Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 20, 2021

China Has First World Problems

People in China have first world problems:

Peter Jolicoeur 周力克 @pajolicoe - 5:35 PM · Jul 20, 2021

My subway trip from home to Hongqiao rail station tomorrow (28 km) will take longer at 70 minutes than my high speed rail trip from Shanghai Hongqiao to Nanjing South Station at 59 minutes (295 km, averaging 300 km/h).

Who does not such hate long train rides? Well, that first world problem might be solved pretty soon:

World's first 600 km/h high-speed maglev train rolls off assembly line

China's new high-speed maglev train rolled off the production line on Tuesday. It has a designed top speed of 600 km per hour -- currently the fastest ground vehicle available globally.

The new maglev transportation system made its public debut in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province.

But Peter is going to Nanjing which recently had a first world problem with Covid-19. One traveler had brought it in. Ten close contacts were identified and 140 possible contacts beyond them. All were notified, isolated and tested and Nanjing is again free of Covid. Meanwhile over 90% of all adults in Beijing have been vaccinated.

What amazes me is that some in the U.S. still think they can compete with and beat such an efficient system.

Posted by b on July 20, 2021 at 18:06 UTC | Permalink

next page »

It's hard to compete with slave labor lol.

Posted by: Captain Proton | Jul 20 2021 18:09 utc | 1

@ Captain Proton:

Like American prisons, maybe?

Posted by: corvo | Jul 20 2021 18:16 utc | 2

Thanks b. Very impressive what China can do. In the US,not one mile of high speed rail. No contact tracing to speak of as well.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Jul 20 2021 18:22 utc | 3

@Michael Crockett

All contact tracing is done by DOJ/FBI/NASA and is focused on Trump supporters all of whom are classified as domestic terrorists. (see what they've done to Giuliani, Stone, General Flynn).

Tracing for Covid? Not so much.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 20 2021 18:27 utc | 4

Posted by: Captain Proton | Jul 20 2021 18:09 utc | 1

I've noticed lately that on almost every China story the first post is always a negative post. Almost like some person or organization is alerted immediately when a story is posted.

Posted by: One Too Many | Jul 20 2021 18:29 utc | 5

@Captain Proton | Jul 20 2021 18:09 utc | 1

Why don't you stop working, stop taking any handouts, snip your EBT cards and see how that works out for you capt?

We're all slaving for something. It's just what for. And you sir, right now, are just a clueless slave of the narrative.

Haters' gonna hate! Enjoy your implosion. Lol

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 20 2021 18:30 utc | 6

@One Too Many | Jul 20 2021 18:29 utc | 5

Yup, usually by one hit wonders too.

It just means b is on the right track.

One fears what they don't understand, the tptb is harnessing and amplifying this fear into hate. And its certainly working on the weak-minded.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 20 2021 18:35 utc | 7

"What amazes me is that some in the U.S. still think they can compete with and beat such an efficient system."

I'd call that a rhetorical question but it wasn't even framed as a question. It's a rhetorical comment :-)

Some people believe we can compete but most think we are superior to the Chinese because of U.S. State Media. Capt Proton's statement is a good example of that, 'they are robots, monsters, slaves, automatons, ...'

The only thing we know how to do in the U.S. is make ourselves feel good about ourselves.

Case and point: Cuba
We can't let them have remittances (relatives in the U.S. send money to relatives in Cuba) because the Cuban govt will take all of it!
- No one on FOX or CNN makes any effort to find out if that is true. It would be easy to find a relative ans say, 'how much money actually gets to them?' but they just believe the U.S. govt official and bellowing Fl. Cubans.

The Embargo is good!
- No news outlet bothers to ask the Cubans if they want Cruise ships banned from Cuba. Again this is easy to do. Cuba lets journalists into the country. It's at least possible to try but why bother.

We want to believe certain things (slave labor), don't bother use with truth. The truth must yield to the United States.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2021 18:38 utc | 8

Well I guess I'm confused too. I thought the post was about the progress and modernity of China, then it was about the glory of totalitarianism - which I know lots of folks support in the name of 'safety' but... anyway, I love trains. :)

Posted by: gottlieb | Jul 20 2021 18:41 utc | 9

China's trains are also all electric, no smoke spewing out of smokestacks at least not from trains. Now the factories, still need some work there.
The concern I have about improving transportation is that it doesn't necessarily decrease a country's overall travel time because people just travel more. A similar situation in the US is urban sprawl, where terrific highway systems allowed people to live further and further away from home and shopping.
In China, their transportation carries the single biggest migration in the world every year during Chinese New Year, when people travel back and forth across the entire country to see relatives for the holidays.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 20 2021 18:42 utc | 10

Fuck your 1-year concoction.

Posted by: Red Triangle | Jul 20 2021 18:42 utc | 11

Another myth ... Billionaires playing with rockets is better than a govt having a coherent space program.

This to me is a crowning achievement of our Exceptionalist, U.S. stupidity. We are actually proud of the fact and think it is a triumph that a few billionaire hobbyists are building rockets and going into orbit. Okay but I bet that China, Russia, and maybe even Iran will eventually surpass us with their govt run space programs.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2021 18:43 utc | 12

Too bad that 600KPH maglev train has no track to travel on. Here's something of importance that isn't on the main page at Global Times:

"China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying, recently introduced the book Die scheinheilige Supermacht: Warum wir aus dem Schatten der USA heraustreten müssen (or The Sanctimonious Superpower: why we need to step out of the US shadow) at a regular press conference. The book points out that America's adherence to 'values' is only one side of the coin; the other side is brutal power politics. Since WWII, the US has overthrown many progressive governments with no moral scruples. The book also uses numerous examples to deeply expose how the US manipulates world public opinion through media and institutions, while the European media is deeply embedded in the discourse hegemony of the US and has lost the ability to think independently. The book immediately became a hit after its release this year. Global Times reporter Qing Mu (GT) had a conversation with Michael Luders (Luders), author of the book and a renowned Middle East expert."

So b, the book's in German and ought to be of interest. Perhaps you might read and review it for us? The first Q&A in the interview isn't news to most barflies but might wake some German minds from their stupor:

"GT: In your latest book, The Sanctimonious Superpower: why we need to step out of the US shadow, which has garnered lots of attention, why did you describe the US as sanctimonious?

"Luders: The US is a world power that claims to act in the name of freedom, democracy and human rights but there is a wide gap between ideal and reality. During the Cold War, the US proved that on every continent its claim to power was against the will of the local people. In Latin America, Washington supported far-right military dictatorships. In Indonesia, there was a military coup in 1965 against socialist president Sukarno. Later, under the leadership of his successor, many left-wing opponents were suppressed. On September 11, 1973, a coup against left-wing president Salvador Allende happened in Chile. The US actively supported these incidents behind the scenes.

"The US is sanctimonious because while it always cites higher values, in reality it pursues a kind of power politics that is tough and cold-blooded. It's reference to 'higher values' is being manipulated. For example, the US government and its European allies have complained about the Russian government's treatment of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. Meanwhile, Washington relentlessly persecutes whistleblowers like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange. It would be hypocritical for the US today to demand 'human rights' from Russia or China, rather than from its allies. The US only measures other countries by two different standards: the good guys, the West and its allies; and the bad guys, Russia and China, the geopolitical rivals of the West."

