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

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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.

Much of USA mainline rail has been upgraded to deeper rail section and welded rail. The BNSF mainline is typical. However, most of USA mainline rail is at grade, with grade level crossings, as you say.

I agree that true HSR > 180 km / hr needs to be grade separated from road traffic. This the Chinese do, where ever possible.

The ultimate problem precluding USA adoption of HSR is lack of engineering talent. Only 5 countries have HSR... Japan which pioneered it, the EU -- France/Spain/Germany, and China/Russia. The HSR innovator cap was passed from Mitsubishi to Siemens to China.

It now is worn by China.


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jul 21 2021 5:45 utc | 101

Roger #89

Thank you for your contributions and links to informative sites.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2021 6:13 utc | 102

1 "Captain Proton" troll

Albeit belated, a short comment. If it were hard to compete with slave labour, why indeed the Union outcompeted the slave states before and during the civil war? Indeed the slave labour in the US gulag of in excess of 2.5 million people (including the "youth correctional institutions" it is nearly 3 million) and the prison industrial complex are an additional productivity hindrance.

And lest we forget that well 250,000 of them are held in "pretrial detention", which actually means that mainly black and latino youths are grabbed from the streets, by police and sheriffs often in cahoots with the PIC greedy for fresh meat, and delivered to attorneys like Kamala Harris, charging them with often freely invented charges, "generously" offering a lower charge when pleading guilty. In the meantime, they are locked up, many of them completely, all technically innocent, but unable to pay bail and/or hiring a capable lawyer. Length of US pretrial detention has been criticized by international institutions already.

So much for the "country of the free" (cough). Other than Xinjiang fairy tales these are facts.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 21 2021 6:33 utc | 103

@psychohistorian #96

Is China's transportation focused on public? Sure, mass transit is. But private companies are making inroads. With transportation there is Didi, China's version of Uber, so fewer are taking the bus, as Didi is cheaper than the old taxis. Their government's postal system has shrunken to a very small percentage of delivery. Letter-sized stuff is almost all done by phone and computer now. Door to door delivery by the government is gone. Package sending and delivery is now done by a series of small package operators with small operations in every neighborhood. Restaurant delivery is done by small local entrepreneurs. All this I have seen up through 2019, when as a tourist too old to work, I had to leave due to their COVID fears.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 6:39 utc | 104

Have you heard the one where a 'Kiza' walks into a bar and begins by insulting everybody?

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 6:44 utc | 105

@psychohistorian #96
City buses in my small China city, all looked the same, all used city bus stops and city terminals. But my friend said he owned one. He showed me. He hired the drivers, he paid for their gas. I thought that was interesting. Not kidding.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 6:57 utc | 106

China isn’t really an efficient system. It is a system based on total fear and citizens who are more like robots than free thinking individuals. This is why China never has any innovations and personal initiative. They are addicted to copying things from others.
Cuba has less than 1000 hiv cases, it is because it is totalitarian regime. Same thing with North Korea, it is an environmentalist’s paradise, but who wants to live there ?

Posted by: GalustGulbenkyan | Jul 21 2021 7:19 utc | 107

@psychohistorian #98
Regarding flooding and Zhengzhou, check out the monlithic project that China has been doing the last few years, since before global warming was expected.
They took a large river, and reversed its course so it would run north to areas in need of water in China's northeast. A long and unprecedented type of giant engineering that China is fond of. I suspect that it is involved in the Zhengzhou flooding.
Not helping that Zhengzhou just got a year's worth of rain on three days.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 7:43 utc | 108

@psychohistorian #98
Regarding flooding and Zhengzhou, check out the monlithic project that China has been doing the last few years, since before global warming was expected.
They took a large river, and reversed its course so it would run north to areas in need of water in China's northeast. A long and unprecedented type of giant engineering that China is fond of. I suspect that it is involved in the Zhengzhou flooding.
Not helping that Zhengzhou just got a year's worth of rain on three days.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 7:43 utc | 109

Gordog #104

Have you heard the one where a 'Kiza' walks into a bar and begins by insulting everybody?

Yes, I not only heard it but I actually saw it here.

Debs died laughing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2021 7:48 utc | 110

China's first world problems are of little consequence when compared with the problems of the immediate past 'leader' of the first world. Alexander Mercouris describes the current problem being experienced by the USA and its camp dogs in Afghanistan.

Airlifting the chosen ones to the land of the warmongers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2021 8:46 utc | 111

Gordog | Jul 21 2021 0:22 utc | 62

Chinese Immigration:
The country that has largest emigration per population is actually Singapore, recently Hong Kong was reviled by Western press as you people well know, HK is much more free than Singapore, where Singapore is a one family Ruled Island State, the members of opposition usually languish in jail, or taken to court and burdened with exorbitant fines that they never can pay, Government surveillance is so pervasive that no one talks about politics, even in private! Most of Chinese migrant are from Malaysia, due to rampant discrimination followed by Singapore then Indonesia! There use to be few shopping land marks in Singapore, full of shoppers, up to 20th floor, the Sim Lim Square is empty, Funan Centre was demolished and rebuilt but not getting traction, the whole country is run by contract labour from India, Indonesia , Myanmar with dreadful working condition, search western press not a mention of Singapore election , or opposition.

Posted by: Grishka | Jul 21 2021 8:52 utc | 112

No one in US thinks we can compete or even wants to. But there are quit a few who want to beat China, not by being better but rather by undermining them and destroying it by creating chaos

Posted by: Amir | Jul 21 2021 9:15 utc | 113

Posted by: Grishka | Jul 21 2021 8:52 utc | 111

Excellent I'm from there..

"...whole country is run by contract labour from India, Indonesia , Myanmar with dreadful working condition, search western press not a mention of Singapore election , or opposition. " Mostly from india...

Posted by: Jack | Jul 21 2021 9:20 utc | 114

Claiming that China "sucks in comparison" to the USA is of course nonsense. But both Cadence Calls and Robert Macaire (@57) have a point. China used to be a "developing country" just two generations ago and the ecnomic growth as well as the progress in all other areas ist breathtaking. That amazing success seems to make many people blind to the fact that In terms of GDP per capita China is still a "middle income country". If China will ever completely catch up or stabalize at a lower level remains to be seen.

From a geopolitical perspective that doesn`t make much difference, though. With three time the population one can have a third of the GDP per capita and you still have the same GDP. Which means the same financial influence, the same (sustainable) military budget, the same expenditures for research and development etc. etc.

Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 10:06 utc | 115

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?

Cadence Calls clearly isn't aware that the vast, vast majority of Chinese who "move" to the US or Canada do so only for a period of their lives. By far and away the greatest share of them move back to China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The most common comment I've heard about, say, Vancouver (and mind you: this is by Taiwanese, who are far more friendly towards USians than PRC Chinese) is "好山,好水,好無聊"=="Good mountains, good waterways, and really super boring/incapable." Or in other words: "Beautiful scenery, but stupid, boring people."

In fact, most foreigners who move to the US are one of three types:

A) Rich, often criminal business/political families who are fleeing the laws of their home country so they can launder their riches in US banks (KMT "refugees"; Iranian "refugees"; many, MANY S. and Central American "refugees"; Venezuelan "refugees"; Filipino "refugees"--Michelle Malkin, anyone?--etc)

B) Gusano traitors to their home country, who move to the US so they can aid and abet (or because they have already aided and abetted) the CIA and/or NSA in violent actions against their own people (think Fl. Cubans, Boat People from Vietnam, KMT refugees against the PRC, Hungarians, Croatians, Ukrainians, etc), or

C) Poor people who see the US (usually wrongly) as a place where they can make more money than they could at home, or who are working-class victims of globalization and/or US State Terrorism abroad, making it impossible to find a safe, secure job "back home." Such folk typically send most of the money they make back home (Filipinos, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Mexicans, etc) But in this, the US is by no means unique: this particular phenomenon is something many other "prosperous" countries share with the US.

