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Path to Modernity

2021-03-20 7:54 am
March 20, 2021
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Europe is about quality of life, America about changing life and China about changing lives.

2021-03-20 9:11 am
March 20, 2021
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China transforms without changing ideology.

2021-03-20 9:13 am
March 20, 2021
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Is China skipping western modernity to its own modernity?

2021-03-20 9:14 am
March 20, 2021
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China’s objective is self sufficiency. Today more urgently than ever, owing to a hostile West.

2021-03-20 9:14 am
March 20, 2021
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China went from opening up to closing in.

2021-03-20 9:16 am
March 20, 2021
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China became too conservative at home and too aggressive abroad

2021-03-20 9:16 am
March 20, 2021
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China will pursue self-reliance.

2021-03-20 9:16 am
March 20, 2021
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China’s strengths:

  • A disciplined and homogeneous culture, with centralized political power.
  • A combination of effective governance and capitalism.

2021-03-20 9:17 am
March 20, 2021
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Soft power is aspirational - has America lost it? China will need to learn the art of soft power. Historically, China is used to controlling as opposed to seducing.

2021-03-20 9:22 am
March 20, 2021
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China today: Orwell and Huxley

2021-03-20 9:22 am
March 20, 2021
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Rooted in Tradition…

2021-03-20 9:22 am
March 20, 2021
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作曲家与他们的作品就像鸭子和烤鸭

The composer and their creation is like the duck and the dish



2021-03-20 9:23 am
March 20, 2021
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China : will try to satisfy 90% of its population at the expense of 10%, when the West will sacrifice 9 to help 1.

2021-03-20 9:23 am
March 20, 2021
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China: still operates by relationships as opposed to the rule of law.

2021-03-20 9:23 am
March 20, 2021
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China: conformist outside - yet dynamic inside.

2021-03-20 9:28 am
March 20, 2021
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Education in China is answers based, versus in the West which is questions based. Closed as opposed to open. That is China’s long term challenge.

2021-03-20 9:29 am
March 20, 2021
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China is trying to find itself, culturally. What is its identity? If it’s answer is Western and it’s actions are Western-like there might be trouble, as China would want to conquer the world. If the answer is Chinese in a Chinese way, caring only for its own well-being, it is less worrisome for the rest of the world.

2021-03-20 9:29 am
March 20, 2021
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China lives in a contradiction of cultures and ideologies. Is China Communist, Capitalist, Confucian? It is all of them, together. It’s Taoist past allows all to coexist and for society to prosper. The ideological West couldn’t.

2021-03-20 9:30 am
March 20, 2021
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In China, the focus is on making the whole successful, not just the person. China has a long history of governance of a giant and populous country. People respect authority beyond individual ambition, aiming towards harmony. The ethos of work and learning is constant.

2021-03-20 9:33 am
March 20, 2021
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… and authority

2021-03-20 9:40 am
March 20, 2021
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The Chinese party system and the governance of the country reflects a 2000 year old tradition, heir to the Mandarinate - centralized power, whereby subordinates are meant to be chosen on merit, though the reality is often on the basis of relationships.

2021-03-20 9:41 am
March 20, 2021
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The Catholic Church & the Chinese Communist Party are alike in that they have a monopoly of power & truth & therefore must continuously self reform.

2021-03-20 9:42 am
March 20, 2021
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Xi is trying to complete the cultural revolution, now with nationalism as credo as opposed to Mao's communism.

2021-03-20 9:46 am
March 20, 2021
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China: Singapore capitalist model of Sovereign Wealth Funds and State Owned Enterprises, and one party system with economic competition

2021-03-20 9:51 am
March 20, 2021
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The Chinese population's main wish is a better life, therefore the country will progress no matter which political system.

2021-03-20 9:51 am
March 20, 2021
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The Way

2021-03-20 9:59 am
March 20, 2021
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In China it’s not about “the truth”, but about “the way”

2021-03-20 10:00 am
March 20, 2021
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China’s compass: Excellence, Wisdom, Practicality, Community, Respect

2021-03-20 10:00 am
March 20, 2021
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Chinese philosophy: human becomings not just human beings

2021-03-20 10:00 am
March 20, 2021
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The West has an aspirational model - what is China’s beyond its borders? The West has produced universal values - can China?  

2021-03-20 10:02 am
March 20, 2021
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In the West, poverty is a moral issue

In China, poverty is a practical issue, about political stability



2021-03-20 10:03 am
March 20, 2021
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Harmony versus freedom

2021-03-20 10:03 am
March 20, 2021
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Giving freedom is a sign of confidence.