Do enjoy the remainder!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 18:46 utc | 13

HelenB "The concern I have about improving transportation is that it doesn't necessarily decrease a country's overall travel time because people just travel more."

Communication in all its forms are the base of current China's increase in prosperity. People goods data ect. China is by a wide margin the communications superpower.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 20 2021 19:03 utc | 14

The problem is we can't compete. But to make a blanket statement as to what is a better nation to live in...that is an absurd statement that can never be qualified.

I, for one, am not that impressed with technology. Have never been. I am more impressed with the way natural light fills an interior room or how the ocean never makes the same sound twice.

For there to be any spiritual future in the U.S., we will have to separate ourselves from the east, practice again the spiritual quenching actions of writing and thinking (and gardening) and reconnecting ourselves to the great mid 18th century period of U.S. thought, made by such figures as Whitman and Emerson and Thoreau.

I would love to live in that country again. Don't think it couldn't happen, either. A great depression away from globalism is in the U.S.'s best interest. This is beyond a questionable premise.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 15

Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2021 18:38 utc | 8

"Some people believe we can compete but most think we are superior to the Chinese because of U.S. State Media. Capt Proton's statement is a good example of that, 'they are robots, monsters, slaves, automatons, ...'"

But..but.... you've got Captain America ...

Meanwhile... back in France luckily we still have Captain Haddock to swear a bit. (Of Tintin fame)


The jazzed up publicity version of the Maglev train.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 20 2021 19:15 utc | 16

I, like most USians, cannot relate to metric measurements, and this is simply an artifact of my early learning. A maglev train running at 373 miles per hour sounds like a very bad idea for a variety of reasons. It may sound Amish of me, but I think people should not move faster than about 40.mph (

That issue aside, it's plainly obvious that China is about to eat our lunch. The US Pervasive Shadow Dictatorship (PSD) is thoroughly psychopathic, and has somehow decided to destroy its productionality infrastructure (plus the intellectual infrastructure of the over-tamed savages of its zoo-ocracy). So most of the nice things we can buy at Walmart have to be made in China.

The first thing that should happen is the USians must become informed about the (true) nature of psychopathy. Then they should learn that they are in fact ruled by the PSD psychopaths. Real democracy could be created by adoption of the hedge voting method (you grant votes to as many contenders as you prefer -- You grant five votes to your most-preferreds, and four votes to the lesser evils. But societal collapse will undoubtedly occur before such remedies can be obtained.

Posted by: blues | Jul 20 2021 19:18 utc | 17

When everyone is forced to comply, you get greater efficiency.
There’s none of that pesky dissidence to gum the works.

The quality isn’t that great, but you can get a hell of a lot done.

Think “forced labor”.

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Jul 20 2021 19:21 utc | 18

C.J. Chuba

"... a few billionaire hobbyists are building rockets and going into orbit"

Their rocket engines are not powerful enough to reach orbit.

Posted by: chet380 | Jul 20 2021 19:28 utc | 19

[VIDEO] Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail, CNBC

Long story short, the USA can't build high-speed rail even if it wanted and had the means to do so.

According to this CNBC video, the USA is a capitalist country, which means land is privately owned. The Federal Government would have to buy endless lots of lands across dozens of States (each having its different land ownership laws), which would make the cost balloon immediately. It would be impossible to buy all the land at the same time.

The fact that the Feds wouldn't be able to buy all the land at the same time and build the entire railway at the same time would pose another prohibitive cost: the last owners of the last lots of land bought would already know their land's importance, and would spike the prices of their pieces of land even more, may even exponentially (depending on the size of the land) - the USG would have to swallow up the exorbitant prices of the last pieces of land because it would lose the entire investment if they didn't do so. To put things simply, the cost of building the high-speed railway would rise - from an already very high floor - exponentially as it gets near to be finished, as land is financialized in the USA and therefore would be subject to crescent speculation; that means the building of a high-speed railway in the USA is an inherently very high-risk investment by the Federal Government, which is an inversion of values: such large scale infrastructure projects should be the most safe investments (but they aren't because land is fully privatized and financialized). This is only possible because the USA is one of the few countries where land is a financial asset, not a thing you buy for personal necessity (see the mortgage orgy that triggered the 2008 crisis).

Yes, the US Constitution allows for the Federal Government to expropriate however land it wants in the name of national security. But, in practice, it is a taboo and it never do that. There's no jurisprudence for that, and the land owner would almost certainly win in the courts. There's only one case I can remember of land expropriation: during WWII, FDR expropriated an entire coastal small town of some 500-1,000 inhabitants near Seattle, because it wanted a facility to store or test the country's first atomic bombs (which were to be used against Japan, hence it needed to be in the West Coast). But even then all the inhabitants were paid indemnities to the market price.

Posted by: vk | Jul 20 2021 19:28 utc | 20

@15 NemesisCalling

"The problem is we can't compete"

The U.S. has not made any real effort to build high speed rail in my lifetime. They have attempted to raise taxes for it many times, but it is merely a ruse to steal productivity, as the lobbyists control nearly all policy that they gear solely towards private transportation, petroleum consumption, and all the expenses involved with owning and maintaining private vehicles while the modern rail projects never materialize.

If the U.S. wanted to, they most certainly could compete with China, but the two nations are playing entirely different games.

The leaders in the U.S. just want to steal from the masses and center the economy around high cost industries which benefit largely the ownership class, such as military, high-priced private health industry, and a vampiric financial sector.

That you think we need to go back to the 1700's to change the collective mindset is telling for just how long the U.S. has operated in this regard.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 20 2021 19:29 utc | 21

Hmm "quality" hmmm....

China just set up a new space station quite rapidly and is the #1 innovator when we look at patents issued. Innovation isn't a product of "forced labor." The Outlaw US Empire uses prison labor in all 50 states, which by definition is forced labor, and it can't even innovate a good combat fighter jet at a reasonable cost or a main battle tank for that matter. Now if the trolls had actually read the article as I did, they'd have seen there's no track for the super maglev to travel, so how does anyone know it's capable of 600KPH?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 19:32 utc | 22

If China is so great, and better than America, why do thousands of Chinese come to live in America every year, for 200 or so years now?
while only a hundred or so Americans migrate to a China per annum?

It’s not the trains.

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Jul 20 2021 19:32 utc | 23

"What amazes me is that some in the U.S. still think they can compete with and beat such an efficient system."

Indeed. The compulsion of "we're number 1" is an illness. As Chesterton said, one should love his country like his wife: not because she's the prettiest or smartest or best, since that would mean one would cease loving her if a prettier or smarter woman came along. But rather because one belongs to her, has freely chosen her (and she, him), and loves her for her own innate charms.

America is big and wide and wild and beautiful and used to be freer than it has recently been and I love her for all of that, all of which will be improved as our leaders are finally forced to give up their dreams of world dominance.

Posted by: Caliman | Jul 20 2021 19:34 utc | 24

@20 vk

The U.S. could build rails down the middle of highways all over, even if it had to be on raised platforms as in Chicago. They could convert entire streets to rail-only in small and large cities alike.

There's ways around eminent domain conundrums and they don't require new technology at all.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jul 20 2021 19:38 utc | 25

The Roman Empire built roads, THe French built straight roads with shade trees for Napoleon, The Germans pre WWII built their Motorways, The swiss built railways and more recently the French for high speed trains. So rapid transport is a necessity for the expansion of a country.....

