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From October to February. What I see and think…….

on Child labor

The son of our Dan Shui neighbor is very lazy and only plays basketball and dreams of earning money with it. His sister is self-driven, ambitious and studies intensely. She wants to go to Xiamen university and will succeed.The son changed when he worked temporary in the factory of his father, that produces artificial flowers. He saw how creative and hard working his father was and good boss. It changed his view of his father and now he respects him more.

In the morning I buy some porridge, bourse and eggs at a nearby street corner. Two kids, brother and sister, help their mother. They serve well and are happy. They go to school after the morning help. Seems no problem at all and they develop both accounting-, serving- and social skills.

I remember the son of my brother in law in Tucson Arizona who distribute papers in his neighborhood to gain some of his own money.

A son of my daughter read out loud for old people. Earned some money, developed social skills and got some understanding of older people’s lives.

My son, Michiel did low skilled work during his studies to earn his “beer money”. His hockey coach advised him to stop, because it would be at the expense of his studies. He took a loan and stopped working, not drinking and he did his studies.

I myself earned side money by playing in a jazzband starting at 16. I never needed to work for side money. I never had the opportunity to experience unskilled work and see the real world until I worked in shipyards in Holland, Israel and the USA.

Some child labor would have taught me earlier some lessons. So why forbid child labor if education is not jeopardized?

Has China a value driven communist government?

Revival in education on communist history

We see revival in education on communist history, but that has nothing to do with communism.I experience China more capitalistic money driven than any other western country.

A story of my former secretary who left CNOOC Shell (my Nanhai project) to help her family business. She gave up also her application to study accountancy in Australia. She married and has a daughter. She is one of our best friends. Together with her we looked for a new apartment in Huizhou with her. Reluctantly our lady friend told how she was cheated by her sister because of greed and money. Shocking.That sister Influenced other sisters by telling lies and illegal transfer of the registration of her new restaurant. For my wife and me unbelievable what greed and money can do in China. Anything is allowed and even considered justified when dealing with money. Naive people get cheated because they do not defend themselves. Luckily I can make something good out of something bad. That is my project adagio. So she will leave family business and return on my recommendations to her previous work. Create her own life with husband and daughter. Her health was also affected: she lost most of het hair. My wife is a good fighter, good hearted and NOT naïve, so a big support to my friend.

No communism nor socialism

Xijingping is a princeling form the party 8 founders.They are the elite and successors of the emperor. Communism has nothing to do with it. Mao just won from nationalists because of the were involved in the Japanese war and by abstention of the USA. So the Party occupied the top leadership. Sinds Deng XiaPing opened China for foreign investments the Gini coefficient went up to the unstable number above 0.4. Income inequality is big and still increasing.

That creates two problems for leadership.

  • One is the historic mandate for the party to rule

  • Secondly the unrest from foreign influences and HongKong.

So he focusses on history, which all Chinese do, and especially on recent history of the Party. Indoctrination at school and in public life. Just to keep the power and mandate to rule.I see no socialism or communism here.

Social security is paid by itself.Cost for pensions are low because children have to take care of their parents and grandparents. They in return help their children and grandchildren so both man and wife can have a job. All to keep low cost. No job security. Small business has to sustain itself. Nothing to do with communism and socialism.


Sorry to say but the communist history teachings are just to keep power and isolate China culturally from foreign influences.

Even defeat of Japan is claimed by the party, while the USA solved this big issue for China!!

This part of China is not what I respect, but I understand why they have to do it.The authoritarian way is bests for this phase. I would agree this time the party rules well. But on the longer term perhaps not.

Too many intellectuals and richer people move money out and study abroad and move abroad. Keeping money in China is subsidizing the banks and government.

I see my father in law doing it. Finally his eyes open due to a niece of my wife who works in a Chinese bank and is more open. She advised to put all money outside of China.

We do not do it, because I believe China still might have all ingredients for growth as Michael Porter indicates. Land, people, education, low cost, bureaucracy, control, infrastructure, drive to make money and national pride.

Money, money is the driver

I see no communism at all.Just western business principles of win/win(finally) and recognition of what Chinese do not have: innovations. Business innovations appear daily. Yesterday we signed for an apartment without knowing the price. The new deal was to pay 50 000 rmb. in advance.The developer searches for the market price and tell us. Then we can say yes/or no. The money will be returned when we say no. Clever. So developer gets best market price.He was almost bankrupt,like many nowadays, had to sell part of his land to a competitor. Now he really wants best cash from his projects.

On Control

After the New Year visit to my family in law we prepared to travel by Plane from Guangdong to Shanghai. We had too much luggage and submitted 25 kg of my books and three cd’s to be sent by mail package.

The lady at the desk said she was instructed to check the content of the books and it was not allowed to mail CD’s.

The three CD’s were rejected. One Chopin, Rubenstein playing, one on Ramaco on qualification procedures and one promotion CD by an Indian major contractor vender. Song got irritated and showed she is infected by the western foreign virus of privacy and freedom to do whatever we want with our own stuff.

China not only controls writers on their content, publishers, bookshops, but also the content of mail. It fits what I read in the Economist on media control and control of behavior of citizens. Mail is part of it. All WeChat communication is read and sometimes blocked.

So for me it was not a surprise, but facing the reality is another thing.No privacy wherever. Everything is subjected to the overall fear of instability. It might become counterproductive, causing some Chinese to leave for private reasons.

Frans van Gunsteren

February 2017

© 2019 TonVoogtConsultancy ~ Recent Update 24-08-2017
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