Without freedom creativity will be limited.

Can China achieve economic and a degree of cultural freedom without some political liberties?



2021-03-20 10:06 am
March 20, 2021
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Westerners are too free for the Chinese system, and the Chinese are too conformists to thrive in western messiness.

2021-03-20 10:06 am
March 20, 2021
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Clash of Civilizations

2021-03-20 10:07 am
March 20, 2021
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Clash of civilizations? Two “truths” : can the monotheistic Western society accept coexisting with a parallel version of the “truth” (principally China), culturally and politically? A quantum world...? This would go against the West’s millenia old tradition of believing in the truth.

2021-03-20 10:26 am
March 20, 2021
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Countries will have to choose with whom to side : China or US ? It will be difficult for traditional Western allies, especially in Asia: Japan, Korea, Australia, but also for Singapore and Indonesia.

2021-03-20 10:26 am
March 20, 2021
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The US had soft power - culture : an ethos that attracts the world immigrants and friends around the world versus China : with no friends and a place people used to leave.

2021-03-20 10:27 am
March 20, 2021
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China wants to become number one without a fight  - America doesn’t want to become number two without a fight

2021-03-20 10:28 am
March 20, 2021
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The inward reposition of the USA will allow the acceleration of China's domination of Asia.

2021-03-20 10:28 am
March 20, 2021
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America and China are fighting like children, except that they are not children.

2021-03-20 10:29 am
March 20, 2021
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Beyond the difficulties of normal negotiations, the US/China trade conflict is about two parties that operate with different tolerance to pain, objectives and time horizons. They have opposite cultures.

2021-03-20 10:29 am
March 20, 2021
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As China comes on the world stage, mutual respect with the West is needed as only coexistence is possible for peace.  To counterweight China, the West has to come together. The developing trade war is the signal of the civilizational clash. The West has to strengthen itself, while allowing China to become stronger at the same time. If one feels threatened or cornered: danger!

2021-03-20 10:30 am
March 20, 2021
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Trade was the principal reason for cooperation between the US and China - now that it has broken down, what will get China and the US to be on the same page? Global threats = climate, health, technology? They are in a race, especially in AI, biotechnology, and computers. Yet cooperation is needed for a healthy and safe future.

2021-03-20 10:30 am
March 20, 2021
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Which is more beneficial but potentially more dangerous: control of technology as in China, or the American open architecture?

2021-03-20 10:30 am
March 20, 2021
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If China's authoritarian system has the bad emperor problem, American democracy has the demagogue problem.

2021-03-20 10:30 am
March 20, 2021
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China and the West must find areas to cooperate  

  • Agree on code of conduct where possible and red lines
  • Have an institutional (formal) mechanism to handle disputes and an informal communions path
  • Is coopetition (cooperation + competition) possible?
2021-03-20 10:32 am
March 20, 2021
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Imagine the US/China relationship like an arranged marriage...a marriage of convenience - common overall objectives around world issues and deep cooperation, all while maintaining independence in practices and life in general.

2021-03-20 10:32 am
March 20, 2021
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China’s top down political power structure vs Western democracy’s bottom up system creates an increasingly schizophrenic world.

2021-03-20 10:37 am
March 20, 2021
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It is an unprecedented time when both the West and China have to find a way to respect each other and find a place for each others in being in this world. The West, while protecting and preserving its system of values will have to accommodate a new member of the world order with different cultural and political characteristics. China will have to continue to grow and increase in power while respecting what the West has built. The two will have to co-exist and live with each other so that there is peace and prosperity on earth.

- Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels, Renovating Democracy
2021-03-20 10:08 am
March 20, 2021
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Geopolitics

2021-03-20 10:35 am
March 20, 2021
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Noone in Asia can be an enemy of China and survive.

2021-03-20 10:36 am
March 20, 2021
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The United States is good at trading, Europe is good at regulating and refining, and China is good at both.

2021-03-20 10:36 am
March 20, 2021
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Countries in Asia have a plan and direction. The West (USA and Europe) has to get its houses in order.

2021-03-20 10:37 am
March 20, 2021
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Does the world need a democratic alliance to balance China?

2021-03-20 10:40 am
March 20, 2021
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People want to believe in something simple in a world of rapid transformation. China combined technological change with old fashioned politics; now the West is trying.

2021-03-20 10:41 am
March 20, 2021
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Which is worst : western legalized corruption or eastern traditional relational corruption?