Then the UK built "British railways", split it up, sold bits and then went to find a "cuppa" at the nearest station "buffet". Which was shut.

(Spoiler alert - I haven't travelled on a BR train for years, but at one time it was a standing joke - as you usually couldn't find a seat.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 20 2021 19:38 utc | 26


"... a few billionaire hobbyists are building rockets and going into orbit"

Their rocket engines are not powerful enough to reach orbit.>>

Indeed it is another John Glen type jaunt, a short ballistic sub orbital trip.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Jul 20 2021 19:40 utc | 27

@VK 20

Land is often taken via the 5th amendment "eminent domain" clause for expressway interchanges, federal highway improvements, etc. Once represented a family that had owned 100 acres (or 40.4 hectares for you europeans) for over 115 years. Unfortunately, we did not prevail but I was very surprised to learn how often this happens. They were inadequately compensated for their loss IMHO. A few years later the portion unused by the Department of Transportation was sold to a large fuel depot chain, or truck stop as we call them here.

Posted by: Fractional Ownership | Jul 20 2021 19:50 utc | 28

re eminent domain:

And let's not forget that the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that private companies can use "eminent domain" to confiscate private property. In this particular case land was taken from its owners -- mostly Black families, no less -- for construction of a shopping center . . . that was subsequently never constructed.

The justices responsible for that appalling ruling were the so-called liberals: Kennedy, Souter, Breyer, Stevens, and the recently and absurdly sainted Ginsburg.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 20 2021 19:53 utc | 29

What are your nation’s core values and development themes?

If one can’t answer this question then they’re living in a private plantation and their nation is a vassal. Who are the owners that enslaved you and your world? What is their enslavement plan? So-called ‘democracy’ is a sham, the ballot a travesty. Name a democracy that isn’t a SUZERAINTY.

Any nation with a good leadership team will do well. Got good national leadership? Most nations have been captured by the Financial Empire and waste their resources on the Imperial war machine. What is their Imperial vision? The hubris of Empire’s fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims. Is the Empire planning to BOMB China? How did it dupe Germany?

The Financial Empire = Booze, Bubbles, Bailouts, Bombs, Bragging/BS

Where is your nation going?

Posted by: Max | Jul 20 2021 19:58 utc | 30

Regarding eminent domain - my father's parents lost their house in East Los Angeles when the 110 / 10 freeway was being erected in Boyle Heights. They were lucky to get pennies on the dollar. Just some Latinos trying to make it by back in the day.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 20 2021 20:00 utc | 31

Not going far... All train, and no track

Posted by: Just Me | Jul 20 2021 20:14 utc | 32

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Jul 20 2021 19:32 utc | 23

Must be pretty good in China since 150 million tourist each year visit other parts of the world with the vast majority of them returning home. Please troll someplace else, you're not very good at it.

Posted by: One Too Many | Jul 20 2021 20:21 utc | 33

@ Rutherford82

The whole purpose of spirit is to break the cycle. Indeed, spirit has it in its essence the completion of itself as well as its beginning. You propose immitation by means of competition with China. That is a terrible idea which will land us further away from spirit, negating even the negation of the Hegelian world-spirit dialectic.

It just so happens that our country does not need high-speed passenger rail. I can think of many better uses for infrastructure money, including road upkeep, burying power lines, expanding parking strips along roads to accomodate much larger shade trees, etc., etc.

In a sense, the slowing down of the futurist idea would benefit this country greatly. If China wants to dazzle the world with computers, space flight, and blinking lights...go right ahead. Lead the transhumanist movement. I'm fine raising children and swimming in cool pools on hot days.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 20 2021 20:27 utc | 34

Posted by: Just Me | Jul 20 2021 20:14 utc | 32

Give them a few weeks and they'll have a 500 KM of rail ready to go.

Posted by: One Too Many | Jul 20 2021 20:39 utc | 35

Billionaire hobbyists TOUCHING (aka fondling) space

"Their rocket engines are not powerful enough to reach orbit." Posted by: chet380

Point taken. Statement amended as highlighted in the title. Some even argue that they did not technically reach space but they did float in the cabin due to lack of gravity, so I'll call it 'touching'.

I'll put my money on the Commie space program because there are some things a govt can do better than private enterprise (gasp).

The space race is on in the 1960's it was the USSR vs the U.S.A. now ...
it's the Billionaire hobbyists vs China.

To be fair, we don't have an outcome yet.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2021 20:39 utc | 36

>It's hard to compete with slave labor lol.
>Posted by: Captain Proton | Jul 20 2021 18:09 utc | 1

It's hard to compete with [when al you have is] slave labor lol.
Fixed it for you troll

Posted by: svaya | Jul 20 2021 20:45 utc | 37

The fact that the Feds wouldn't be able to buy all the land at the same time and build the entire railway at the same time would pose another prohibitive cost: the last owners of the last lots of land bought would already know their land's importance, and would spike the prices of their pieces of land even more, may even exponentially (depending on the size of the land) - the USG would have to swallow up the exorbitant prices of the last pieces of land because it would lose the entire investment if they didn't do so. To put things simply, the cost of building the high-speed railway would rise - from an already very high floor - exponentially as it gets near to be finished, as land is financialized in the USA and therefore would be subject to crescent speculation; that means the building of a high-speed railway in the USA is an inherently very high-risk investment by the Federal Government, which is an inversion of values: such large scale infrastructure projects should be the most safe investments (but they aren't because land is fully privatized and financialized). This is only possible because the USA is one of the few countries where land is a financial asset, not a thing you buy for personal necessity (see the mortgage orgy that triggered the 2008 crisis).

The above did not stop creation of the Interstate Highway System. Furthermore, under "eminent domain"
the USG need pay no more than "fair value" for land taken, at a price and time determined by the USG. In other words, the point claimed above that land take last costs more than land taken first, is false.

The real reason the US has no high speed rail has to do with HSR displacing and making redundant local air travel, with the concomitant hit on airline profits, and with graft and corruption of Local/State officials, not to ignore the financial configuration of US railroads, which are publicly held private corporations, where profit is king. This stands in marked contrast to the Chinese system which exists to tie the country together.



Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jul 20 2021 20:51 utc | 38

I have made few trips to China in the past several years.

I was visiting in one city (about the size of New York) and there was no subway. I came back a couple of years later and the subway was completed, working beautifully and connecting the various parts of the city.

Meanwhile, back in the USA it took four decades for New York City to complete a small extension serving some wealthily neighborhoods on the upper east side.

That comparison speaks volumes.

Posted by: Mike from Jersey | Jul 20 2021 20:52 utc | 39

So, the Chinese have a maglev train but no tracks capable of carrying it?
Maybe so, what do I know? But of all the developments attributed to China over the last decade or two, putting the cart before the horse is not one of them.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jul 20 2021 20:56 utc | 40

@24 Caliman & @30 Max and @34 Nemesis Calling

Well said. I would like to see us USns pay less (money and attention) to the attention-seekers & sociopaths.

Just mentally turn them off, and economically side-step them.

Then we can pay more attention to doing and being what's worthwhile and offers long-term utility to all of us.

Swimming in cool pools on hot days is right up my alley. I'm in on break right now, and it's hot n humid outside.


