Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Happy National Defense Education Day

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, September 18, 2010

Today (in China, obviously) is National Defense [sic] Education Day. That’s a cutesy name for what is really Stoke Up Nationalist Hatred Of Japan Day. It’s an ancient day of remembrance since 2007, and is celebrated by air-raid drills and a nationwide ringing of alarms.

It’s a good time then to take a quick look at the Senkaku Islands. China claims them to be an indisputable part of Chinese territory since ancient times (of course), but then China also says the same thing about Taiwan, Tibet, Korea, East Turkestan, Hawaii, Australia, the Arctic Ocean, and the entire South China Sea. I think it’s probably safe to say that their claim to the Senkaku Islands is based on equally substantial evidence, but for the record, let’s just take a quick look at what everyone else in the world considers to be ‘historical fact’:

The Senkaku Islands comprise five small volcanic islands and three rocky outcroppings with a total land area of just seven square kilometres. They were first discovered and mapped by Japanese explorers and finally were formally incorporated into Japanese territory in 1895. A number of surveys have been conducted on the islands, and no trace of any previous habitation or prior ownership has ever been found. Since 1895, the islands have continuously remained as an integral part of Japan’s territory.

In 1895, China and Japan also jointly signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki, in which the Emperor of China stated that: “China cedes to Japan in perpetuity and full sovereignty of the Penghu group, Taiwan and the eastern portion of the bay of Liaodong Peninsula together with all fortifications, arsenals and public property.” The Chinese now claim that the Treaty of Shimonoseki wasn’t fair, and refuse to recognise it today. They now claim that all the bits they ceded away are still theirs, regardless of the fact that they ceded them away in an internationally-recognised document. By their reckoning, therefore, the Senkaku islands are still part of China. Except, and here’s the kicker, that the Senkaku Islands were never part of the Pescadores group of islands that were ceded to Japan in the first place. As a result of this small and inconvenient truth, the Senkaku Islands were not included in the territory which Japan renounced under Article II of the 1952 Francisco Peace Treaty. They were instead placed under the administration of the United States as part of the Nansei Shoto Islands, in accordance with Article III of that treaty, with the United States later handing administrative rights back to Japan.

All this time, China made not the slightest objection to any of this. In fact, China had nothing at all to say on the entire subject until oil was discovered there at the end of 1970, when they suddenly and very conveniently produced ‘historical records’ proving that the Senkaku Islands had been used exclusively by China since 1403. Hmmm. Gavin Menzies would be impressed.

Anyway, moving on… Even China does not dispute the fact that Japan exercised control of the Senkaku Islands from 1895 until the Second World War, and in fact officially recognised the fact that the islands were part of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. So what’s the problem? I mean, apart from extreme nationalism, oil, and pig-ignorance, of course? Oh yes, a claim that a few Chinese fisherman caught some fish in the area back in 1403.

So, here’s my question:

Can sovereignty claims based on a complete lack of any legal, historical or physical evidence, and backdated to fourteenth century Asia, be considered as a basis of ownership in a modern international legal system?

I think not. And hey, for once the International Legal System is on my side.

Happy National Defense Education Day. Idiots.

Posted in Annexed Territories, China, Festivals et al, Lies & Damned Lies | 12 Comments »


Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, September 13, 2010

Banjo’s are very cool, just ask these ol’ boys. And boy howdy do we have some banjo’s coming up for you good folks out there in Intertube Land! That’s right, stay tuned for more banjo’s than you can shake a stick at. And even better, it’s all for a Good Cause.

Banjo’s For Beijing

Posted in China | 2 Comments »

The Price Of Poontang

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, July 29, 2010

I received an email from a reader recently, pointing me in the direction of a website that concerns itself with statistics of various sorts. Now, I don’t know if this is your sort of thing, but I simply love statistics, so MLHQ has been knee deep in numbers for the last few days.

Did you know, for instance, that the value of the prostitution industry in Australia is twenty seven million U.S. dollars? I’m frankly staggered, and have to assume they aren’t including all the keen amateurs who marry for money or expect blokes to buy them drinks and steak dinners. The figure for the U.K. is more realistic, around a billion dollars, which is just a little over half of what gets done in much smaller Taiwan ($1.84B). I was not surprised to see that Thailand, long regarded as the sex capital of the world, has a annual turnover of 4.3 billion dollars, but I was a bit surprised to see the Philippines at six billion green-backs. American men are obviously not getting any from their wives, because they are spending 14.6 billion dollars annually on prostitutes, but in Germany, where the industry is legal and regulated, the figure is eighteen billion!

