Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

A Word About Tax

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, November 9, 2007

Basically, China’s individual income tax is famous for its complication and rooms [sic] for different interpretation.

But don’t just take my word for it – that was an exact quote from Shanghai’s Government website. According to official statistics from the State Administration of Taxation (which I trust about as far as I trust the lowlife scum who run the Party), China took in 3.7636 trillion yuan (about 470.5 billion US dollars) in taxation alone during 2006. The figure does not include income from tariffs, tax on arable land use and that paid by real estate buyers, the administration said on its website. And it looks even better for 2007, with the aggregate tax revenue in the first nine months this year approaching the total generated in 2006, said Shu Qiming, Director of the State Administration of Taxation Department – that’s a whopping 3.72 trillion yuan (495.5 billion USD) in the first three quarters alone. Even stamp tax from securities trading sky-rocketed to 143.6 billion yuan (19.1 billion USD) for the same period. I’m not kidding – these figures were taken directly from the official website.

And yet, I’m constantly being told by the locals that “…China is a poor country, so other countries should help us”. And yes, it is true that there are, indeed, a great many very poor people living here. So, what on Earth do they spend it all on? Here are a couple of things they could reduce expenditure on:

Defence.
Let’s be reasonable, shall we? The Communist Party claim that they are spending a paltry USD$45 billion this year on the military (an 18% increase over 2006) – enough to buy a copy of Guns & Ammo for every soldier, but not much more than that. Yeah, sure. China’s published defence budget does not include large categories of expenditure, including expenses for strategic forces, foreign acquisitions, military-related research and development, and China’s paramilitary forces. And even with that in mind, a more credible figure is USD$85-130 billion. And why should this be surprising? After, the December 2006 Defence White Paper stated all-too-clearly that the goal was:

“…a three-step development strategy in modernizing its (China’s) national defence and armed forces, in accordance with the state’s overall plan to realize modernization. The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informationized armed forces and being capable of winning informationized wars by the mid-21st century.”

And it isn’t all about Taiwan, either, although with almost 1000 ballistic missiles currently aimed at Taiwan, and with that number growing by 100+ each year, China probably proposes to resolve that issue in its favour through non-peaceful means. The Japanese are justifiably concerned, and have expressed fears that with a consistently expansive military budget, Japan could one day even become a Chinese province. Don’t laugh – Chinese schools have recently begun telling schoolchildren that this will happen by 2020.

In any event, a sizeable chunk of my tax yuan are being spent on armaments, with China now having the second largest military budget in the world, larger even than Russia.

Space Program.
The Chinese claim to have spent a grand total of less than 19 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollars) on the first five Shenzhou spacecraft, and that their lunar probe project (part of the three-stage Chang’e Program which aims to place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010) has a budget of 1.4 billion yuan (170 million U.S. dollars).

Bullshit.

The real figure is hard to state with certainty, due to both the opacity of the budgetary system, and the fact that the Chinese space program is highly integrated with the military. Nevertheless, most reliable estimates put the annual expenditure at between USD$1.3 and USD$3 Billion, with several tens of billions more invested in military-space programs. This places China in third place, spending more than anyone else except NASA and the European Space Agency. Not bad for a ‘developing country’.

By comparison…

Social Spending.
According to UNICEF:

– Relative to the size of China’s economy and the overall government budget, expenditure on the social sectors remains low by international standards.
– The structure of government expenditure in these sectors is tilted towards higher level institutions (higher education and hospitals at county level and above) at the expense of the institutions providing essential services at county, township and village levels.
– Expenditure is inequitably distributed both regionally and between urban and rural areas, due to the high degree of decentralization in the financing of education, health and other social services and the large differences in local levels of economic development and tax revenue, which are insufficiently offset by inter-governmental transfer payments.
– Government resources account for a relatively low share of total social sector expenditure, leaving individual households to assume much of the responsibility for paying for services, through fees and user charges, which has placed a heavy burden on the poor, particularly in the rural areas and among migrants in the cities.