Keep on truckin'.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jul 20 2021 21:16 utc | 41


On the need to move away from technology, I completely agree. Aristotle and Epicurus were right to say the good life consists of the satisfaction of needs. We need to wage war on rent-seeking and move toward a world where food, power, health, water and time are socially available without predatory private ownership exerting monopolies and extracting surpluses from labour. The world has been hijacked by these interests through their agents in government. The advantages of a 600kph train are moot if all you need is a home, a garden and access to a good communal library.


In Australia it would never happen (though it has been promised over and over again). Unless a bunch of mates can make a quick buck from it what's the point? The role of government in Australia now is to sell off everything that isn't nailed down to private industry mates. Building new long-term infrastructure is a historical phenomenon now, a feature of strong public and communal ideology between c. 1930-1980 (from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House and Medicare as convenient chronological markers). The current modus operandi is the looting and privatisation of everything that was painstakingly constructed in that period.


To play devil's avocado: Mussolini was praised for making the trains run on time. Efficiency is easy to achieve when dissent and disagreement are morally and legally criminalised. Do ends justify means? Just wondering...

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 20 2021 21:20 utc | 42

The gap is not really technological so much as structural. China uses a lot of prefabricated modules in their construction (see around 0:14 on the video), that's why they can get so much done in such a short time.

Of course, prefabs aren't exactly a new technology, you're working with them whenever you put together any IKEA furniture, but good luck finding a company outside of China that makes prefabs for large scale infrastructure.

Posted by: Sid Victor Cattoni | Jul 20 2021 21:24 utc | 43

Christian J. Chuba #12

Okay but I bet that China, Russia, and maybe even Iran will eventually surpass us with their govt run space programs.

Thank you for proposing a bet on the superiority of others vs the USAi. Unfortunately the bet is lost as they have already surpassed the USAi in that field. In the vast field of manufacturing household goods China is a generation ahead of the USA and there is no catching up - the magic bird of national wealth production has flown and is singing in the trees and forests of China.

Watch the China electric vehicle roll out over this coming decade and consider the good fortune of the USA to even have bridge to drive over in their hydrocarbon buggy.

And then there are batteries with Asia being design and fabrication centre of excellence. Japan manufacturer has just announced a production run of a solid state battery - the holy grail of energy storage for now. You can be sure China/Russia/Iran engineers are not far behind. 15 min utoob video from Just Have a Think.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2021 21:24 utc | 44

@ George W Oprisko | Jul 20 2021 20:51 utc | 38:

Yes, all of that is correct. If I might point to another problem: the condition of the rail lines. Not so much that they're antiquated and not electrified, but that they constantly cross roads. This is of course the cheapskate solution, because overpasses and tunnels cost a heck of a lot more than putting up railroad crossing signs and gates that can be raised/lowered in advance of an oncoming train. Accidents at railroad crossings are hardly unheard of, as motorists are always trying to outrun the trains. Now multiply the danger by a factor of 5 or 10 if HSR were implemented anywhere in the USA -- accidents would be much more frequent and much more severe.

I'd always tell my German-speaking friends -- those who could appreciate my admittedly odd sense of humor -- that there were two silver linings to having been bombed to bits during World War II. One was that proletarian housing was rebuilt with actual plumbing. The other was that the rail system was rebuilt according to twentieth-century standards. American urban flats lucked out on the indoor plumbing (for the most part), but its rail system is still stuck in the 1800s . . . for all the reasons you cite.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 20 2021 21:29 utc | 45

Hal Duell #40

Agreed, the track is being installed now AFAIK between two cities as a pilot system. I recall a short vid on CGTN on the installation of the test track.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2021 21:30 utc | 46

Patroklos #41

"To play devil's avocado: Mussolini was praised for making the trains run on time."

On a more lemon note - Musso was elected on the 'promise' of making the trains run on time. His unfortunate death prevented him from achieving that goal. The continued phenomena of late trains had nothing to do with his inept fascist rsole government.

In Australia there was once a wise premier who gave up on the theoretical train timetable and had it changed to the reality of train train locomotion and other real world exigencies and produced a timetable to that formula. No one complained about late trains any more ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 20 2021 21:38 utc | 47

Geez people,

China has had maglev trains connecting shanghai to its airport, its been running for years and cuts the usual 1.5hr road travel to 30 our so minutes. I've been on it numerous times.

This 600kph model is just a further development.

I don't know if you've all noticed, the recent Chinese tech development model has been rapid iterations instead of spending years or decades to design the perfect mouse trap. It plays well into their strengths and it's the only to find out if there's some gating tech they haven't figured out yet. They've learnt that hard lesson with semiconductors and jet engines.

For example with the aircraft carrier, everyone was pissing on China for relaunching an old soviet hull, before the laughter died out they've already built a second, improved one with what they've learnt. Then the same people laughed at the ski jump deck, and soon an EM catapult flattop will be launched.

Same with civil projects, space flight, aviation, submarines etc etc.

Keep on laughing.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 20 2021 21:45 utc | 48

NemesisCalling @15

I get where you are coming from, but you should rethink it a little. American/western spirituality cannot touch the eastern kind.

True, the Chinese ravenously embraced hyper-modernity, but there is already a backlash to that. Or perhaps I should say a readjustment to it, since the Chinese are reorienting around an updated traditional spiritualism without turning their backs on the modern.

Recall a couple weeks ago that our host posted a link to a video by a Chinese Internet personality named Li Ziqi. She is extremely popular, beautiful, and has mad skills at damn near everything, but it is important to note that her get-in-touch-with-nature spiritualism is far from unique these days in China. One might think that Chinese culture is maturing after a decade of crazy exuberance, but I think it is more accurate to say they are consciously reconnecting with their multi-millennium deep roots while staying forward looking.

It is so exciting to see where China goes from here now that there is no reason for them to follow the West anymore.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 20 2021 21:48 utc | 49

This news item proves once and for ll that even high-speed locl traines get wetted fo Covid in an incredible fast time in China. Keep up the good work, peoples who rule China tru democracy! (As I have observed over and over again from attending basic people's congresser several places in Mainland China.)

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jul 20 2021 21:51 utc | 50

A.L. @ 47

For all the naysayers, and China this post several times before replying or trolling.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 20 2021 21:59 utc | 51


I'm in agreement.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 20 2021 22:00 utc | 52

I've discovered the disconnect between what I read and am writing about versus other barflies! In his IP, b linked to a Xinhuanet article, which differs greatly from the two Global Times articles I've read on this topic. Yesterday, I read this Global Times article which admits:

"Although the maglev prototype train is about to be rolled off the production line, there is no track line for the 600 km/h high speed maglev train in China yet."

Then today, Global Times republished the article with further information but with the above sentence deleted.

I assumed b linked to the article I read yesterday but didn't verify that. Otherwise, this discrepancy would've been written about in my first comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 22:24 utc | 53

@Patroklos | Jul 20 2021 21:20 utc | 41

Contrary to your comment to NemesisCalling. HighSpeed rail can actually help reduce or delay a rent-seeker economy as people CAN live further away from developed centres where its cheaper to own without spending a significant amount of their life in traffic jams.

