China Turns A Desert Into An Arable Land

According to CIA.gov, China’s arable land is around 11.3%.  Most inner China and western peripheral of China, if I’m not mistaken, these areas are not suitable for planting crops.  China got many huge deserts too.  Some lands in China probably were arable before, but they became desert due to desertification.  Nonetheless, Chinese local people who live near such places are trying hard to combat desertification with local ingenuity inventions.  Once such place is in Inner Mongolia.  A city named Erdos, in Inner Mongolia, has successfully combat desertification by turning sand into soil to retain water better and create a beautiful forest of trees.  Their new technology allows them to plant and grow crops in the desert, turning the desert into arable land.  I think this is amazing because, with this technical know-how, China can help educate other countries that are facing similar problems.  With more arable lands than before, I bet China would be able to grow more crops to feed more people within China.  Check out the video right after the break to get more details on this.

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Weaker Dollar, Stronger Yuan May Hurt The United States And Help China In The Long Run!

I’m no expert in economic matters, but I just want to use my own personal logic to make sense of a few things that are currently happening.  People are seeing that the Dollar is weakening as we speak, and the Yuan is growing stronger as we speak.  Some people say weaker Dollar is a good thing because export will become more profitable.  Furthermore, when export becomes profitable, it also drives up the manufacturing sector at home.  That’s the theory for some people, but I feel that it’s way more complicated than this.

Since the United States isn’t a world manufacture hub — China is holding this title — the United States’ exports won’t matter as much unless the United States becomes the world manufacture hub.  Sure, with weaker Dollar, the United States’ exports will become more competitive than before.  The question is, will a little gain in competitiveness in exports spur the manufacturing sector at home?  Meanwhile, weaker Dollar will make the United States’ imports a lot more expensive.

I think the United States currently imports a lot more than exports.  The United States’ import is at $2.25 trillion and the export is at $1.45 trillion for the year of 2016, according to Wikipedia.  If the United States’ exports continue to slack even with the weak Dollar and the imports continue to grow, the United States could face an even stronger trade deficit.  For an example, manufacturer companies in the United States may have to import more expensive materials from the outside to manufacture products at home for selling across the world and at home.  This may not make the products at home cheaper for homegrown consumers.  Furthermore, this will increase the trade deficit in manufacturing sector if not enough products within the United States get to export to balance out the import costs.

Weak Dollar will increase less buying power for the Americans who go abroad for vacation, business, and so forth.  Weak Dollar can make purchases of products from foreign companies through online websites or offline imports more expensive for the American consumers.  For an example, I could be buying a music plugin from an online website which belongs to a French company, and with a weak Dollar, I could be paying more for this software.

I guess good things and bad things do exist even when the Dollar is weak or strong.  Nonetheless, the most interesting question is can the United States fare better when the Dollar is weaker or stronger.  In my opinion, weaker Dollar can help spur export a bit, but if the United States’ exports don’t carry the whole United States’ overall, long-term economy, then the weaker Dollar will be a very bad thing!

What about China?  If the United States enters a trade war against China, China can increase import tariff costs for the products from the United States.  This could hurt the United States’ export market because weaker Dollar would be neutralized by this move from China.  Furthermore, China can also buy up weak Dollar on the cheap to make Yuan stronger if this would serve China’s agenda.  Of course, stronger Yuan for China could make China’s exports look expensive.  Still, from what I’ve heard, China is trying to spur demands at home to create a bigger home consumer market so China won’t be relying on too much from the export market.  If this is the case, then cheap Dollar would be beneficial for China in a big way!

Stronger Yuan would allow Chinese who are going abroad to get more bang for the buck.  Meanwhile, Chinese imports would become cheaper, and so China won’t have to spend so much money to import stuff.  As China’s export market isn’t doing so bad and the imports get cheaper, stronger Yuan allows China to continue to reform her consumption market.  Foreign companies would love to enter China’s bigger homegrown consumption market because China has 1.4 billion headcounts and growing.  As China becomes an ever more important factor for foreign companies due to the size of Chinese population and market, China can begin to dictate tastes, styles, fashions, and so forth worldwide.  Chinese culture will become ever more influential if Chinese market becomes the most important market in the world.