Or in other words: you're spouting lies you've picked up from some uninformed psychopath, which you believe because you're not bright or knowledgeable enough to separate lies delivered by smart-looking corporate/military types from what you can easily confirm simply by looking around and paying attention to what you see for yourself.

Or perhaps you're just young, and part of a paid crew of obedient grunts whose main experience after leaving home has been to learn how to obey orders--which of course brings us back to "neither bright nor knowledgeable..."

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jul 21 2021 10:17 utc | 116

Turkey isn’t really an efficient system. It is a system based on total fear and citizens who are more like robots than free thinking individuals. This is why Turkey never has any innovations and personal initiative. They are addicted to copying things from others.
Cuba has less than 1000 hiv cases, it is because it had an effective Covid-19 response.

Posted by: GalustGulbenkyan | Jul 21 2021 7:19 utc | 106

Fixed that for ya, Galust.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jul 21 2021 10:20 utc | 117

@Candance dimwit: if you want to go the racist route, why don’t you just fear that they are invading our country and will soon take over. China is not sending its dispossessed to us but rather its missionaries to elevate our status

Posted by: Amir | Jul 21 2021 10:23 utc | 118

There is an ancient late Roman travel diary from a merchant who wrote down what he saw. He had to travel by sea to avoid the roads, former pride of the Empire, due to their state of disrepair and bandit infestation. He wrote about the abandoned villages that once were bustling with activity, the bridges collapsing, the port towns with crumbling piers and rotting wood, the world-famous Roman highways full of rubble and overgrowth. But even seeing the ruins of the Empire with his own eyes, he had an unshakeable faith in all this being a temporary setback and that the Empire would get back on its feet shortly, and be stronger and wealthier than ever.


It didn't.

Sounds pretty close to the attitude shown by certain Americans here, ain't it?

Posted by: SumGuy | Jul 21 2021 10:31 utc | 119

@Cadence calls | Jul 20 2021 23:17 utc | 58

Because Chinese people are really hostile to immigration. The only naturalized citizens are usually experts from some technical fields or elite athletes. China is the land of its indigenous people.

Posted by: cindy6 | Jul 21 2021 11:32 utc | 120

The actual average income in China is still actually quite low compared to the West. Seems they are trying to break into the world of high value added manufacturing to try and remedy this, whether successful or not time will tell. China does rely on cheap labor to drive its businesses, of course those running the businesses are making serious money, almost like the days of the US and the Company Store. Time will tell whether China will ever become a high income country for the masses but it would still be far off.

However quite a few of their companies are now setting up in SE Asia (and Africa?) to access cheaper labor, whether that trend will continue... But it indicates that if labor wages increase to a livable level, then just like the West, the companies will pack up and leave.

Many here yearn to be just like China, probably due to the ugly decline of the West. So how many would move to China, enjoy their social credit system and work on an Apple iPhone line for peanuts and long long hours (that is the average job)? It has achieved quite a lot for its money classes on the backs of the poor, does that sound familiar at all?

But they have brought so many out of poverty! How long did that take and when did it really start, was it about the time so many companies started moving there? All western countries also brought people out of poverty, its part of advanced economic expansion, however it does seem the greed of the few eventually demand it all.

Posted by: Gravel Rash | Jul 21 2021 12:03 utc | 121

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

You give yourself away by stating your rank, sorry, you are not field rank material yet.

Back to 77th Brigade [ see their failed 'Zionist 'hero' Ord Wingate] or the Atlantic Council, for the likes of you.

Thanks, b, for giving us some sport.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 21 2021 12:29 utc | 122

New. Lightweight. SUKHOI.

First time at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021. Russia’s Rostec State Corporation and the United Aircraft Corporation are presenting the completely new fifth-generation lightweight fighter jet.

Posted by: Mao | Jul 21 2021 12:42 utc | 123

Cadence calls | Jul 20 2021 23:17 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?

Not difficult to understand. The USA has studied and understood the art and science of propaganda to a vastly greater degree of expertse than have the Chinese Communists.
Secondly, China has a huge population and among them there are a number who want adventure and/or the chance to become a billionaire. Until recently, the 'atmosphere' in the USA was much more favourable to such an ambition than that in China. Also, I suspect, Chinese entrepreneurs find competing with USAmerican entrepreneurs easier than USAmerican entrepreneurs find competing with Chinese entrepreneurs.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2021 13:03 utc | 124

Cadence Calls | Jul 21 2021 1:13 utc | 65

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

From around 1840 until Kissinger decided that the USA needed China as an ally against the USSR, the USA and other western powers did their damndest to make China a Hell-on-Earth for the Chinese. Since that time (Only some 50 years ago!)the Chinese have made heroic and largely successful, efforts to clear up the damage dome by wars, embargos, exploitation, invasion, more wars and embargos, sabotage and subversion and have arrived at the moderate prosperity they enjoy today. Unlike the USA, they are advancing confidently and optimistically into the future.
If you feel that that "sucks", well, you are entitled to your opinion, I suppose. Just forgive me that I don't share it.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2021 13:29 utc | 125


Yes. Important information. The inflated GDP as well as the inflated DOW are very poor indicators of a healthy economy yet seen as good by most in the US.

Mostly money poorly spent solely for asset (real estate and stocks) appreciation.

Posted by: financial matters | Jul 21 2021 14:11 utc | 126

Debsisdead @81

Your Sinophobia is showing with that long list of false equivalencies and appeal to the notion that "Well, they're just as bad as we are!" Tag ends to the American empire don't mind being scumbags so long they have lots of company and can claim that everyone else is just as bad. Unfortunately your false equivalencies are false.

"...the problem lies in the fact that such an arrangement has historically proven to be temporary."

Every arrangement in history is temporary. What arrogance it is to assume that there is any permanence in any human institution! A thousand, hundred, or even ten years of global peace and prosperity is still a worthy goal.

"Unless we the humans on this planet work to defang the current sociopath selection system by keeping/reducing all political entities small..."

Just shout one's ignorance, why don't we? The power centers in the West are not in political entities but in business/economic/finance entities. Keeping the political entities powerless is the Ronald Reagan neocon ideal that allows the business elites to dominate society.

As to "selection system", what is it to encompass? Even those who are lazy, willfully stupid and ignorant, and those with demonstrable bad intent? You make the qualification for involvement in the political process simply surviving childhood and then you complain about what that mass of incompetent and easily misled fools accomplishes? In China the political process is open to everyone but those who wish to participate have to invest their life in it before their decisions carry any weight. It is not something in which you can take shortcuts to power or buy your way into, or rather those routes to power exist but the Chinese call it corruption and they kill people for attempting it.

You cannot have universal suffrage in a society of brainwashed morons and then complain about the outcomes of those brainwashed morons' decisions. Stupidity doesn't cancel itself out, it compounds. As with real communism, there are preconditions that have to be sorted out before real democracy can work.

"... China's leaders now appear to measure success by the realisation of materialist outcomes for a bourgeoisie..."