In China, it’s seventy three billion dollars a year! That’s USD$73,000,000,000 per year!

So, you might be thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of poon getting tanged, but after all there must be a reason Shanghai is called ‘the Whore of the Orient’, right?” And you would be correct, because most economists I’ve talked to, quietly reckon that prostitution is not only the only State-owned business that turns a profit, it also accounts for between ten and twenty percent of true GDP. Add in the fact that Chinese women really are the most unfaithful in the world, and you can understand why China has the worlds highest rate of syphilis – and it’s growing by 30% every year (that’s a faster rate than any other country).

But it isn’t the only big number you see when you start getting into the statistics. Take illegal logging, for instance. That’s 3.8 billion dollars right there, and that’s only what the Party admits to. Music, film, DVD and software piracy add up to more than 20 billion, while the counterfeit goods market is worth 60 billion. China’s contribution to the global drug trade is 17 billion dollars annually, and human trafficking brings in another 2 billion every year, almost as much as the cigarette smuggling industry. To get an idea of volume, a Burmese girl between the age of 16 and 18 who has been snatched from her home and sent to China (and several thousand are every year), is worth approximately $700 when sold as a bride in the countryside. A Chinese girl would be worth far less. The black market is worth nearly a hundred and sixty billion dollars a year!

The reports say that one third of homosexual men in China are married, but I might have read it wrong – it could have been one third of married men are raving queers, which seems rather more likely. Thirty-five percent of organ transplants take place via the application of forged documents, with almost all the rest being harvested from prisoners killed to order. Ninety percent of female North Korean refugees in China end up sold either as wives or prostitutes and sixty thousand Chinese children are abducted and sold annually. Non-performing loans are estimated to be worth nine hundred billion dollars! Seventy three million sharks are killed every year for their fins, 100,000 pangolin’s find their way to the dinner table, and 3,000 tons of protected and endangered animals are annually smuggled in from Vietnam alone for the restaurant trade (that’s why I only eat Panda).

These are big numbers, almost too big to comprehend. Let’s look at numbers you can get your head around, shall we? Like the price to be smuggled out of China and into another country – average price to go to Italy is $15,000 but that probably includes buying off every Italian official in the whole country. But if you’re Chinese and don’t have that kind of money, then why not just stay home and dull the pain of your worthless life with drugs? Pure heroine is cheap at $36.20 a gram, Meth is $6 a gram, Ecstasy is $4.50 per tablet, and Marijuana is a great deal at eighty cents a gram. And if it’s really bad and you decide to end your life, you always have the option of breathing the worlds most polluted air or eating the local food, though I wouldn’t recommend it due to the intense suffering you’re likely to experience (world’s highest rate of food poisoning). Hell, buy yourself a bear paw before you check out; a snap at $50.

Well over half of all the world’s seized counterfeit goods come from China, as do 90% of the counterfeit goods in the whole of the United States (64% in Europe). Chinese organised crime (which in China means ‘working with the blessings of the Party’) earned 3.3 billion dollars for the nation in Italy alone last year. Industrial espionage against the United States is worth in excess of fifty billion dollars a year!

Not one single Chinese policeman has ever arrested the top leaders for crimes against humanity, however.

Folks, I’m not making this stuff up – these numbers are based on official sources.

I love statistics, so if there’s any readers here who consider themselves a ‘numbers’ kind of person, and would like to discuss these shameful and disgusting statistics, feel free to be ignored in the comments section below.

I’m off to see if it still costs $10 to get my knob polished outside the nearby school.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, China, Corruption, Fact Friday, Pornography | 8 Comments »

If MyLaowai Was In Charge…

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boy howdy, if I was in charge, there’d be a few changes around the parish:

As of today, replying to any question or statement with a noise that sounds like a barking troglodyte is illegal. And so is grunting “Shenma?”.

Believing that the Titanic was a romantic film and nothing more is illegal. It is also proof positive that there is a difference between one’s education being ‘for free’, and being ‘for nothing’.

The word “Hello” or any synonyms thereof must be used only as a friendly greeting, or you will be acting illegally, and are liable to experience summary execution.