Education got just 2.8% of GDP in 2004, Health spending accounted for 0.8% of GDP for the same period (although that said, Education is apparently getting 4% of GDP now. Big whoops). According to State Media, rural schools owe their teachers more than 10 billion yuan in back pay and failure to pay teachers’ salaries has contributed to the severe shortage of qualified teachers in the countryside. Annual revenue in one county in the poor, north-western province of Gansu was enough to cover only one month’s salary for its permanent teachers and public servants.

I guess it makes sense, though. After all, why help your poor, when you can simply buy a lot of weapons and high-prestige items. It worked for the National Socialists back in the 1930’s and it’s showing every sign of working just fine now for the Chinese Communists. Hell, they got their Olympics, too…

Anyway…

Back to the Government website. I’m going to leave you with some useful information, helpfully provided by the CCP. Just in case you wanted to live here, or anything.

Tax
Under some circumstances, foreigners in the city must pay taxes. Income tax is probably the most important and also the most unavoidable.

Basically, China’s individual income tax is famous for its complication and rooms for different interpretation. Sometimes, even overseas tax consultants feel puzzled when they deal businesses relate to China for clients.

If you worked in a local company (domestic or foreign invested) or the local office of a foreign company, you may have your income tax handled by your company, otherwise, you’d better ask for help from experts, such as consultants from accounting firms (local or international) or officials who work for local taxation, finance administrations. Normally, you won’t have a direct contact with local tax officials, unless you do business for your own.

Contact the local tax and finance administrations: Click here to access there official Website. English version is not available.

Pets
Import.
Bringing your pets (only cats or dogs are allowed) to the city is possible, but the quarantine procedure is as complicated as you can imagine. With a whole set of original certificates, including a health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate, your pet will go through a 30-day compulsory quarantine by the entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities.

With one passport, you can bring only one pet. The quarantine service will cost you at least 2,000 yuan (US$250) and, after your pet has passed quarantine, you should register it at the local police department under the name of a local Chinese resident. You may need to seek help from a local Chinese you trust to accomplish the mission.

Buy or adopt.
You may also buy or adopt animals here. If you want to buy one, many are available at local pet markets. You should choose only licensed and vaccinated animals. Otherwise you may see the one you picked up die in a few days, because it has been kept alive by injected drugs.

Phone Numbers
Police: 110
Telephone Repair: 112

Money Transfer
To transfer money gained here to your home country is a technical job. You should seek help from law firms or accounting firms. First of all, you should obey Chinese laws. In some conditions, a foreigner needs to pay tax and some service charges. It’s better for you to make a plan with help from a lawyer or accountant on your money transfer project.

Internet
Don’t be frightened by its crude facade. Most Internet cafes in Shanghai don’t have pleasant conditions, but they charge very low. Remember the Chinese characters for Internet cafe.

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Posted in Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nice Logo

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, October 26, 2007

071026olympicslogo.jpg

(Ruthlessly plagiarized from Sinocidal by kind permission from ChouChou.)
(Who was drunk at the time.)

Posted in Olympics | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

We’ve Changed. No, Really.

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, August 19, 2007

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Posted in Olympics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Fine Speech, Sir!

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, July 30, 2007

This is a speech given by Senator Frank Wolf, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. The speech was delivered July 17th, 2007.

“Imagine a country where factory workers have no workplace safety, labor or environmental protections and are required to work 80 hour-weeks for no more than $110 per month to produce goods for export.

“Imagine a country which boldly supplies missiles and chemical weapons technology to countries that support or harbor terrorists.

“Imagine a country that oversees a network of espionage operations against American companies and the U.S.

“Imagine a country which tortures and imprisons Catholic bishops, Protestant church leaders, Muslim worshipers, Falun Gong followers, and Buddhist monks and nuns just because of their faith and systematically destroys churches and confiscates Bibles.