Really? First of all, only a bourgeois douche who is up to his chin in materialist wealth is going to belittle "materialist outcomes" for those who have nothing. Second of all the ChiComs very conspicuously have been measuring their success by the materialist outcomes of their poverty eradication efforts. Perhaps getting a smartphone in everyone's hands is meaningless to someone who has five or six of them, but for many people that hand terminal is their connection to the world outside their village.

"...amerika and the euro nations, the change to political systems must begin in them..."

What typical insufferable British arrogance. Only "exceptional" sLimeys and their inbred offspring are capable of leading civilization? What ego! What conceit! It is precisely this ingrained sense of exceptionality in the Anglosphere that guarantees war. The only option for the Chinese to avoid war is to kneel to these ignorant and arrogant fools and accept the western delusion of its own exceptionality.

Fuck that. Arrogant western morons will fight and die to try and keep themselves as the fulcrum of history, even long past when they have anything to offer the world and in fact have become fetters on human progress. They cannot even imagine themselves not being center stage in the world, and so they will force war on China.

The fact is, even if many in the West cannot imagine it, that China has the better governance model... the more advanced and progressive governance model; the more moral and just governance model. Is it perfect? No, and the Chinese do not claim that it is, unlike sLimeys and mouth-breathing Ameritards do with theirs. The Chinese don't fool themselves into the delusion that what they have right now is the "End of History" like idiot sLimeys and shallow Ameritards do. The Chinese realize they are living in a civilizational process. Perhaps it is the thousands of years that this process has been going on there that gives the Chinese this broader perspective, or perhaps it is Buddhist or Taoist philosophies that make historical trends more easily grasped by the common person. Unlike the eternal "Now!" that Americans, and increasingly the rest of the West, lives in, the Chinese have a larger perspective that allows them to accept imperfection and delay gratification, so long as they can see real progress being made.

There are significant differences between China and the West. Building false equivalencies can salve one's ego, but cannot shift the arc of history. The West is descending into Dark Ages MkII and its relevance to history fading to a single chapter:

"Then America got woke and went broke. Some statues were torn down and other ones built, and then a little later those were torn down too. Alchemy became a popular graduate program at top universities and mathematics was banned for having 'racist' irrational numbers. Significant events prior to the New Enlightenment in 2221 were the Great Barista Revolt of 2043, after which lack of 'sleeve tattoos' was criminalized, and the Yiff Uprising of 2057 in which Black feminists battled furries for the title 'Most Victimized Demographic'."

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 14:17 utc | 127

@ William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 14:17 utc | 125:

What's the source of your last (blockquoted) paragraph? Sounds like something I'd enjoy reading.

Great comment btw!

Posted by: corvo | Jul 21 2021 14:36 utc | 128

if only china didn't breathe the same air, drink the same water and share the same soil as Americans. then all this ass-kicking by China might mean something.

but it doesn't. the analysis here is a steaming pile of childish bullshit. kids crashing their tonka trucks into each other in their toxic waste dump of a playground.

but look! now they are doing it on Mars, too! hurray!

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 21 2021 14:45 utc | 129

Chinese nationalism = Marxism? there are a lot of big brains on this blog spouting utter nonsense. worshippers of the machine.

water and fire deride the sacrifice we denied. the parched eviscerate soil gapes at the vanity of TOIL. -ts eliot

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 21 2021 14:49 utc | 130

@ HelenB with the multiple responses to my comments about China

Thanks for the details from someone who has been there. Please provide more, I would like to hear more about the real China.

I do know that China is trying all sorts of variations and wish there was detail on how those pilot projects work....I read that one of the fast trains is going to be private???? who owns/rents/leases which of the parts and who has responsibility for safety? again, we don't think like the Chinese...

Because there is cooperation in China around the essentials for life, I expect to see more creativity coming from all aspects of society because they have a social safety net 2nd to none.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2021 14:51 utc | 131

Mr Gruff, glad to have you back in your natural habitat and in fine form too i might add.

As to "selection system", what is it to encompass? Even those who are lazy, willfully stupid and ignorant, and those with demonstrable bad intent? You make the qualification for involvement in the political process simply surviving childhood and then you complain about what that mass of incompetent and easily misled fools accomplishes? In China the political process is open to everyone but those who wish to participate have to invest their life in it before their decisions carry any weight. It is not something in which you can take shortcuts to power or buy your way into, or rather those routes to power exist but the Chinese call it corruption and they kill people for attempting it.

You cannot have universal suffrage in a society of brainwashed morons and then complain about the outcomes of those brainwashed morons' decisions.

Just a heads up, I'm gonna steal this.

Yeah it a Chinese thing. /sarc

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 14:55 utc | 132

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 | 57

1,411,778,724.00 x 18,931 = $26,726,383,024,044.00 GDP @ US$ PPP

331,449,281.00 x 68,309 = $22,640,968,935,829.00 GDP @ US$ PPP

But see the following on income inequality:

In 2017, an Oxfam study found that only eight people, six of them Americans, own as much combined wealth as half the human race.

Moreover, wealth provides for both short- and long-term financial security, bestows social prestige, contributes to political power, and can be leveraged to obtain more wealth. Hence, wealth provides mobility and agency—the ability to act. The accumulation of wealth enables a variety of freedoms, and removes limits on life that one might otherwise face. A September 2014 study by Harvard Business School declared that the growing disparity between the very wealthy and the lower and middle classes is no longer sustainable

It is suggested that this inequality explains both Trump's election to the Presidency (elected by the "deplorables") and his undermining by the combined forces of the elite (Google, Facebook and Amazon CEO's, Fortune 500 CEO's, Washington insiders, MSM owners et al) determined to protect their perogatives.

Posted by: Sushi | Jul 21 2021 14:57 utc | 133

@ Posted by: GalustGulbenkyan | Jul 21 2021 7:19 utc | 106

From the Global Times version of linked article in this post (which is more complete, from which the Xinhua one clearly derives from):

In global maglev train-related patents, China is first in terms of the accumulated number of patent applications by 2021, accounting for 43.52 percent, significantly higher than the 20.57 percent of Japan which took the second place, according to a report sent to the Global Times on Tuesday by PatSnap, an intelligent property data service provider.

Japan's patents focus on the research and development of superconducting materials and basic science, while China's patents focused more on practice, including permanent magnets, rail beams, traffic engineering and suspension frame, per the PatSnap report.

China has double the patents from the second place.

The fact that Japan's patents focus more on what you would call "innovative" part of the research, it can be easily explained by the fact that China, having the more and most urgent social problems and obstacles to overcome, and having a more investment-friendly system for infrastructure (socialism), is more worried about putting the technology to practice as soon as possible, while Japan, stagnated for four decades now and without any prospect of future huge infrastructure investments, invests on the "theoretical" part of the research, bidding its time, waiting for the next capitalist boom to make them profitable somewhere.

The fact that the Chinese scientists are focusing on the practical part of train technology does not mean they're less innovative. On the contrary, that shows they have awareness of the needs of their society. That's critical thinking.


@ Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 6:39 utc | 103

This has nothing to do with private vs public sector. Again, from the Global Times more complete article:

The network is designed to support the "National 123" transportation circle, which stands for one-hour commute within the city, two-hour trip between city clusters and three-hour travel to major cities nationwide, read the plan.

Lu Huapu, director of the Transportation Research Institute of Tsinghua University, told the Global Times that the development of the high-speed transportation system helps China realize the "National 123 transportation circle," which was proposed in the national guideline.

So, this is not the case where the private sector is innovating in spite of the rule of the CPC. On the contrary: this is a typical case of central planned economy, of socialist planning.