If you are a woman who has been waiting in the checkout line at a supermarket and now it is time to pay for your three items, then spending the next eight and a half minutes trying (and failing) to find the exact change, organising your receipts, composing text messages and checking your make-up is illegal.

If you have just spent the last fifteen minutes elbowing your way to the counter at the bar / KFC / McDonalds, finally attracted the attention of the nearest staff member by waving a 100 kuai note at them, and then say “Hmmm… What do you sell? What is on special? Can I have a discount?”, then that is very illegal.

If you leave every open door closed and every closed door open, then that is illegal. I don’t care if you were conceived in a wind tunnel. The same general principle may reasonably be extended to cover lights and air-conditioning units.

Attending important international summits with the sole intention of ruining it for everyone else will be extremely illegal.

If you are a plumber you must not pass yourself off as an electrician, and vice versa. If you are repairing something, then that must be the thing you actually repair. Failure to actually repair it, despite replacing everything else in the room at vastly inflated rates, is illegal.

If you are unable to reverse (or ‘parallel’) park a car without the help of four assistants, three empty parking bays, and twenty minutes worth of time, then you are not permitted under any circumstances to make the attempt. In fact, you are not permitted to operate the vehicle at all. Note that ‘park’ means that your car is not obstructing passing traffic or pedestrians, and therefore leaving it on the footpath or in one of the road lanes does not count.

If you are an oncologist, and you consider that giving patients a henna tattoo and a bag of dried twigs is an acceptable form of treatment, then that is illegal.

With immediate effect all of the following are illegal: Food that was dredged from the moat around the local Town Hall; anything described as ‘traditional’; pickled cabbage; any part of an animal that is known in civilised places as ‘offal’; the parts of a chicken that are made of cartilage and sinew; grass and/or leaf mulch.

Opening your mouth to speak or exhale in public without first removing the mushroom farm and brushing with toothpaste is very illegal. Offenders will be fumigated on the spot with petrol and a match.

Failure to honour contractual agreements is not only illegal, it’s also uncivilised. First offence will be rewarded with a warning shot between the eyes. 100 grains of soft lead will generally cure you of your dishonesty.

This list is non-exhaustive and subject to change by MyLaowai at any time.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, China | 9 Comments »

Great Scott!

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A reader with a sense of occasion has just notified me of this:

The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

Posted in China | 1 Comment »

@Chinese Netizen

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chinese Netizen, is this you making comments elsewhere?

Have you been seeing other blogs behind my back?

Posted in China | 2 Comments »

June 4th? POTIF!

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, June 4, 2010

It’s June 4th. But no one actually seems to either know what that means, or care if they do.

At least it’s also a Friday.

Posted in Censorship, China, Democracy, Fact Friday, Human Rights | 81 Comments »

You Dirty Rat

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

It seems that China is experiencing a Plague of Rats. Again. And this is of course a matter of some concern for us all, though I must confess that it doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the stories of a Plague of, well, Plague that is sweeping across the nation. And I’m half convinced the stories must have some truth to them, else why would the Government be denying them so strenuously?

What is it with China and Plagues, anyway? It’s all here, you know, from SARS and bird flu and swine flu, to Hand Foot & Mouth disease and half-a-dozen things labelled as being H-number-N-number. The CDC are currently talking about an outbreak of measles and go on to warn travellers to China of the risks of encephalitis, malaria, dengue, filariasis, tickbourne encephalitis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and leptospirosis. They also warn that taking Chinese medicines is as likely to kill you as it is to kill the disease, but what do they know, really?

The BBC has been reporting on a mysterious HIV-like disease that is spreading like wildfire, with victims saying things like: “Twenty-four hours [after having sex with a prostitute] I had a strong desire to vomit. I had headaches, I was dizzy, I could feel my internal organs were swelling up. I was in intense pain. This lasted months.” The Pasteur Institute is taking this very seriously, and so far has confirmed that whatever it is, it isn’t HIV. Of course, on the other hand, the Government has made it perfectly clear that “their illness could be the result of a mental rather than a physical condition.” Okay, fine. If you say so. I reckon it’s just as likely to be the result of eating the disgustingly vile muck that passes for ‘food’ in this hellhole. I’ve heard rumours that pneumonic plague has escaped the quarantine zone around the north-western town of Ziketan, but for the record I’d like to state that these rumours are certainly malicious and untrue. Also, for the record, spreading or listening to rumours can get you shot, or so it’s rumoured.