“Imagine a country which has a thriving business of harvesting and selling for transplant kidneys, corneas and other human organs from executed prisoners who are thrown in prison with no trial or sentencing procedures.

“Imagine a country which maintains an extensive system of gulags – slave labor camps, also known as the “laogai” – as large as existed in the former Soviet Union that are used for brainwashing and “reeducation through labor.”

“Sadly, none of this is imaginary. Such a nation exists. It is the People’s Republic of China.

“Sadly, too, that’s just part of the list of egregious actions.

“In 2006, the Chinese government arrested 651 Christians that we know of. Currently China has 6 Catholic bishops in jail and another 9 under house arrest. Renowned human rights advocate Rebiya Kadeer has watched from exile as the Chinese government arrests and beats her family members in her homeland.

“Late last year, western mountain climbers captured on videotape a horrifying scene: Chinese police shooting from their North Face tents at a group of Tibetan refugees crossing Nangpa Pass. A 17-year old Buddhist nun was killed and several others were wounded.

“There are some who assert that human rights are something that should come once stability has been attained. They say that protection of human rights comes second to attaining economic power and wealth. We must reject that notion.

“During the debate over granting China permanent normal trade relations status, proponents argued that economic liberalization would lead to political liberalization in China, that exposing China to the West’s ideas and values would lead them to play a more constructive role in the international community, and that the U.S. and other industrialized nations could influence China through economic activity to better respect the rights of its citizens to fundamental human rights and the unfettered practice of their faith.

“Instead, we have seen why the protection of basic liberties should not come second to economic growth. The China of today is worse than than the China of yesterday, or of last year, or of the last decade. China is not progressing. It is regressing. It is more violent, more repressive, and more resistant to democratic values than it was before we opened our ports to freely accept Chinese products.

“And now, in addition to all of the horrible things the Chinese government does to its own citizens, it does to other countries’ citizens as well. It poisons children in Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Australia, with toothpaste containing an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. This toothpaste was marketed under the brand name “Mr. Cool.”

“Some 1.5 million wooden toys in the Thomas the Tank Engine line of children’s trains were recalled after manufacturers discovered that the Chinese-made toys were slathered in lead-based paint, a substance that is toxic if swallowed.

“China continues to send American consumers adulterated and mislabeled food products, including prunes tinted with chemical dyes, dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical, scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria, and mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

“Food and Drug Administration inspectors who traveled across the world to investigate the recent mass poisoning of U.S. pets stemming from tainted pet food from China arrived at two suspected Chinese factories, only to find the factories had been cleaned out and all equipment dismantled.

“On June 28, the FDA banned the import of five types of farm-raised shrimp and fish from China because they are so contaminated from unsafe drugs in China’s polluted waterways.

“A recent NPR story described how garlic from China outsold garlic grown in California for the first time last year. China began dumping garlic at U.S. ports below cost in the 1990s. Hefty tariffs kept the garlic imports at bay for a few years, but since 2001, imports of Chinese garlic have increased fifteen-fold.

“Several Fourth of July celebrations in my district, including in my hometown of Vienna, Virginia, included malfunctioning fireworks that injured 11 people, including children and an infant. These fireworks came from China.

“Some 450,000 imported tires were recalled from Foreign Tire Sales after it was discovered that the Chinese-made tires were sold without a critical safety feature that prevents the tread from separating from the tire. A blown tire can cause the driver of the vehicle to lose control of his or her car and crash.

“China is one of the world’s leading producers of unlicensed copies of goods ranging from movies and designer clothes to sporting goods and medications. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, 93 percent of DVDs sold in China are unlicensed copies. The MPAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups say that despite stricter Chinese enforcement, product piracy is growing amid China’s booming economic expansion.