Also, the 600km/h maglev makes a ton of sense. In fact, it makes mathematical sense:

The maglev train can fill the gap between the current high-speed train that runs at around 350 km/h and airplanes with a speed of 800 km/h, which will support China's comprehensive transportation network planned by 2035, analysts noted.

The maglev train is currently the fastest available ground vehicle. It is the fastest method of surface transportation within the range of 1,500 kilometers, according to a report by the CRRC sent to the Global Times on Tuesday. What is currently a 10-hour high-speed train trip from South China's Shenzhen to Shanghai will be shortened to only 2.5 hours once a maglev train is built.

So, as you can see, the new maglev will close the enormous gap China has between ground and air travel. It will make traveling long distances more democratic because flying by plane is - and forever will be - a middle class privilege (you can only fit so much people in a plane, and fly so many planes in so many airports in the world). It is also very eco-friendly, because air transport is, by nature, very wasteful in fuel (i.e. it is very energetically inefficient).

So, no. This is not the case of a corrupt class of bureaucratic cadre building a "white elephant" either. This is, again, socialist planning.


@ all

The debate about immigration is a joke. China has a much more hostile policy against immigration than the USA (perhaps the most immigration friendly nation in the world). You're comparing two completely opposite cases, countries with polar opposite policies on immigration.

Just to give you an example: there's no green card in China; only exceptional individuals (very notable individuals) can receive this "green card". There's no perspective for any immigrant to China to ever become Chinese and therefore enjoying the benefits of its social system.

Besides, there's a misunderstanding here about how an immigrant chooses his/her country of destination:

1) if they're a war refugee, they're going to the nearest safe haven offered to them;

2) if they're an economic refugee, they're still limited by geography to where they can go, but less so. Obviously, they'll want a First World country. Even then, they will still want to go to a country with a history of accepting immigrants (because there's already a well-established scheme of infiltrating immigrants to said country) - after all, they will have to pay to get snatched into the country, legally or illegally;

3) even then, the economic immigrant will tend to choose, even unconsciously, a country which has a culture at least in the same ballpark as his/hers. This is human nature. Since the USA's culture is the world's culture, and since English is the lingua franca, economic immigrants will tend to choose a Western First World country.

You can easily visualize all that I'm saying by substituting "China" by "Japan". Japan receives almost zero immigrants relative to its population first of all because it is extremely hostile to it (it is one of the few countries that doesn't apply jus soli: if you're born on Japanese soil but is not a child of Japanese parents, you're still an immigrant), but a mix of geographic and cultural factors naturally make it a repellent to immigrants.

There are other specifically historical factors that makes China naturally anti-immigration and the USA naturally pro-immigration:

1) the Monroe Doctrine, which consolidated the neocolonialism formula of the USA to Latin America, has transformed Latin America into a Third World nest of immigrants to the USA. That is, the USA transformed Latin America into its nursery of cheap, young human labor;

2) the war-torn regions near China (i.e. Middle East and Central Asia) are naturally isolated to China by an immense desert area (including here the Tibetan Plateau, Gobi Desert etc. etc.) and the Himalayan mountain chain. This geographic isolation also explains why there were no wars between the Indian and Chinese empires during Antiquity and the Middle Ages;

3) the USA's meteoric rise in soft power during the post-war miracle (1945-1975) quickly made its culture massified around the world, and English the lingua franca. Dialectically, it also made all the cultures and languages (including here the fact that they don't use the Latin Alphabet) that are totally different from it exotic and weirder. That helped to isolate East Asia from the rest of the world culturally (Galapagos Syndrome).

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2021 14:58 utc | 134

@Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 6:39 utc | 103

The Chinese state recently cracked down on Didi (forced the removal of its apps from all the main app stores), whose board is packed full of Goldman Sachs alumni, a few days after their IPO! The Party-State is taking data security and monopolies very seriously. China has no problem with private businesses, as long as they do not control the "commanding heights" of the economy (e.g. finance and energy) and accept the preeminence of the Party-State and operate for the benefit of society as a whole. None of the blind belief of "free markets" in the West that has led to widespread corruption (revolving doors, money=speech political contributions etc.) and the widespread monopolization and rentiering of the US economy.

Actually implementing anti-monopoly practices, and punishing companies for bad behaviour, what a breath of fresh air!

Posted by: Roger | Jul 21 2021 15:01 utc | 135

@ William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 14:17 utc | 125

That just about sums it up for me.

Posted by: MarkU | Jul 21 2021 15:01 utc | 136

christian J. Chuba @ 8, 12
We want to believe certain things (slave labor), don't bother use with truth. The truth must yield to the United States.
a crowning achievement of our Exceptionalist, U.S. stupidity

Karlof1 @ 13.. per global times link
"ihe US proved that on every continent its claim to power was against the will of the local people.' but remember the USA governed Americans are not privy to the events the USA engages with.. those events are mostly secret.. <= I observe that the
actions of those who use the nation state governments, and the actions of the governments themselves are hidden events. Not made known to the media public supported by advertising paid by every private corporation doing buisness in America.

@15 NemesisCalling says "The problem is we can't compete" <= the problem is
the laws the oligarchs demanded the USA to enact (copyright, patent and private ownership of land and business, as well as the qualifications to be a contractor or supplier of goods and services to the government), prevent ordinary people from competing.. the entire Oligarch philosophy centers around inhibiting competition.. domestic or foreign.
@ 21 Rutherford82 I reworded Rutherford82's words as follows:
The oligarchs and their knee breaker corporations own the U.S.A., they use the USA to steal from the masses.. the economy that interests the Oligarchs centers around industries, which serve global-in-size markets. Unfortunately, the monopoly powered corporations, largely benefit the class that controls the politicians that run the USA. These markets involve military, health industry, financial and transportation sectors (moving goods produced in low cost areas, to global markets worldwide).

24 Caliman "will be improved as our leaders are finally forced to give up their dreams of world dominance" <= i d/n think it is world dominance the USA leadership is interested in, its satisfying the demands of the global Oligarchs, and each Oligarch is after a very different global market segment. But global interest removes the mind set of improving the American desire for democratic independence.
25 Rutherford82.. says '@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.' <= Railways are not built because they do not serve the Oligarch.. the trucking system can micro deliver finished goods.. RRs cannot and RR operations often incite local citizens to unprofitable outcomes.

30 Max: Where is your nation going? there is a massive difference between the nation
of people who live entrapped within the nation state and the management and operations of the nation state..

38 George W. Oprisko "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." <= well said..

Posted by: snake | Jul 21 2021 15:11 utc | 137

I thought the "Blue origin" reminded me of the rocket ship in "Flesh Gordon".
Perhaps it was nicknamed "The Envy", or "Space Dildo".

Posted by: Mann Friedman | Jul 21 2021 15:16 utc | 138

@ vk | Jul 21 2021 14:58 utc | 132:

You're in top form today. Special thanks for putting the "immigration debate" nonsense to rest.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 21 2021 15:17 utc | 139

@ Posted by: bystander04 | Jul 21 2021 3:19 utc | 83

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.

Again from the Global Times more detailed article (last paragraphs):

The 600 km/h high-speed maglev transportation system will be more likely first used in Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong and Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed maglev channels, as the high-quality development of core cities and town clusters along the routes is the decisive factor, said Zhang.

But Zhao Jian, a professor with Beijing Jiaotong University, said that it is unlikely to export China's maglev train and relevant technologies in the near future, as other countries lack the scale to make the maglev lines profitable.