China gave the world the Black Death, and that’s no rumour – it’s an historical fact (though not perhaps a fact one can find in a Chinese history book). A doctor friend of mine says it’s also a fact that China has the world’s highest rate of appendicitis, caused when poorly cooked rice is not digested and goes septic in the intestines. Mind you, removing internal organs is at least something that most hospitals in China have a vast amount of experience at doing. There is an incredibly high incidence of rabies, Hepatitis A and B (and probably C, D, E and F as well), AIDS, and quite literally dozens of unidentified influenza-type diseases besides.

There is, as we speak, a Plague of Boils, judging by what I see every time I take a countryside bus. And a Plague of Lice. I feel confident in saying that there is no Plague of the Death of the First-Born, however there is certainly a Plague of the Death of the Second- and even Third-Born, and sometimes of the Parents Who Didn’t Follow The One-Child Policy as well. It’s entirely possible that there is a Plague of Frogs, but really how would you know in a country where frogs get themselves eaten the moment they stick their heads above the parapet? Which brings us nicely back to the current Plague of Rats.

The Government, to be fair, is doing the best it can under the circumstances, spreading hundreds of tons of poison across the vast areas of land, and with some effect. That effect has been the death by poisoning of all the cats and dogs, though it must be said that the rats are still doing fine, thank you. And perhaps this is just as well, given how popular rat meat is in this country. Wet markets are reporting an enormous increase in the supply of rat meat, which is often used to make a spicy rat stew, and though in Beijing and Shanghai restaurants frequently mix rat meat with lamb fat to disguise the taste, the experienced gourmand can tell the difference (the difference being the small size of the meat lumps, the stringy gristle, and the pieces of lamb fat amongst the meat). But at least the snakes are doing well, what with all the rats to eat, and that means that snake is also on the menu at just about every sit-down meal in the land.

What the hell is wrong with you, Chinese People? If it moves, you eat it. If it doesn’t move, you kick it until it moves. I mean, honestly, Bird’s Nest Soup? What the fuck is that all about? It’s the nest of a cave-dwelling bird and it’s made from bird spit! Shark Fin Soup? I’ve had it, and I’m relieved to be able to say that the best one can say for it is that it is slimy and tasteless, a bit like the population of the country as a whole. Seriously, if you want slimy and tasteless, why not just use way too much MSG, the same as you do for every single other thing you cook. And don’t start on me with your tales of China World Famous Cuisines, because that’s bullshit and you know it. I know for a fact that I’m not the first to observe that your ‘Famous Cuisines’ consist of cabbage dumplings, cabbage and pickle dumplings, pickle dumplings, and shit (possibly in a dumpling). It’s no wonder you are all so weedy, weak, and pathetic, with your protruding teeth and sunken chests and titless women. In the name of all that is holy, just eat a fucking steak, and I don’t mean a thin strip of hormone-injected schnitzel with a few macaroni curls on top. That isn’t steak, not even close. If you don’t know that, you probably don’t even know what a purplised grumbler is. What’s a purplised grumbler? Exactly my fucking point. Get a grip.

Here’s some advice: take your ‘delicious food’ and your ‘very healthy’ medicines and your disease and dirt and disgusting culture and stick it up your arse, or at least keep it to yourselves. Because we don’t want any of it.

This post has been brought to you by the letters of the fucking Alphabet and numbers that don’t look like childish pictographs. I dedicate this post to Charlie_Sierra, who gave me the motivation I needed.


Posted in China, Environment, Food | 29 Comments »


Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Damn. Two hours of properly good ranting lost. Thanks, Chinese Government.

I’m going out now to meet some Chinese People in the street. If that doesn’t inspire me to have another go, nothing will.

Oh, and Chinese People? Fuck you.

Posted in China | 1 Comment »

A Word Of Advice

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I’ve heard that China is “very development” these days. Also that Chinese people are “very diligent”. And that the country is “strongly economy”. The Chinese, I’m told, work hard and well and that “harmoniusness” is a value that is treasured here. Everything, it seems, is “getting good and good”.

It’s certainly true that this is the best place in the world for a foreign investor to put his money, and there are a dazzling variety of ways in which to do it. WOFE’s, JV’s, Rep Offices… China certainly does go far out of it’s way to make you and your money welcome.

But only until you have arrived, because after that it all turns to ashes.