With a weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan, entering a trade war against China might be very bad for the United States!  China can sanction the United States’ companies, entities, and so much more to crash the United States economy.  Of course, a trade war would be bad for China too, because the United States’ imports from China do matter to China a lot.  Nonetheless, as China doesn’t rely on the export market so much, a trade war between the United States and China won’t deter Chinese economic reform plan.  After all, China wants to grow the homegrown consumption market!  While growing a homegrown consumption market to rely less on the export market, China relies on the cheaper import market to balance out the reduction of Chinese exports.  Weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan will allow China to transit from the export market to a service market, also to move to a higher value-added export market — all in all – making this transition in a smoother fashion.

In conclusion, I think China can make the best out of either weaker or stronger Dollar, and the United States — as long as the country stays less competitive — won’t be able to have the upper hand if a trade war occurs between China and the United States.  Meanwhile, China can use stronger Yuan to buy cheap debts from United States’ weak Dollar to prop up China Yuan’s strength.  This, in turn, will actually help China transits from a manufacturing to a service economy.  As the low value-added market goes away in China, China has to accelerate the reform of the manufacturing sector at home so Chinese future export market will be more about high value-added products.  Anyhow, if the United States isn’t going to be able to use the opportunity of a weaker Dollar to reform her economy somehow to make the United States’ economy more competitive against rivals such as China, in the long run other rivals will use the weaker Dollar as the opportunity to make their own economies a lot stronger.

21 Year Old Unicycling 5000km Across China!

Biking around?  Me?  You must be joking!  I barely even walk.  It’s a sad fact, but it’s true!  So it’s unimaginable for me to even think about riding a unicycle, not a bicycle mind you, across China, but Ed Pratt, 21 years of age, did it.  On his YouTube channel, he made video clips of his 5000km adventure across China, by himself, on a unicycle.  Check out his last 20 miles out of China, heading toward Vietnam.

 

China Embraces Futuristic Facial Recognition Technology, Allowing People to Interact With More Machines and the Like

In the past, before social network revolution, people in the United States did treasure privacy more than now.  Since the Internet’s social network revolution, privacy is being demoting slowly, but many people are still treasuring privacy.  A lot people though, they rather upload just about anything including their most vivid framed candid moments onto their social networks.  Most social networks have ways to allow members to set limitation to prevent strangers from viewing certain private pictures and contents, but many people who use such social networks may not even restrict strangers from viewing their closely guarded pictures and contents.  So, privacy is slowly becoming an outdated concept as social network revolution continues to evolve.

In China, Chinese people view the government and the ruling party as the father figures of the family, and so they do not care much when the government and the ruling party inquire about their daily lives.  Nonetheless, since I’ve never been to China, and so I don’t know the level of the intrusiveness of the Chinese system.  Nonetheless, I surmise that the people in China would care less about their privacy than the people in the West.  So, it’s not a surprise for me to see that the Chinese people are embracing technologies that enhance data collection of individuals.  For an example, in the video right after the break, Chinese people are embracing facial recognition technology to the point that people can just take money out of their bank account through ATM machine by using just their face.

China’s New Bullet Trains Just Launched For Beijing to Shanghai and Vice Versa

If I understand correctly of what is going on in the video, then the new China’s bullet trains (launched from Beijing to Shanghai and vice versa) operate at 350 km/h.  The new Beijing-Shanghai bullet trains could also reach the speed of 400 km/h.  According to the speakers in the video, China first built high-speed rail system in 2004, but after 13 years China’s high-speed rail system is considered to be the longest in the world.  According to Wikipedia, annual ridership for China’s high-speed rail is around or over 1.44 billion headcount.  Unlike China’s earliest bullet train models, newer ones like Beijing-Shanghai bullet trains that just got launched are totally indigenously built and patented.

China’s President, Xi Jinping, Is Telling The World Why His BRI Could Make The World A Better Place!