"The maglev lines can earn money only when a network of high-speed transportation is formed, with huge passenger flows," Zhao told the Global Times on Tuesday.

So, no. The maglev is not "worth it" everywhere in the world. If you're from an European country (which are all without exception very small in terms of territory) or a low population country, you probably never will see a 600km/h maglev in your life.

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2021 15:39 utc | 140

William Gruff @Jul21 14:17 #125:

The power centers in the West are not in political entities but in business/economic/finance entities. Keeping the political entities powerless is the Ronald Reagan neocon ideal that allows the business elites to dominate society.

IMO this is a false narrative that denies any sort of centralized control. We see that centralized control in many ways, from JFK assassination to Epstein's blackmail ops, to Presidential selection, to media control.

The fact is, even if many in the West cannot imagine it, that China has the better governance model... perhaps it is Buddhist or Taoist philosophies that make historical trends more easily grasped by the common person.

I think this goes too far. All we can say right now is that China has a "governance model" that has worked well given the challenges it faces. Appeals to the authority of Buddhist/Taoist philosophy are laughable given the terrible shape that China was in for many decades. How did THAT happen when the Chinese could always rely on the magic of their centuries-old philosophies? LOL.

Unlike the eternal "Now!" that Americans, and increasingly the rest of the West, lives in, the Chinese have a larger perspective that allows them to accept imperfection and delay gratification, so long as they can see real progress being made.

I don't see that "larger perspective" in the first-generation Chinese-Americans that I know well. What I see is an appreciation for the past suffering of their family members and a dedication to work, even menial work. A dedication that is alien to many in USA and which is very much the Buddhist tradition of living in the "now!"

I think the Western problem is more with "me!" than "now!"

<> <> <> <> <>

My own thoughts are the subject of East-West governance is that they are both far from ideal and need fundamental reform. The political elites in East and West have perfected their respective systems but in each we can see signs of self-interested elites. China's system has "delivered" on progress but is unlikely to be immune to the governance problems that are now evident in the West. Economic elites constantly strive to compromise government. Chinese billionaires and millionaires will do the same.

Initially, both will(are) attempt(ing) to increase their control measures as tensions escalate. However, I'm optimistic that eventually the people will see through that and demand change, possibly even throwing-off most central control (over time).

Crypto technology gives us new tools that allow for direct governance by the people themselves.

It seems likely that governance reforms will happen in the West first because Western governance is so clearly compromised and the resulting failures are legend. But the Chinese people will clamor for similar reforms as they increasingly chafe under Chinese governance and they see the benefits of the Western direct governance models.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2021 15:49 utc | 141

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

Don't forget b, that in that "efficient system" you'd probably be imprisoned like other political dissidents.

But it does raise an interesting question: at what point does Western "free market capitalism" become so corrupted by cronyism, that the CCP's "Fascism with Chinese characteristics" is actually less ruinous for the average person?

Posted by: Observer | Jul 21 2021 16:02 utc | 142

No-one, Helen, as far as I can tell had to leave China because of COVID. A lot of foreigners left encouraged by their embassies (with special flights) and themselves thinking foolishly that they would be safer in another country. No-one had to leave (unless for some reason their visa expired and they could not renew it). If however you left, it was snot easy to return. From late March only Chinese nationals could enter China (with strict quarantine). Also flights were few and far between and expensive. At some points the rules were relaxed and some people came back. It was also the case that the pandemic erupted at Chinese New Year so that quite a lot of people left for holidays and did not get back before the doors were closed.
Also the Chinese middle class infatuation with the US (and the attraction of western ideologies) is fast changing, though no doubt getting one's wealth out was also a factor especially if it was ill-acquired.

Posted by: md | Jul 21 2021 16:19 utc | 143

@128 rjb

There are many good posters over at unz that have posited that China is the best, current example of National-Socialism, whereby the ruling government party steers the economic life of its country for the overall betterment of its citizens.

I think that is a spot-on assertion. And it is no wonder that liberal democracies in the west, that have indeed reached the end of their teleological journey to sublation within world history (geist), can not hope to compete against a very sane, naturalist approach to government, such as the nationalism in China.

Hell, even vk is ready to admit that China values its homogeneity and unity above all. The question is now how national socialism which has bested western liberal democracies will temper itself further into the future, where freedom emerges evermore the victor. The world of financial internationalism which is the horrific symptom of the inglorious end of western liberal democracies will be soon subsumed and gradually paved over.

This bodes ominous for a certain group of dual-citizens.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 21 2021 16:20 utc | 144

SumGuy @117, regarding the Roman Merchant - LMAO :-)

I wish I could find a reference to his travel diary. Yes indeed, it sounds very familiar.

I love how the Republicans agree that we need infrastructure repair but are even voting against the packaged reduced to cover roads, bridges, and waterways because we don't need the stimulus anymore. It might take away from our war mongering against China, Russia, Iran and Cuba.

Rising crime rates, inflation, anarchy? It all change when a Republican becomes President and more Billionaires advance our space program in their spare time.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 21 2021 16:26 utc | 145

@ William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 14:17 utc | 125

“The power centers in the West are not in political entities but in business/economic/finance entities.”

To reinforce this point, here’s a rather long excerpt describing the shadow banking system in the West’s global finance system. In my understanding China is working to keep such unaccountable power from developing in their public finance system. The difference between the two types of systems has real-world consequences for ordinary people.

In the privatized system the public is being looted by oligarchs and there is little policy planning that benefits ordinary people. This is a function of the logic of the system running its course unimpeded as there is no comparable political power to push back on behalf of ordinary people. Ideological training and a lack of taught rigor in understanding and criticizing what was and is casts a dark shadow, creating ignorance and concealing origins and functioning of private finance and shadow banking system.

The vast “shadow banking” system... [c]omprising pension funds, hedge funds, insurance companies and other investment vehicles, manages a $200 trillion stock of assets, dwarfing that $2 trillion cryptocurrency valuation, and also vastly exceeding the annual income (or GDP) of the world as a whole, estimated at $86 trillion. Being in the shadows, then, no longer means being on the margins.

Central bankers have permitted and sometimes encouraged this sector to expand beyond the regulatory frameworks of governments. But the real roots are deeper, lying in the great structural shift of pension privatisation. Between 1981 and 2014, 30 countries fully or partially privatised their public mandatory pensions. Coupled with cross-border capital mobility, the move to private retirement savings steadily generated vast cash pools for institutional investors.

Today one asset management firm, BlackRock, manages in excess of $8 trillion of the world’s savings. Such companies have outgrown the capacity of “main street” banks to provide services. No traditional commercial bank could absorb these sums; few governments are willing to guarantee individual accounts of more than $100,000. The new form of “banking” answered the need to accommodate the enormous sums of globalised capital.

Like pawnbrokers, who practised an earlier form of unregulated credit, shadow banks exchange the savings they hold for collateral. But instead of watches and wedding rings, they lend out on the strength of government bonds and other securities.

Replete with cash, they can provide “liquidity” on a vast scale to businesses or investors who need it. In return, the borrowers offer up a security—and write an IOU offering to repurchase it later, at a higher price. This markup is, in effect, the interest on the loan. These repurchase deals are struck in the “repo” markets which form the heart of the shadow banking system.

Note that this whole system avoids reliance on the social construct of credit, upheld by trust and enforced by law, which traditional banks had to work within. Instead, the system is one of deregulated exchange in which cash is simply one more commodity—no more regulated than any other.