“China is building a new coal-fired power plant every week and within a year will be the biggest source in the world of greenhouse gases. It is building factories and infrastructure all over the developing world, but we have no solid data on China’s plans or programs. A recent editorial in The Washington Post reported that World Bank experts estimate that toxic air and water in China kill some 710,000 to 760,000 Chinese each year.

“During a recent visit to Sudan, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised to build a new palace for the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, despite Bashir’s role in orchestrating the ongoing genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. This is in addition to the recent Amnesty International report that China is selling weapons to the Sudanese government, which are then being used to kill and maim innocent civilians in Darfur.

“China bullies neighboring Taiwan, repeatedly threatening to launch missiles from the mainland for Taiwan’s refusal to accept China’s claims of sovereignty over the democratically governed territory.

“And despite all of these abhorrent acts, China was still awarded the honor of hosting the 2008 Olympics. The Olympic Games: an event designed to lift up “the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles,” according to its own charter. Does China’s behavior sound like a “good example” to the rest of the world? Or that it is reflecting “fundamental ethical principles” that all nations should aspire to?

“Amnesty International reports that the Chinese government is rounding up people in the streets of Beijing that might “threaten stability” during the Olympic Games, and is detaining them without trial. Human Rights Watch reports that the Chinese government is tightening restrictions on domestic and foreign media, in an effort to control what information leaks out about China’s repressive and violent nature during coverage of the Olympics.

“China has even gone so far as to claim it will “force rain” in the days leading up to the Olympics, in order to have clear skies for the Games. They intend to fire rocket shells containing sticks of silver iodide into Beijing’s skies, provoking a chemical reaction that will force rain – despite mixed reviews on the soundness of this science.

“China s desperation to conceal its true character leading up to the Games smacks of the Nazi bid for the Olympic Games. Analysts are likening the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Olympics, in which Nazi Germany soft-pedaled its anti-Semitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, fooling the international community with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany under the guise of the Olympic Games.

“Like the Nazi regime in 1936 Berlin, the Chinese government is preparing for the Olympics by hiring U.S. firms to handle public relations and marketing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Where is the outrage over China’s unacceptable behavior? The facts are before us. The United States can no longer say that things are improving in China

“But China would have America and the world believe that is the case. China has hired a number of large lobbying firms in Washington, DC to push China’s agenda with the U.S. government. Documents from the Department of Justice show these lobbyists as having a significant presence on Capitol Hill, including almost 200 meetings with Member offices between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006.

“America must be a country that stands up for basic decency and human rights. America must speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves – men and women who are being persecuted for their religious or political beliefs. Our foreign policy must be a policy that helps promote human rights and freedom. Not a policy that sides with dictators who oppress their own citizens.

“Next time you make a purchase, and you see the words “Made in China,” think of the poisoned toothpaste, the contaminated food, the polluted waterways and airspace, the exploding tires, malfunctioning fireworks, the human rights abuses, and the intimidation of religious leaders. Remember that China poses a threat not only to its own citizens, but to the entire world. American businesses have an opportunity to capitalize on China’s failure to protect the safety of its food exports. American businesses should seize this opportunity by reclaiming their place in the global market. The United States government and American consumers must be vigilant about protecting the values that we hold dear.”

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Thanks to A True Chinese Renaissance for the report.

Posted in Annexed Territories, Censorship, China, Corruption, Environment, Human Rights, Media, Olympics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Yingsel, The Tibetan Antelope

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, July 12, 2007

Plagiarised from Yingsel 2008…

My Name is Yingsel.

I am a Tibetan Antelope.

I am known as YingYing in China and I was chosen to be one of the mascots for the 2008 Olympic Games.

I am announcing today that I have left the Chinese Olympic Team.

I can no longer stand to be used as a tool of propaganda by the Chinese government. It has been using me to cover up its violent and brutal oppression inside Tibet.

The Chinese authorities hope that by including me, a Tibetan antelope, in their public relations around the 2008 Olympics, that they can fool the outside world into thinking that Tibet is a part of China and that Tibetans are happy and prosperous under Chinese occupation.