@William Gruff | Jul 20 2021 21:48 utc | 48
I wouldn't heap as much praise on Chinese spiritualism reconnection as you though. She's not the only one and they're all already mega rich. She can afford to "reconnect" when most are busy making ends meet.

Though you are correct in your assessment that it is exciting to see where China will go from here now that there's no reason to follow the west anymore. Which interestingly, bring me to address another poster on the question of migration:

@Cadence Calls | Jul 20 2021 19:32 utc | 23
Because for the last 200 years, corrupt and incompetent rulers, domestic infighting, opium wars, eight nation army, ww2, cultural revolution, book burning etc meant the West is best for education and stability, not gonna lie. However, beyond living out some fantasy good life drilled in via Hollywood indoctrination the appeal of the west is definitely waning.

I think where it goes from here will be the more interesting question.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 20 2021 22:27 utc | 54

Go to the sewer pit of zerohedge and check the comments on any China article, or to Unz and its China article comments, or for that matter to Kunstler where antiChina accusations seem to be mandatory once per article. You could also try any YouTube video on China's space agency's stunning successes and check the comments. The oozing racism, ignorance and hatred shown by some - in the case of zerohedge most - replies is a signal lesson on why their regimes think the way they do.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 20 2021 22:37 utc | 55

The Bonesmen guard the Gates of Hell
Near Tent City where the hoi palloi dwell
There was a time they all lived well
but there's not much left except the smell

Little by little less and less
the boiling frogs were dispossessed
living rough in cars and tents
abandonned by their governments

It's not about the money
these sadistic fucks enjoy it
they've been doing it for centuries
if they can't own it they destroy it

inflicting torment and despair
spreading mayhem everywhere
while they wallow in the excess
due to every billionaire

Better kneel to the Suzerain
there's no limit to their wrath
they will make you an example
and fuck you up the ass

they'll fuck you for forever
because they're psychopaths

I am deeply sorry for any offence I have caused
I am obviously a very bitter person.

Posted by: ld | Jul 20 2021 22:44 utc | 56

@Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 20 2021 22:37 utc | 54

There is a common theme amongst all your examples:


The curtains are being unrolled for the Anglo imperial era and its not going gently into that good night.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 20 2021 22:47 utc | 57

GDP per capita, IMF estimates for 2021 (US$ PPP):

US: 68,309
China: 18,931

China is behind Thailand,the Dominican Republic and Mexico. The ranking has some weirdness like Ireland is number 3 with 99,239.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jul 20 2021 23:16 utc | 58

Not a troll.
Unless this is a strictly “no shitting on China blog”
Which it might be.
Just pointing out the obvious.
People leave China and come to America.
Consistently, and in large numbers.
Why is that?

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jul 20 2021 23:17 utc | 59

A.L. @56--

Chomsky liked using the analogy of a space-alien's POV to describe reality as opposed to media's displays. I try to do the same with my analysis. From the standpoint of geoeconomics, both Russia and China have surpassed the Outlaw Anglo Empire in a manner whereby the West will continue to become ever more dependent on them, whereas the opposite holds for Russian and China. Geoeconomics is the supporting foundation for Geopolitics and thus the cause of the Empire's utter frustration and irrational behavior for which they only have their own policies to blame--policies in which they continue to double-down even though they continue to fail to alter the balance. Dr. Michael Hudson's most recent interview yet again explains why the loss of competitive edge by Neoliberal nations. The pathetic nature of the trolls only serves to underline the degree of Elite desperation. They can't even go to war to defeat China/Russia because they no longer have military superiority of any sort, although they certainly could make billions die--including themselves. And that last little issue is likely the most important, so all that's left is vilification of an Other that no longer can be subdued.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 23:23 utc | 60

On GDP, the Outlaw US Empire's is grossly overstated by trillions such that GDP has actually shrunk over the last 30 years. So doing any sort of comparative analysis using GDP as a metric will yield a false result. Trillions of dollars that amount to the Fraudulent Financial Free Lunch are actually negatives that must be subtracted from overall GDP, which we've discussed here rather often. Again, the closest depiction is Shadowstats GDP chart whose blue line would look even worse if all the Enron Accounting was eliminated.

As I wrote @59, China has the Outlaw US/Anglo Empire by the balls--dependent upon China--geoeconomically as Trump's failed Trade War proved beyond doubt. There is a solution, but it will never be implemented by the Neoliberal Duopoly, which will never be overcome by the popular vote.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 23:36 utc | 61

I should add this Shadowstats assessment from today:

"Evolving Numbers Confirm an FOMC-Induced 'Unrecognized' Recession Began in August 2018 and Still Was Deepening at the Time of the March 2020 Pandemic Shutdown • Specifically, the Fed’s Annual Benchmarking Revised 2020 Industrial Production Activity Lower by 4.8% (-4.8%), on Top of Earlier Negative Revisions to the 2020 Real Trade Deficit, Payroll Employment, Retail Sales and Housing Data • These Foreshadow a Downside GDP Benchmark Revision (July 29th) and Confirm That a Slowdown, if Not an Outright Recession, Was in Place, Leading Into the Pandemic Shutdown."

And the continuing downward revisions won't stop because the numbers are so fudged they'll never properly add-up.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 23:43 utc | 62

About Chinese immigration to the US...which is supposed to 'prove' the continuing 'greatness' of America.

So here are the numbers. According to Pew, 150,000 Chinese immigrated to the US in 2018.

That's one in ten thousand of China's population. Hardly an exodus of biblical proportions. Important to note that this number does not distinguish Chinese from the mainland, nor Taiwan, nor even Singapore. It just means ethnic Chinese.

Another thing to keep in mind. China today has a very large wealthy class---it has more billionaires than the US. And probably more millionaires too.

Obviously these people aren't moving to the US because they have it so hard, and are looking for a better life, lol! In many cases they are fraudsters on the lam, or just trying to stash their gains somewhere safe.

Very few ordinary Chinese folks decide to move to the US. Btw, several thousand Germans immigrate to Russia each year.

Point being that these are simplistic talking points that the USA USA USA crowd always cite as some kind of 'proof' about the supposed 'greatness' of the US.

Yes, for a poor Guatemalan the possibility to make minimum wage in the US is indeed alluring. And the US oligarchy loves bringing them in by the millions to supress wages of working class Americans.

That aspect is well known. An even more important aspect is far less known...and that is the fact that the banking system, which runs on the same fundamental math as the Ponzi scheme, needs an ever-increasing flow of people taking out loans, just as the Ponzi pyramid needs an ever-increasing number of investors putting in money.

It's called exponential growth---and interest lending aka compound interest is simply a Ponzi scheme. The two are even listed right next to each other in the wiki on exponential growth, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 0:22 utc | 63

@karlof1 #13:

“Luders: […] In Indonesia, there was a military coup in 1965 against socialist president Sukarno. Later, under the leadership of his successor, many left-wing opponents were suppressed. […]”

What a laughable understatement! Two to three million people were exterminated—without detention, without trial, even a fake one, without even recording their names⁠—simply because they were Chinese or communist or sympathetic to communism or even just knew someone who was Chinese or communist or sympathetic to communism. That’s like saying that “under the leadership of Hitler, many Jews were suppressed”. Ridiculous! In fact, I’d say that Jews had it better under the Nazis; they had a small chance of surviving, while the “wrong” Indonesians had none.