Securities are swapped for cash over alarmingly short periods: through economic history, such churning trades have often been a sign of speculative frenzy overpowering sober judgment. Moreover, operators in the system have the legal right to re-use a security to leverage additional borrowing. This is akin to raising money by re-mortgaging the same property several times over. Like the banks, they are effectively creating money (or shadow money, if you like), but they are doing so without any obligation to comply with the old rules and regulations that commercial banks have to follow.

So we have power without responsibility, but—worse—we have parasitical power. Because, as Daniela Gabor of the University of the West of England has explained, even this “shadow money relies on sovereign structures of authority and credit worthiness.” Why? Because private financiers rely heavily on government bonds as the safest collateral for their repo trades. It is estimated that two out of three euros borrowed through shadow banks are underpinned by the collateral of sovereign bonds issued within the Eurozone. Any decline in the value of government bonds as a consequence of shadow banking activity will influence the government’s cost of borrowing, and—ultimately—fiscal decisions.

Worst of all, the shadow money that comes out of these institutions is now so systemically important to the economy that when it threatens to dry up, as it does from time to time, it cannot safely be ignored. Which brings us back to quantitative easing—the remedy that central bankers reach for in the face of this recurrent threat.

Escaping shadowland

The reason why emergency injections of money are increasingly needed is that the shadow banking system is structurally prone to volatility and debt crises. The borrower’s promise to repurchase an asset at a higher price is relatively easy to uphold when the value of that asset remains stable. But the value of assets can rise or fall suddenly, which in this system can set in train self-amplifying feedback loops—with catastrophic consequences.

Back in August 2007, the great financial crisis was triggered when a French bank, BNP Paribas, issued a press release explaining that “the complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments of the US securitisation market has made it impossible to value certain assets fairly—regardless of their quality or credit rating.” (Emphasis mine.) This announcement caused inter-bank lending worldwide to freeze, and required immediate central bank intervention.

The sudden loss of confidence in the value of assets severely destabilised not only shadow banking—where the exchange of cash for assets relies heavily on the fair valuation of assets—but also the supposedly “main street” banks that had become heavily embroiled in it.

The images of savers queuing to withdraw their deposits from Northern Rock in 2007 was merely a symptom of a crisis that had already taken hold. Savers had got wind that the institution was in trouble because of its exposure to exotic money market activities that went way beyond traditional commercial banking. The front door looked like a bank, but the back office was deep in the shadows.

Instead of the familiar financial panic triggered by a bank run—savers withdrawing their deposits at once—the underlying problem was something akin to a “run” on the repo market. Shadow bankers were surprised to find the mortgage-backed securities they accepted as collateral had plummeted in value. As the value of sub-prime mortgages fell, contagion spread to credit securities unrelated to sub-prime markets. The entire model threatened to collapse, spelling ruin for the global economy. Central banks were forced to intervene, reaching for QE as their preferred weapon.

But in doing so, central bankers, supposed “guardians of the nation’s finances,” accepted as given this sprawling, chaotic private system. After the crisis, capital adequacy rules for commercial banks were tightened in many countries, but little has been done since then to stabilise and regulate the shadow banking system.

As a result, another moment of grave crisis arose last March, when the tiny, invisible coronavirus triggered another potentially catastrophic shadow bank run. As one of the institutions charged with holding the ring, the New York Federal Reserve, nervously explained: “the global economy experienced an extraordinary shock… and asset prices adjusted sharply.” Once again, central bankers were forced to ride to the rescue.

Our collective vulnerability to this monster has been plain for more than a dozen years, and yet we’ve failed to tame the beast. Indeed, it has continued to grow, rising from an estimated 42 per cent of the global financial system in 2008 to nearly half in 2019.

The global Financial Stability Board that monitors (but does not regulate) the system dislikes the moniker “shadow banking” and hopes to re-brand the system as “non-bank financial intermediation,” which scarcely sounds any less, well, shadowy.

Besides, it is not what we call the system, but what we have allowed it to do that has produced today’s volatile and obscenely unequal globalised economy. Whenever the vast shadow banks wobble, there is the threat of a disastrous contraction of the credit for the real economy, which could bring everything crashing down. As long as the system is allowed to stand, there is no alternative to taxpayer-backed central banks rescuing private markets...

Posted by: suzan | Jul 21 2021 16:28 utc | 146

@ snake (# 135),

Where is your nation going? there is a massive difference between the nation of people who live entrapped within the nation state and the management and operations of the nation state..

Don’t these people live in a democracy? They protest for Britney Spears with "Free Britney" sign, but don’t do anything for ending their ENSLAVEMENT. What are their core values? How’re those values different from those of their management? How long have these people been serving the Empire? Only a minority is good and the majority are Orcs (dark souls - individuals without conscience), who serve Saruman & Sauron.

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims … but accomplices.”

Now the Financial Empire is out of luck, light is shining on Empire’s malice and its Orcs. They will be held accountable. What are Empire’s LIABILITIES? The Dollar Empire is being De-Dollarized. Empire’s global monetary grid (“Ring of Power”) will be destroyed! Gandalf’s team is here. “In God We Trust”

Posted by: Max | Jul 21 2021 16:39 utc | 147

debs @ 81 / william gruff @ 125

i see jackrabbit has replied to some of it... fascinating exchange or debate at any rate... obviously china is in the ascendancy and the west in the descendant... i don't think anyone can debate that... this is the dynamic of our ever changing world... one culture falls while another one rises.... i still believe debs makes a number of valid points on human nature that can't be easily swept away or under the rug.. on balance i have to agree to the underlying concerns expressed by debs...idealism is a beautiful thing... many at moa long for a better world and wish to believe that russia and china represent that world in some way, shape or form.. i respect that, but i am not idealistic enough to think these countries can overcome the basic dynamic of human nature which runs throughout all cultures and people... any yet, i wish to remain positive and optimistic in the future... it remains to be seen how it all plays out, because it is in a much longer time frame then any of us are going to live thru... i am not going to try to break the commentary into any specifics.... it is easy to pick apart the individual words and sentences of others and find holes in them... it is a tedious and meaningless task as i see it, as people do communicate and have a germ of truth in what they say most all the time... this is why posters take the time to respond to others with positions that don't share, or are radically opposed to.... thanks for the conversation moa..

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2021 16:40 utc | 148

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

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

"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.
Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2021 22:24 utc | 52

You don't even remotely do justice to China, Karl. Your criticisms are misleading. The new super-maglev train targetted for 620km/h is a far more advanced technology than the normal maglev because the entire train and track are in an evacuated tube. Using normal open-air maglev the currently existing maglev line in Shanghai reaches 430km/h (only slightly faster actually than the French TGV, which is not maglev). Obviously the vacuum will allow far faster speeds because at speeds over 400km/h over 83% of the energy is wasted on air resistance. Even the 620km/h target is only a stepping-stone to much higher speeds. According to a 2014 article in

"ETT systems might allow HTS Maglev trains to attain speeds in a new order of magnitude, such as super-high 3,000 km (1,800 miles) per hour, which could be applied to some military or space launch systems," Dr. Deng Zigang, who's been developing the technology for years, told The Daily Mail.
I agree with Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 21 2021 3:00 utc | 78 that China has an established record for achieving what they set out to do, and they never make empty promises.

The trains are also highly energy efficient because they use superconductive tracks.

Within a decade China will probably have a super-maglev line between Beijing and Shanghai that makes a faster journey than air travel, and with a tiny fraction of the energy. Within 2 decades they will have a train that moves faster than a long-distance jet, even without allowing for the longer preparation times involved in air travel.