In our time, there are small wars break out around the world.  Although these wars seem insignificant, but you never know enough of them will eventually turn into an avalanche of World War III.  People of WWI could not have known how much worse a war could be, but WWII proved them wrong.  I think the people who experienced both WWI and WWII would definitely agree that WWII was way worse than WWI.  Both WWI and WWII encouraged humankind to go on killing each other in deranged way, but these last two insane wars got nothing on WWIII if indeed there will be one.  After all, the next war could encourage modern nuclear weapons to be unleashed on multiple bustling places of this earthly world.  I imagine modern nuclear weapons are way way more powerful than the ones that got dropped on Japan in WWII.  According to PopularMechanics.com’s article “Today’s Nukes Are Thousands of Times More Powerful Than WWII A-Bombs,” a modern nuclear bomb is like 3000 more times powerful than the atomic bomb that got dropped onto Hiroshima, Japan in WWII.  If I’m not wrong, such weapons could end humanity, because hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people will die in such a nightmare.

Unlike our historical pasts where an ocean could be a big barrier for people to get to know each other, today our world is very much connected.  From the oceans to the sky and beyond, nothing can actually be a big barrier anymore.  Our technological advances have allowed humans to communicate in seconds across vast earthly distances.  Even the space in the heaven (i.e., outer space) cannot stop us from sending robots to uncharted domains such as Mars, and we communicate with our robots from such a distance just fine.  So, there isn’t anything stopping us from trying to understand each other even though different parts of earth were civilized in different ways.  Countries from West and East, North and South, and even neighboring countries do have their own historical memories and pasts, because each country was grown and civilized in different way.  Thus, instead of dividing us and them, sowing more hatreds to sow more seeds of murderous, deranged human-made catastrophes such as WWI and WWII, we should think about how much more cooperations today humans should make so humankind can move forward without worrying about earth-kind extinction through the usage of nuclear weapons.

The 14th and 15th of this month, China is opening up a Belt and Road initiative forum, and many countries’ heads of state and delegates are going to descend upon Beijing for this meeting.  No doubts, some countries are still having doubts about China’s BRI objectives.  Furthermore, some countries even doubt that BRI could be achieved since there are so many unknown moving pieces within the agenda.  For an example, along the countries that are the path for BRI, there are terrorism activities that may hamper BRI projects.  Such doubts are logical, but other doubts are more of psychology.  For an example, U.S. may not trust China’s global ambition, because U.S. could view China’s BRI as a way to undermine U.S. global influences.  Nonetheless, China BRI is moving forward as we speak.  Some BRI projects are already either finished or in the work across the world, and many more are in the planning stages.  As BRI forum takes shape, I haven’t heard of anything in relation to U.S. meeting up with China in this forum.  It seems either China isn’t inviting or U.S. is isolating herself from this forum on purpose.  With or without U.S., delegates and heads of state of various countries are descending upon Beijing for BRI forum meeting.

Nobody would know China’s true global ambition, but China seems to be very happy in forming relationships with countries all over the world to promote globalization and world connectivity.  These cooperations among countries in the world leading by China’s BRI would promote higher trade volumes and people to people connections.  Will there be good outcomes from BRI?  I guess time will tell, but China is leading the way to more globalization.  In ancient time, when China was prosperous, ancient Silk Road was one of the ways that kept ancient China prosperous.  Today, as China is getting stronger in economic and military terms, China is striving to revive the idea of ancient Silk Road but with modern utilities to create modern Silk Road so China can keep on being prosperous.  It’s obvious, just like any other country, China is China’s first, because she has 1.4 billion plus of people to worry about.  Nonetheless, cooperation is still better than dividing in hatreds.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has got a short film in which he narrates and promotes the idea of BRI.  In the short film he tells the world why he proposed and is backing the BRI.

If China is indeed imagining, hoping, and willing to promote and work toward a world where global community would be evermore prosperous and peaceful, I think it’s admirable and noble.  In fact, I think U.S. should have joined BRI in a big way.  After all, U.S. could also bring her huge expertise and wisdom to BRI and ensure the initiative to be even more successful.  With China and U.S. leading BRI, I don’t see how the world would see this initiative failing.  I think a successful BRI could bring the world into a more prosperous time.  Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball, and so anything into the future is very uncertain.  As of now though, my instinct says that BRI is going to gain evermore supports and attractions from countries that want to improve their infrastructures, businesses, and cultural connections.  Here is a million dollar question, can BRI help turns back the minute arm of the Doomsday Clock?  Here is another, can BRI help the world to be even more prosperous through strong infrastructure projects and business connections?  Of course, there are tons of questions in regarding to how BRI would change the world, but I guess we have to wait and see how everything would turn out in the near future for projects and parts of the world that subscribe to China’s BRI.