Posted by: S | Jul 21 2021 0:38 utc | 64

Has this outlet printed anything negative about China ever? I do not know, just asking. If they run such negative stories on occasion did what would happen? Like everything else we link to take it with grain of salt. China's alleged perfect record in these matters is built on a conformist population and the heavy hand of the state.

Their vaccine appears to be performing poorly outside of China and excellently inside China.


Posted by: circumspect | Jul 21 2021 0:59 utc | 65

It’s a Chinese human wave of straw men.
“150,000” in 2018
That calls my “thousands” and raises it by X 150
If China is so awesome, according to all the “numbers”
Why do Chinese come her to live, work, and raise families at such a vast discrepancy, compared to Americans moving to China and doing the same?

I’ll tell you.
It’s cuz China sucks in comparison.

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Jul 21 2021 1:13 utc | 66

circumspect @64

If you need negative stories about China to make you feel better about being a loser, then turn on your TV and download a program update. Numbing the pain and inciting rage against "The Other" is what it is there for.

It is just my impression, but MoA seems to focus on material that the Mockingbird mass media isn't already giving plenty of attention to. Why do you want our host to join the "Me too!" chorus of jingoism?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 1:15 utc | 67

RE: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2021 20:39 utc | 36
you wrote " Some even argue that they did not technically reach space but they did float in the cabin due to lack of gravity, so I'll call it 'touching'

Well I am pretty sure you can become weightless for a few seconds in a Cessna if you are heading towards Earth fast enough. I seriously doubt a Cessna has come close to "touching space". Gordon would know lol.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 21 2021 1:30 utc | 68

Autocorrect strikes again. Attempted to write "Gordog" would know.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 21 2021 1:31 utc | 69

Id #56

Thank you, I grok that.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2021 1:46 utc | 70

@ 'Cadence Calls', who seems very worked up that his silly theory has been debunked.

If you had actually been able to muster the READING COMPREHENSION to understand what I wrote, you would know it's mostly Chinese millionaires that are coming to the US---attracted as they are by the wide-open gangster capitalism, lol!

Any other questions?

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 1:51 utc | 71

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jul 20 2021 20:51 utc | 38

Just to give you an idea about how far the USA is from another Interstate Highway System-like project: the only serious politician left who still evokes Dwight Eisenhower is Bernie Sanders (who is already very old and probably will die soon).

Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it is politically feasible. The American people doesn't want infrastructure projects from its Federal Government anymore; they want a small Federal Government dedicated solely to the military and full monopolly of investment in the hands of their billionaires (private sector).

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2021 1:53 utc | 72

@ Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jul 20 2021 23:16 utc | 57

Ireland's high GDP per capita is due to low corporate tax, a tax haven, the Irish government were opposed to the G7's 15% global minimum corporate tax.

Posted by: awaiting approval | Jul 21 2021 2:11 utc | 73

Less than 18 Miles. Can he take an Express Bus, Cab or a Rideshare?

Posted by: IronForge | Jul 21 2021 2:17 utc | 74

Cadence Calls @23, @65 says:

If China is so great, and better than America, why do thousands of Chinese come to live in America every year, for 200 or so years now?
while only a hundred or so Americans migrate to a China per annum?

It’s cuz China sucks in comparison.

You are an obvious troll, or else a very ignorant person. But I will bite and try to answer your question:

1. Because typical Chinese is more hardworking, competitive and even smart than American. So it is much easier to make a living or get a college spot in US than in China. An average Chinese high schooler knows more English than a "Chinese expert" in DC that knows Chinese language. It is 100x easier to get to Harvard than to Peking U. Average American workers simply can't survive in China - they lack the skill, drive, intelligence and audacity.

2. Chinese is more curious about the world, open to new ideas and willing to learn other culture than average American. There are more Chinese tourists than any countries, and Chinese not only go to US, but also go to developing countries (e.g. Africa) as students/tourists/workers. Whereas most American are like you who think that countries outside US and Europe are "shit-hole" countries.

3. And there is history. When American was too lazy to pick cotton, they kidnapped Blacks from Africa. When they couldn't build the trans-continental railway, they imported Chinese coolies. Even today, they are still too lazy to pick the fruits hanging in their farms that they have to illegally smuggle millions form Mexico. China, however, didn't, doesn't and won't import low-cost laborers. So it is natural that there are more minorities (including Chinese) in US than in China.

Posted by: d dan | Jul 21 2021 2:23 utc | 75

Perimetr, actually you would have to climb that little Cessna for all she's worth---and then push forward stick hard to get a few seconds of zero g, lol! Works much better in a jet that climbs a lot harder! 😉

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 2:45 utc | 76

PR China has become a first world country on the ground, even-though according to the WTO it can still export and import like a third world nation. The biggest difference compared to the West is that Chinese air can contain any quantity of CO2 without outcry.

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 21 2021 2:46 utc | 77

I have been in the Shanghai Maglev train - it's elevated and banked and is very smooth and quiet, taking under 10mins to go 50km. The digital readout in the carriage got up to 432 kmh on my journey.

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 21 2021 2:54 utc | 78

>>>Posted by: karlof1, so how does anyone know it's capable of 600KPH?

Karlof, I would think that in any construction you would build the entire box car, engine, and assembly and test it in the equivalent of a wind tunnel like they used to do to qualify airplane designs before the fly them. It's the same problem. You don't want to invest in expensive tracks until you know you have something that can use them.

I didn't literally mean 'wind tunnel', that was an analogy. Maybe they have a stadium sized mag loop.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 21 2021 3:00 utc | 79

D Dan @ 74:

Hear, hear! - and thanks (and Gordog too @ 62) for taking on the troll.

Plus students, engineers and others who enter the United States to stay temporarily may be counted as immigrants. You would need to know the total number of Chinese people leaving the United States each year and subtract that figure from the number entering the country during the same period to get a better picture of the number "immigrating" into the US in that year.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 21 2021 3:02 utc | 80

Perimetr, you nailed it. It was all a hoax, they simulated weightlessness by doing freefall :-)

BTW I'm not making fun of you. I'll take their word for it that they reached a very high altitude that you can call space but it might as well have been a hoax. People in the U.S. are acting like this was the Apollo moon landing.

It was a non-event. Fake billionaires, fake innovators and a fake press corp and I am starting to think we have a fake country. Maybe we are destined to get crushed in the straits of Taiwan; not what I want but we are so friggin' stupid, I don't know how we can avoid disaster. We are 100% blind.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 21 2021 3:05 utc | 81

It is sad to see so many imagine that making the same errors in another culture will some how miraculously produce a different outcome.
I've got no problems with humans who desire a multipolar world, that is a range of nation states have to negotiate & compromise between them to achieve outcomes so that no single state can dictate to everyone, but the problem lies in the fact that such an arrangement has historically proven to be temporary.
As long as all the nation states especially large ones of more than say 50 million people concentrate power via centralisation, then have a system of government which dictates that some individuals within it can access a pleasing chunk of that power via a competitive process, which is the current commonality of all large nation states, successful power gainers will inevitably be the type of narrow focused self-serving human who always wants more.
That in turn makes war between competing 'leading' powers inevitable.
Many of the posters here favour Xi Jinping of China or Vladimir Putin of Russia, but apart from the usual mealy mouthed spoutings of either there is little to differentiate them from the corporate owned arseholes such as Biden of amerika, Johnson of england or Macron of France, in that they have all sought and gained power using exactly the same political infighting and deceits that amerikan, england and france leaders have used.