Posted by: BM | Jul 21 2021 16:41 utc | 149

More than others, this topic has brought out the ignorant who show just how poorly informed--or just how well they've been indoctrinated--they are. Yes, it's very difficult to be informed--it's a job, a task, and effort must be exerted to gain knowledge and to deflect falsehoods. Reliance on BigLie Media immediately compromises one's mind and promotes becoming disinformed unless one is aware of being misinformed/indoctrinated.

Going back to the days following 911, I wrote it was imperative that alt-news provide nothing but the truth no matter how grewsome that truth. In commentary at English language Russian and Chinese media outlets, I wrote that same message--the West lies all the time, just provide the truth and you'll prosper while raising the West's ire. Indeed, the greatest weapon the Resistance has is the truth--that's the basic message Caitlin Johnstone sends in every essay she writes as do many others. Assange and Wikileaks are all about getting the Truth Out.

Some truths are difficult to accept when you've been indoctrinated your entire life, like the genuine history of the Outlaw Anglo Empire, and the very long history of the Class War between Creditors and Debtors. One of the West's biggest lies is related to its most important indoctrination mechanism--Religion. That's why I saw Hudson's decades of research that culminated in his ... and Forgive Them Their Debts as being as important as the idea the book promotes is radical in our Era--Hudson shines the light on one of history's biggest cover-ups that's been used to divide and rule for 1700 years. And yet how many barflies have actually read that work or his equally important Killing the Host? John Cleary has provided proof of some very inconvenient truths as have many other barflies, but we are a very small community amidst many millions who just don't know and have no desire to become informed--ignorance is truly bliss for many, which also says they have no desire to perform a citizen's duties or to promote their own interest. That's the very sorrowful truth for those like Cadence calls. All citizens in every nation have duties, but few seem to know that fact. And the most fundamental duty of all is to become informed and not to become indoctrinated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 16:52 utc | 150

Add to Posted by: BM | Jul 21 2021 16:41 utc | 147 above:

Also the Global Times reported on 26th May that construction of the super-maglev track had already begun in Shanxi Province (in that report described as "over 1000km/h").

The high-speed maglev railway project leverages low vacuum and magnetic suspension, which has the potential to travel far faster than the current 350 km per hour high-speed trains, according to stdaily, noting that the speed is likely to exceed 1,000 km per hour, even potentially reaching 3,000 km per hour and 4,000 km per hour in the future.

Posted by: BM | Jul 21 2021 17:14 utc | 151

BM @147--

My series of unfortunate comments stem from the fact that I didn't see what article b had linked to at the top of his article and compounded that error by assuming he had seen the same article I'd read the previous day that included the sentence about the lack of a proper track for this new invention to show its stuff. In none of my comments did I mention just how revolutionary this new maglev is or how it fits into the philosophy of China's rail/transportation system development. Eventually I discovered what happened and tried to post a corrective that vk discovered and used.

You may recall my confession to being a former longtime resident of California where I often wondered why we could build a massive irrigation/aqueduct and freeway network throughout the state but couldn't build a highspeed rail line between Sacramento/San Francisco and Los Angeles--nevermind the earthquakes. Corrupted politics is the #1 reason why such a line will never be built in my lifetime, and most likely never. But that's just one of the many disappointments that comes with living within the Outlaw US Empire, all of which will take a Revolution to correct.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 17:18 utc | 152

From around 1840 until Kissinger decided that the USA needed China as an ally against the USSR, the USA and other western powers did their damndest to make China a Hell-on-Earth for the Chinese.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2021 13:29 utc | 123

This is entirely false. From the mid-1800s up to the KMT's loss against the CCP, the US generally (at a political level) believed the Chinese to be a highly civilized people who were only lacking the "gift" of Christian Faith. The US government was mostly sympathetic and supportive of China and the Chinese, except when compelled by politics or necessity to fight on behalf of the British Empire (sometimes in defense, other times in offense).

The history of US-Chinese relations from the early-mid 1800s shifts from open admiration and encouragement to US isolationism and xenophobia, back to open admiration and encouragement by the mid-30s. Throughout, the only qualification was "But if they were Christian, they'd be the perfect ally!"

The US had very little to do with the colonial domination and subjugation of China; the power most responsible for that was the British (Empire--by far the worst), and after that the French and Japanese, then the Russians, and the Germans. Moreover, the US initially established its "contractual concession" with China precisely because it thought the Brits were overstepping basic ethical grounds.

The US very much restricted its military actions in China to defensive actions in support of Concession powers. General Stilwell, for instance--the US' chief military attache to China--had no problem moving throughout Chinese military positions and communicating with key KMT personnel during the Japanese invasion (this at a time when the US had only perfunctorily recognized the KMT). General Stilwell's orders were, in fact, to observe, and inform: not to support, defend, or aggressively promote.

From the 1930s to the 50s, Song Meilin (Chiang Kaishek's wife, who would typically be named "Mrs. Jiang[Chiang]") was given Hollywood Elite Superstar Status in all US media. As she faded, she became a far-right icon, rather like Michelle Malkin, today: a media-savvy woman who married a guy her family could control (her father was a bible salesman--and the Vanderbilt of his region, as well) and who had no qualms about lying to the camera for personal gain.

Generally, the US people and its political body have had--since the 1840s--the sincere intent of educating and assisting the Chinese people. The US military was mostly tasked only with the role of defending civilians, during that period.

The idea that the US has made China a "hell-on-earth" since the 1840s is, frankly, stupid and utterly uninformed of fact-based history.

But yes, you are otherwise correct: the US has largely done everything it could to make China's population (so multi-ethnic!) a "living hell," ever since the FBI and CIA stared coordinating their activities.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jul 21 2021 17:22 utc | 153

rjb @130, I cannot allow you to mangle the segment of T.S.Eliot's Four Quartets from which you derive your quoted phrases - I had to hunt but found the correct sequence in the final poem, Little Gidding which is describing an historic church ruin (since restored):


Ash on an old man's sleeve
Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where a story ended.
Dust inbreathed was a house --
The wall, the wainscot and the mouse.
The death of hope, and despair,
This is the death of air.

There are flood and drouth
Over the eyes and in the mouth,
Dead water and dead sand
Contending for the upper hand.
The parched eviscerate soil
Gapes at the vanity of toil,
Laughs without mirth,
This is the death of earth.

Water and fire succeed
The town, the pasture and the weed.
Water and fire deride
The sacrifice that we denied.
Water and fire shall rot
The marred foundations we forgot,
Of sanctuary and choir.
This is the death of water and fire.

It was very perceptive of you to relate this passage to b's subject of 'first world problems.' I look forward to an expansion of your brief analysis in light of my own expansion of your comment. Little Gidding does relate, I think.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 21 2021 18:45 utc | 154

VK claims that airplane travel is inefficent and wasteful of fuel.

This is a common misconception. I flew triple sevens for years, and we accounted for every drop of fuel---because it is paramount to flight safety, and also our biggest single expense.

With 300 pax, three quarters of capacity, a typical long-haul flight would average 50 miles per gallon, per passenger!

That's my own experience. The Sierra Club website gives a total fleet average of 51, with a range between 45 and 77.

That's twice as good as an economy car, much less the big pickups and SUVs that people prefer to drive. Even if the car averages two people per ride, which isn't actually the case, the airplane still wins on fuel efficiency.

As for pollution, airplanes are only one tenth that of cars. And the most dangerous pollutants, oxides of nitrogen [NOx] are much lower in jet engines due to their lower combustion temperatures.