China hopes a successful Beijing Games will mask the true nature of their authoritarian rule.

I’ve gone into hiding because it is not possible for me to speak out against the Chinese government safely as there is no freedom of speech in Tibet or China.

I call on all Tibetan antelopes, Tibetan people, friends, supporters and governments of the world to help me in my quest to restore human rights and freedom in Tibet.

Bod Rangzen. Tibet will be free.

Yingsel

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Posted in Annexed Territories, Media, Olympics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Keeping Fit in the PRC

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 1, 2007

Next year, 2008, and the Olympics will be coming home to China, the land that invented them. I know this to be true, because I have seen the 40-minute CCTV documentary that proves it. China – the sporting superpower that gave us cricket, soccer, snowboarding and the Tour de France – is experiencing a wave of sporting enthusiasm the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Grog the Neanderthal first learned to throw a stick javelin. As a patriotic , tax-paying, member of this harmonica harmonius society, I therefore bring to you:

Sports. With Chinese Characteristics. Lah.

1. Remember that kid at school that everyone laughed at? Y’know, the one who would stand by himself in the playground with his legs slightly apart, twisting his torso left and right randomly, with his thin little arms flailing wildly and out of control? Yes, the one everyone called fucktard. Well, the joke’s on you, because it turns out that he was in fact practising the National Morning Exercise Of China. Every morning, half a billion fucktards diligent citizens start their day with this display of uncoordinatedism.

2. If that sounds like a little too much work for you (and certainly I doubt I could make myself do it), then how about this: extend your left arm out to the side, and with your right hand, reach across your chest and slap your left shoulder a dozen times. Repeat with arms reversed. Note that it does help with the reaching across bit if you possess a sunken chest, like pirates and Chinese do.

3. Too motionless for you? No problem. Find a nice open piece of lane and walk shuffle slowly backwards for twenty yards. Turn around. Shuffle back. Repeat until you feel dizzy (twice more should do it). Believe it or not, this is the mainstay of Chinese sports, and the reason for their astounding sense of balance and poise.

4. Not Zen enough? Hey, we got it covered. Stand in one place and wave one arm in a slow circle. That’s it, really.

5. For those of you who are into competitive sports, why spectate when you can expectorate? That’s right, sports fans, ‘Long Distance Spitting’ makes a return to the Olympics as the National Sport Of China. Modifications to the points system include bonuses for green colouration of the phlegm, minimal amounts of spray (sidewash), and slipperiness underfoot at the drop zone.

6. Foreigners haven’t been left out, either. The ‘Hop, Skip & Jump Through The Phlegm & Dogshit Minefield’ (A.K.A. the ‘Streetwalk’) has never been more in vogue. Just watch those laowai go!

7. An old favourite, the ‘Get A Seat On The Bus At Any Cost’ event is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Tickets are sure to sell out fast, so hurry to join the queue.

8. Massage is an ancient and traditional Chinese art. Massage is practised widely throughout the Celestial Kingdom, with salons found at convenient locations everywhere, even just outside primary schools. Simply look for the rotating Traditional ‘Barbers Pole’ outside and the Traditional Diligent Qipao-Wearing Masseuse inside. (* see also Press Up).

9. One of the more demanding sports in China, is the ‘Pretend To Pay For Lunch Or Dinner’ contest. The rules are complex and the action intense, but essentially the aim is to wave your money in the direction of the waiter whilst shouting loudly that you insist on paying, and yet somehow end up with your money back in your manbag and your guest having paid. All this after a fourteen-course meal washed down with a nice blend of Coke and Chateau Laroque. Wow, now that’s sport!

10. Finally, there’s the Special Olympics. China is expected to field the largest team ever, with nearly 1.5 billion competitors eligible for the team. Go get ’em, tiger!

Like the Man says… Just Do It!

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Olympics | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »