history, and not just the history of our own countries or continents. The following short overview of Chinese dynasties is a frame for understanding at least the outline of Chinese history. Here are the dynasties in chronological order: Zhou, Qin, Han, Tang, Song, Lio, Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing. Zhou (770-240BC) is an era of constant warfare and power struggles. Confucius and Lao-tzu (creator of Daoism) are born during this period. Their writings have an enormous impact...