Most of us ordinary humans abhor war because most of us at some level comprehend that not only will it be us the shitkickers who will get screwed over in a conflict, it will be other humans pretty much the same as us, who will be similarly screwed by our side, while the bigwigs on all sides who led us to war will escape largely unharmed and probably even more powerful.

So China will soon be the biggest frog in our little pond RAH RAH, blah blah. Unless we the humans on this planet work to defang the current sociopath selection system by keeping/reducing all political entities small and pushing decision making down to the coal face where decisions are needed at the same time as removing competitiveness for decision making positions by radically altering selection of decision-makers & ensuring their gigs are temporary, the rest of it won't matter. Humans will have destroyed themselves - likely in less than 100 years.

There are elements of contemporary China to appreciate but it is foolish to imagine Xi Jinping is like Mao Zedong, or Li Keqiang like Zhou Enlai, they are not, a fact they have deliberately obscured by boasting that they are better, more insightful because they have put a mobile phone in every domicile or other such tosh.

Like 'western' leaders, China's leaders now appear to measure success by the realisation of materialist outcomes for a bourgeoisie, setting the population up with appeals to patriotism as a counterpoint, so a section of the population laps it all up and it is they who will enable China's involvement in an eventual conflict.
because those conditions for war are already in place in amerika and the euro nations, the change to political systems must begin in them, however unless similar change is also undertaken in China & Russia somewhat later, we will have wasted the opportunity.

IMO lauding any of these primitively governed nation states is foolish.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 21 2021 3:11 utc | 82

@cadence calls

There is some truth and some fiction to your claim that Chinese come to the US more than Americans go to China. The fiction--pre-Covid, I was in China, taking a national university or school in a different province for over ten years. Teaching Oral English with students often from all over the country, I got a fair picture of China, I think.
Your number, a hundred Americans entering China per year? Clearly too low, closer to thousands. But do they stay? Well, there are visa problems. After 60, well, they can't work except for a few highly ranked types, so they may be limited to a tourist visa. If you marry someone Chinese, then you could get permanent residence. If you are rich, well, that helps anywhere. Most Americans I know who were in China had to leave because of COVID and being foreign.
Why do so many Chinese come to the US? They worship the West. They have nose jobs to create a more Western look. There are stories in literature about Chinese lying about their happiness and success in the US when they write home to avoid their shame, this situation has existed since the Gold Rush days. The US was called "Gold Mountain". You could just climb the mountain and pick up the pieces of gold, it was said.
Did you know that English is mandatory all over China from second grade through the first year of college?

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 3:16 utc | 83

@karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 22:24 utc | 52

I am not an economist, nor engineer - just a layman, but I read about the maglev for many years. Germans (Siemens) developed it, tried to realize it in Germany, but the costs were prohibitive and the project was abandoned there, but Chinese jumped on it and built it in Shanghai. The agreements between Siemens and Chinese included a clause which stipulated that Chinese would continue provide Germans with data after the project was operational, but the Chinese did not do that. I cannot find the source for this information and was asked about my source in another post - and to my chagrin - I searched my archives and cannot find it. I would appreciate if someone could help in this matter.

This question of use data from a system would be important to determine if Chinese are really that smart that they made maglev economically feasible.

Posted by: bystander04 | Jul 21 2021 3:19 utc | 84

No low wage immigrants in China? Dream on, dear.
Haven't you heard about racial issues in Guangdong? Huge numbers of imported workers were there, some legal, and some not, mostly from Africa. I believe that with COVID many had to leave.
In my small city in Sichuan there was a factory that employed foreign labor. I met and talked with some of the workers on the street. Africans.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 3:25 utc | 85

My HK-Chinese ex-wife and her sister, both very bright, went to top universities in the UK because they had no chance of getting into such universities in HK. Same situation in China for many. The vast majority of the Chinese undergraduate students in the US, UK etc. are from families that can afford to send them abroad because they couldn't get into top universities at home. Its different at the PhD level, as in many fields the US still has the top academic talent (the majority is foreign talent in STEM!), but China is catching up fast. As Chinese PhD STEM programs are expanding there are also many more tenure-track opportunities and research funding grants there, so many PhD graduates may start going home. The US academy treats its STEM graduates appallingly, with H1B used to keep salaries down and tenure-track academic positions few and far between.

When I was an IT executive in Canada we used to joke that we just had to wait at the airport to hire the best talent - Chinese, Indian, Eastern European, Russian, all way better at teaching BSc/MSc level STEM. Easy for second tier Chinese to be top tier in North America. In recent years I see the worship of the US cooling down quite a bit. China seen as getting better and the US getting worse.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 21 2021 3:32 utc | 86

You're equating Xi Jumping to Biden?

Well, I'm not sure you can separate the leader from the regime, but I'll take you on just on a couple points that resonate most strongly with me.

1) Homelessness. Is increasing steadily with Biden. Will continue to increase. Xi Jumping has worked deliberately in a successful focused effort to reduce poverty. You no longer see people living on the streets in China.
2) War. China doesn't do war. Where is China at war? And how many countries does the US have soldiers and military bases in? How many countries is the US currently at war with? War is Neanderthal. War eats up US expense and leaves us poor.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 3:35 utc | 87


Interesting. About the only solid point I can discern from this wordy post is that we should draw an equivalence between Xi and Putin, on the one hand, and Biden Johnson and Macron on the other.

Which sets off my radar about 'drawing equivalences.'

I recall in Europe's darkest hour in 1943, the British proclaimed a Red Army Day, in honor of Stalingrad, a victory that 'saved European Civilization,' in the words of The London Telegraph. King George forged a Sword of Stalingrad that Churchill presented to Stalin in Tehran, a few months later.

Alas, over the following decades, there arose a great propoganda roar drawing EQUIVALENCE between the [former] savior of Europe and Hitler himself.

Today many will say Hitler was the better man. Is that what we can expect in the next comment? That Bojo and Biden are really the better men?

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 3:36 utc | 88

it is disturbing and rewarding reading the comments... i am at a loss where to begin and find it easiest to sit on the sidelines... hopefully some are happy about that!

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2021 3:49 utc | 89

@Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 21 2021 3:11 utc | 81

To equate the Chinese Party-State with the bourgeois-captured state's of such nations as the US and UK is incredibly ignorant of history (i.e. China as a separate and different civilization) and current reality. The CCP-State is accepted as the legitimate protector of Chinese culture and judged by its performance (with an over 80% approval rating according to Harvard University). The strong-benevolent state fits both "socialism with Chines characteristics" and the historical mix of Legalism (authoritarianism) and Confucianism (benevolent hierarchy). The bourgeois in China exist at the permission of the state, and are disciplined if they try to challenge the state's power and/or endanger the general good. A position that Xi has doubled down on with his anti-corruption drives and actions taken against Jack Ma's foray into rentier capitalism, sub-prime lending, and quite possibly attempts to bribe state officials (through hidden ownership stakes).