Take for example the diligent local employee. They might be working on an assembly line, or they may be your receptionist. They could be your driver. Whatever role you have employed them in, however, there are a few things that are a near-certainty:

– They will be stealing from you, and I don’t just mean paperclips. Your inventory will be sold out the back door, and you’ll never even know it. Your assets will be sold out the front door, but you’ll never see it go. Your customers will be diverted towards local competitors, your orders will suffer the same fate. Your suppliers will not deliver what you want, when you want, or how you want, but they will deliver your orders to the parallel company your workers have set up. The information in your computer will be stolen within minutes of it being made available to anyone, though it may take them longer to steal it if they have to work for it. The ways in which you will be robbed and cheated are legion, the only thing that is certain is that the first you hear of it will be when your cheques bounce because someone finally went after the bank accounts. Your accountant will be helping with this, if the bank manager isn’t.

– Don’t think you can detect it all, because you can’t. The only thing you can say with certainty is that if you can’t catch them cheating you, then you aren’t looking hard enough. And if you can catch them with their digits in the till, then start worrying about the ones you haven’t caught yet. I’ve lost count of the naive laowai’s who thought they had good employees, only to find out the hard way that bankruptcy was just around the corner.

– Don’t think you can sack ’em if you catch ’em. To start with, you’ll be paying massive compensation claims, and nothing you can say or do will change that. A year’s salary as compensation is routine when you fire someone who was caught thieving from you. Getting caught is a bonus for these people, because that way they catch you coming and going. And even after they are gone, they will bring trouble to you – having a hundred peasant scum turn up at your office or factory in order to intimidate you is far from uncommon, and remember every one of those tyre-kickers is a tea-leaf in addition to being an agitator.

– You can sometimes see justice done via an unexpected yet fortuitous accident, of course. But to be certain that justice was done fairly, it would mean every employee was in hospital, and then you’d get nothing done.

And how about that great economy, huh? Wow, just imagine if every person in China bought just one of your widgets, or whatever you do.

– Well, forget about it. With very few exceptions, the Chinese won’t buy your widgets. Some can’t because the Communist Party steal all their money before they get a chance to spend it. Others won’t buy it because they are boycotting whichever country the Party has decided to hate this month. Some would if they could, but then decide that the locally produced fakes will do the job nicely, thanks. Mostly, the remainder will just steal it from you directly, which brings us back to your employees and their own distribution network.

– If you are in that tiny minority of companies that have not only made some money here, but also managed to keep it from being pilfered by the locals, then congratulations. Enjoy it in whichever manner you choose, as long as it’s inside China. Because getting your money out is a bloody sight harder than getting it in. The entire system is geared to take your money, your talent, your skills, and your knowledge, but the whole point is that you’ll be lucky to get away with the shirt on your back. Deng Xiaoping was a smart cookie, and one of the most unscrupulous and cowardly bastards of the 20th Century – and the latest crop of murdering thugs who run the joint are even worse. They don’t allow you here because it’s good for you, they allow you here because they want what you have. And the WTO be damned.

– Oh, and don’t think that importing your foreign goods is much use, because it isn’t. China is in the business of exporting goods and importing payments, not the other way around. Expect inward-bound shipments to be held up in port for months, banned outright, caught up in paperwork forever, or simply stolen by the Red Army. I know of shipments that were held up during the 2008 Olympics on the basis of ‘security inspections’, that have still not been released. About the only things you can import, in fact, are things like five-axis milling machines, and we all know why that is (if you don’t, Google it).

So folks here it is, MyLaowai’s recommendation to would-be investors in this marketplace:

Just say no. No matter how good it all looks, it isn’t. Sure, I’m here myself, and many of my friends are too. And I suppose that it is just possible that you can make a go of it yourself. But remember that for every one who succeeds, hundreds will fail, and fail big. The only thing in your favour is that there are a few people here, people who know these vermin for what they are, who might be able to help you. Find one or two of us, buy us a drink, and pay close attention to the advice you are given – it might be the cheapest and best advice you ever receive, and it just might save both you and your company from ruin.

In other news, I just received a phone call from a guy I met in a bar a few years ago, the day after he’d arrived in China as it happens. He called me to say that the advice I gave him that night and several times afterwards had saved him and his company, and that he’d like to buy me another drink on the anniversary of that first chance encounter.

It’s not always nice being right about these things, but it sure beats being wrong.

Have a nice day, y’all.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, China, Rules of the Road | 36 Comments »