2021-03-20 10:42 am
March 20, 2021
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America and China celebrate individual successes while Europe brings them down. Yet, in China, when respecting the party only.

2021-03-20 10:42 am
March 20, 2021
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Hong Kong

2021-03-20 10:43 am
March 20, 2021
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We could have said: Hong Kong don’t push your luck, and China don’t push your luck? Now both have lost.  

2021-03-20 10:44 am
March 20, 2021
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As western companies withdraw from Hong Kong, the city and its inhabitants will only be more in the hands of China.

2021-03-20 10:45 am
March 20, 2021
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China versus India

2021-03-20 10:48 am
March 20, 2021
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Chinese tend to be less successful in the West when they are individual agents in foreign environments as opposed to a community with power and a culture - the exception is in South East Asia as the ties to China remain strong. Chinese operate best as a group.


In India, people will identify with individual gods as opposed to a simpler coordinated and prescriptive template - they are in the hands of fate, rituals and a caste, less willing to challenge the status quo. The focus is on bettering oneself as individuals as opposed to the whole.  


The Indian people have difficulty managing a huge and complex nation in an effective way, yet tend to be very successful as individuals outside of India, where their talents benefit from other nation's infrastructure and governance.  


Indians can operate individually.



2021-03-20 10:49 am
March 20, 2021
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The idea of Truth :

For Indians destiny is truth. Life is predetermined. Caste defines one's place on earth. You can't be someone you are not - you are of your community. Your actions (and superstitions) will potentially only influence the afterlife. You can’t affect the Soul the way Protestants think. There is no real free will. Life after death is infinite and more important, therefore one can be more accepting and less careful on earth. Destiny is individual (and related to your close ones), just like there are a multitude of gods, thus there is less a sense of duty to society as a whole, allowing each to follow unique paths. The idea of truth is personal and flexible as opposed to the monotheist notion of one unique way of looking at the world. Nothing is absolute. Rainbow.  

For Chinese, reality is truth. Experience is truth. Truth is found on earth. Your actions will determine your life; you must find harmony with family and community - from the Confucian influence. Be one with the world, accept change and go with the currents's flow - coming from Taoist teaching. Peace is acceptance - Buddhist learning. Superstitions are about earthly circumstances. The future will be lived, here and not in the afterlife. Chinese combine very different traditions, sometimes contradictory, in an absolutely non-ideological way. There is no black or white, but shades of them.



2021-03-20 10:50 am
March 20, 2021
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Structure of Society:

One could characterize India as politically democratic but socially illiberal. The static hierarchy of castes and karmic destiny determines social life versus the political ideals of equality regardless of birth. Therefore, mobility is possible in government, politics and economic achievements but hard in social status. (Indians outside of the country - Non-resident Indians - have an easier time moving up socially.). The Indian paradox is that it is the planet's largest democracy but one that culturally is still governed and stifled by a more than 60 castes system. India is liberal politically but conservative culturally and morally.  

China on the other hand is politically un-democratic and socially liberal. The country is dedicated to the ancient Confucian traditions of stability and harmony. The power mechanism of a single Communist Party in charge of administering all of China mirrors the historical Mandarinate of imperial China. The Party is highly hierarchical and so are the powers of its Members. But as opposed to the Indian castes which are inherited, the Party is largely meritocratic and competitive. One can achieve success with hard work and talent, and this is possible in all aspects of society.  The limitations placed upon individuals is not to create instability within society or challenge the Party and its government. Freedoms are moral but limited politically.  

In contrast to both China and India the West is both politically and socially liberal and democratic.



2021-03-20 10:51 am
March 20, 2021
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Legitimacy:

As opposed to the strong ideological view of the world practiced in the West, both China and India aren't ideological. The West is convinced that there is one Truth, therefore binary outcomes of right and wrong, winners and losers. Religious beliefs, political systems and the morals of society reflect a very clear and comprehensive understanding of the world which excludes alternative visions. This makes for a very competitive environment forcing change, rupture and progress, fostering conflict and instability.  

Indians see the world and life events as predetermined by karma and destiny. There is a sequence and rhythm to earthly existence which doesn't need to be challenged. This produces theoretically a more orderly and predictable environment. It also makes change and progress harder.  

China is interested in what works. Traditions are practical as opposed to ideological. Confucianism is about harmony and order for the good of society, and Taoism allows for change and encourages to go with the flow of life. Tradition and change together. Work and cooperation are encouraged, not fighting. Deng Xiaoping said: "it doesn't matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice.”

2021-03-20 10:51 am
March 20, 2021
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