Martin Jacques' "When China Rules The World" is a good primer. Also the youtube channel "Friends of China" provides a non-propagandist view from such people as Vijay Prashad

The Geopolitical Economy channel also has some good coverage of China
The "State Capitalist or Market Socialist? The Social Character of the People's Republic of China" is a good one:

There are tons of excellent academic papers covering these issues, but they are all behind academic paywalls.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 21 2021 3:58 utc | 90

@89 Roger

The Friends have a really good Twitter feed also.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 21 2021 4:25 utc | 91

@HelenB #10

In China, their transportation carries the single biggest migration in the world every year during Chinese New Year, when people travel back and forth across the entire country to see relatives for the holidays.

Yet with the biggest migration in the world, China doesn't have an ongoing conveyor-belt covid 'pandemic'. How odd.

Posted by: borzov | Jul 21 2021 4:25 utc | 92

My only quibble with the 'benefits' of High Speed Rail is that HSR is merely an alternative version of a road-system Freeway, which a 1960s comedian defined as "A racetrack connecting 2 bottlenecks.)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21 2021 4:37 utc | 93

@A.L. | Jul 20 2021 21:45 utc | 47

You are absolutely right. People laugh at the Chinese for copying thinking that they copy because they can't invent. The reality is that the Chinese copy in order to LEARN. Pretty soon after they copy and learn, the next iteration surpasses the original.

But honorable Sun Tzu, he say please continue to laugh at funny looking China man. That way enemy of Middle Kingdom not see fast rise of squinty eyed yellow man till it is too late.

Posted by: Littlereddot | Jul 21 2021 4:50 utc | 94

@ HelenB (# 86), good points.

@Debsisdead (#81), please name a democracy that isn’t a suzerainty. The U$A is a captured entity of the Global Financial Syndicate. Why are you ignoring this REALITY?

– SOVEREIGNTY. China & Russia are working towards gaining absolute sovereignty. How about the U$A?

– LIES & myths. The U$A and the West are full of lies & myths. Democracy, capitalism, free markets, independent media, rule of law,... are myths. What is the TRUTH? China hasn’t made big false claims. Just listen to Eric Li’s interviews. What are we missing?

– PERFORMANCE / Outcomes. Just listen to Robert Kennedy’s discussion from 1964 at Columbia University and list all the problems discussed. None of those big problems have been solved in the last 57 years. What a COLOSSAL failure. What big problems have been addressed in the last 50 years?

The U$A survives because of its world reserve currency. The day it loses that privilege the U$A will be where?

Posted by: Max | Jul 21 2021 4:50 utc | 95

Roger | Jul 21 2021 3:32 utc | 85

Yes, it is the same situation in Singapore. University places are limited and only the top rungs of students are able to make it to the local universities. Those who can't opt for foreign universities like in UK, US or Oz.

The usual advice given to aspiring uni students here is unless you go to a top tier foreign university like Cambridge or Caltech etc, do your basic degree in a Singapore uni. This will prove to your future employer that you of a certain calibre. Generally employers do not think highly of foreign university degrees unless they are from top tier unis.

It is very amusing to see how Americans complain about how smart their Asian undergraduates are, when you know that it these guys that they are encountering are not even the cream of the crop.

Posted by: Littlereddot | Jul 21 2021 5:04 utc | 96

@ b who ended with

What amazes me is that some in the U.S. still think they can compete with and beat such an efficient system.

Those in the U.S. still who think they can compete with and beat such an efficient system are adherents of the God of Mammon religion which has been around for a few hundred years and still draws those from other countries, like China, that buy into the social system of the West that is built on global private finance control of money/investment/risk management, ongoing ownership of private property and unfettered inheritance.

I think the characterization of China's transportation challenges as first-world problems are not seeing what I believe to be the trajectory of China's transportation initiatives clearly. The major difference is that most transportation in China is public and the development of it is focused on movement of people and goods.....long distances. Where the US started building the interstate highway system 70 years ago as a public service, it already had given away the right-of-way all over the country to the railroad system which is mostly privately owned.

It gets back to the reality discussion about what sort of mixed economy should society support? Should finance be a public utility or the barbarism driver of society? What level of education, health care, housing, transportation, communication should the government provide and how much should be private? I think China has shown in the area of transportation a focus on long distance infrastructure that is then being supplemented with regional approaches that my reading is of a more nuanced approach than the American "car-culture"...but time will tell if China can continue to manage the tendency to excess of some of our species.

But no, lets continue to poison the forum with discussion of all the ideologies of the world and their various merit instead of sharing opinions about what sort of social system/government would work best, and in what country.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2021 5:05 utc | 97

Roger @89

Thanks Roger, you can't make any kind of sensible comparison between the China and the US without understanding that we are dealing with two completely different kind of states. The US is the bourgeois/capitalist state par excellence. The US state may claim to stand above the contradictions of its society with its 'middle class' ideology (and more recently all manner of 'woke' nonsense), but when it comes to the crunch it acts as the board of directors of the capitalist class. If property is to be seized, it will be the petty property of the 'little guys', and it will be put toward the further accumulation of private wealth and not toward the welfare of the people.

The PRC on the other hand is the result of a revolutionary process led by a workers party (the CPC) and resting upon a 'bloc of four classes': Workers, Farmers, middle-class Intellectuals and the 'patriotic' national Bourgeoisie. Due to this unorthodox class basis and the underdeveloped nature and subordinate position of the Chinese economy, the Chinese socialist state takes on more of a 'mediating' role than was envisioned by western socialists, whose economies were already highly industrialised and polarised between a proletarian majority and a capitalist class oriented toward imperialism.

The CPC has succeeded in creating a unifying national ideology and mediating between urban and rural workers and between the 'capitalist roaders' amongst the national bourgeoisie and the interests of Chinese workers as a whole. But when this mediation is not possible, as a socialist party the CPC brings down the power of the state on the side of the working majority against the capitalist roaders. The continued legitimacy of the party and the increasingly implacable opposition of the West suggests that this remains the case.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jul 21 2021 5:15 utc | 98

And I suffer no delusions that China is perfect....just more humanistically below is a quote from a posting at Xinhuanet about flooding in China that says maybe their high speed trains have some design/construction issues....

Floods and downpours have also affected rail services passing Zhengzhou, said the China State Railway Group. Parts of the Zhengzhou-Xi'an high-speed railway and the Lianyungang-Lanzhou railway saw tracks and equipment flooded, as well as trackbed collapses.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2021 5:22 utc | 99

@ Debsisdead 81
Mate, you are the single best commenter here at MoA and one of the best anywhere. You are also the best proof that those who comment rarely usually comment the best. The regular crowd at MoA is terribly blabbering and boring, trolls and intellectual peacocks all of them.

Russia, China rah, rah. Not much different than USA, USA, USA, same mindless idealisation. I keep writing that it is not that China and Russia are specially good, it is that they are not falling down yet like the West. The worst factor of all is that China is doing the out of this world credit expansion just like the West. The same as this has worked wonders for the West for a period of time, it is now working for China. But as the rulers get complacent they continue abusing the monetary policy for all manner of “absolute necessity”, such as greening of the economy, COVID, preventing this or that crisis and so on. The way I see it China is guilty of all the sins if the West but it is just at a different point of the societal lifecycle.

Russia has different issues, but the main one is the continuity of good leadership. Non-urban Russia is currently one of the most spiritual in the World.

In short, do not idealise Russia and China if you have a brain.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 21 2021 5:25 utc | 100

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