I don't know about high speed rail, but air drag increases by the SQUARE of speed, and power required, for any vehicle pushing through air, increases by the CUBE of speed. So a train that goes three times faster will use nine times more power.

Airplanes get around this by flying high in the atmosphere where air density is very low, so not much tesistance. This seems to be the idea behind these evacuated tubes that the very fast trains are going to travel in. But how much energy is it going to take to pull a vacuum on a one thousand mile tube?

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 18:57 utc | 155

Sorry I messed a bit on punctuation - should be "hope and despair," - no comma between.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 21 2021 19:16 utc | 156

Sorry, made a booboo in my example of a train traveling three times faster. Three cubed equals 27, so it will use 27 times more power to go three times as fast, all else being equal.

Also meant to write air resistance, not 'tesistance.'

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 20:02 utc | 157

@ Posted by: juliania | Jul 21 2021 18:45 utc | 154

Thank you for your posts.

Posted by: suzan | Jul 21 2021 21:03 utc | 158

@Robert #58
Comparing GDP, how is it done? It does not represent standard of living. Most things which I can buy in China, and that includes rent, food, clothing, transportation and other daily necessities cost five to ten times less in China. It is NOT cost of living.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 21 2021 21:22 utc | 159

The cost of living in the US has been rising rapidly. Many people with social security are going to other countries where the cost of living is lower. This is a problem for the US, where the SS is expected to be plowed back into the American economy.

Posted by: Helen | Jul 21 2021 21:25 utc | 160

@ Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 18:57 utc | 155

Maybe, but, as a true mass means of transportation, it is not efficient (and never will be). It can be economically viable if it's restricted to the middle class and the elite, but, if you try to model it to be a truly massified, democratic means of transportation, it is not viable - that's why there's so much hype on the vaporware by Elon Musk himself on that so-called "hyperloop" or something like that (this hypothetical hyperloop, in the far future where world peace is achieved and nation-states don't exist anymore, could be one of the candidates for substitution of airplanes for mass intercontinental transportation).

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2021 21:48 utc | 161


I have to wonder what the commenter VK considers a 'true' means of transportation? Which, by definition means going from point A to point B.

But maybe there's a 'truer' definition that nobody knows about yet?

Same for the word 'efficiency'! Maybe there is more to it than using less fuel to cover a given distance, less time spent, less cost etc?

Look, let's take a 200 mile trip, so that's 400 miles total [640 km]. That's going to take you about a total of eight hours driving, including rest stops, fuel stops etc. It will cost you about 100 dollars out of pocket, but not including mileage depreciation on your car.

Or, if you have a small airport nearby, you can take a regional flight on a commuter aircraft seating 50 to 100 people. That return ticket is only going to cost you about 200 bucks, and total travel time will be about two hours.

Small airports are a delight. There are no crowds, no long lines etc. Even in these covid times it's a pleasure.

Now what happens if you need to go 500 miles [and back]? Sure some people will jump in their car, undaunted by the prospect of spending 16 to 20 hours behind the wheel.

Personally, my time and sanity is worth a lot more than that. Again, a commuter jet or turboprop flight from your friendly little airport will get you to your destination unruffled in less than two hours. And for about the same out of pocket that you will spend on that insane, two-day road adventure!

Not to mention you'll be back same evening and sleep in your own bed.

And what happens when you need to travel 2,000 miles? What about to a country across the ocean?

At what point do you start making sense, lol?

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 22:56 utc | 162

@ Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 22:56 utc | 162

Even the air drag at the altitude flown by modern planes is still too much of a waste in economic terms. People put up with air transportation because, at intercontinental distances, there's no other way, and because only the creme de la creme of humanity (the elites and the middle classes) use it on a routine scale. But it is inefficient if you think about a truly interconnected humanity on a worldwide scale as, as I said, the air drag even at high altitudes is still to much in the economic world.

And, obviously, there's the problem of the airports themselves. They use too much space and require too much or security apparatus to operate, in a scale they use too much space and lose too much time for relatively too few passengers.


Forgot to put an extra point in my comment @ 134

4) the fact that Taiwan and Hong Kong exist. Those are two heavily anti-Mainland, Westernized regions which have a lot of people. As a result, many of them seek to emigrate either to the USA or the UK. They also give the Western people the false impression China is a hellhole.

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2021 23:19 utc | 163

Pacifica Advocate @ 153:

I suppose then you won't be terribly interested in reading about Warren Delano's involvement in opium trading in China during the 1840s and beyond.

“A Fair, Honorable, And Legitimate Trade”

The opium trade is remembered as a British outrage: English merchants, protected by English bayonets, turning China into a nation of addicts. But Americans got rich from this traffic—among them, a young man named Warren Delano. He didn’t talk about it afterward, of course. And neither did his grandson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt ...

Posted by: Jen | Jul 21 2021 23:55 utc | 164

VK, did you even bother to read what I wrote?

I just wrote about small, local airports with commuter aircraft seating 50 to 100 people. The examples I showed are REAL WORLD EXAMPLES.

Even a 200 to 500 mile trip makes more sense by air than by car. Train is just as expensive as plane. Bus is only a tiny bit cheaper but takes FIVE times as long.

I think you are just talking a lot of gibberish. I'm not going to argue with you about air density and air drag because it's obvious you don't understand the first thing about this technical subject.

Good bye!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 23:57 utc | 165

Regarding regional approaches, well,um, local approaches.
Maybe ten years ago China introduced bike rentals. They became immensely popular and we're stationed on sidewalks all over cities. Mobile was the big company in my area. They provide one way options, you can pay by phone, they reduce bike theft, it is good exercise, and is good for the environment.
What could go wrong? Competition came in due to the huge initial success. Competition flooded the market. Giant bike piles ended up in many places.
What did Beijing do? They reined them in, quickly, effectively. Didn't close them out, just provided more regulation.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 22 2021 0:04 utc | 166

Yep very little problem in China, also quickly controlled in Singapore and Taiwan. Why? Chinese don't fight the mask. And they have been in dictatorships. They accept top down authority.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 22 2021 0:06 utc | 167

@ Gordog | Jul 21 2021 23:57 utc | 165 :

Even a 200 to 500 mile trip makes more sense by air than by car.

Well, in all fairness, this is sometimes true and sometimes not true, at least in terms of cost. R/T airfare may be $120; it may be $800. There may be one person in that car; there may be two or four. Having made the flight, one may or may not have to rent a car at the destination airport. One may or may not need to pay for shuttles for trips to and from both airports, or pay for parking.

Myself, I almost always come out ahead driving. Then there are the intangibles, such as physical comfort and not being treated like a herd animal or criminal at airports, but that's just me, I suppose.

I was kind of hoping my next flight would be a one-way ticket out of the USA, but then COVID came along. Oh well.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 22 2021 0:15 utc | 168

China Sucks
Ask me about it.
I’m positive there are zero Chinese doing what I’m doing,in the USA
They might be making the same things, but I KNOW they aren’t keeping it real like I am.
All Chinese in my biz are under the thumb of triads, gangs, and comm banks.
I work with blacks, Hispanics, whites, but no Asians.
Why? Because Chinese and Asians are tied up into gangs.
Chinese are all corrupt.
They hate white pee po

Posted by: Cadence | Jul 22 2021 0:35 utc | 169

Corvo, it's true that commuter airline costs aren't the same everywhere.

Some towns are better served. They have a nice little airport, where there are never any crowds and using the air service is a real pleasure. So lots of people make use of it, and a small commuter airline can make a good buck by offering numerous flights daily to numerous destinations.

That's when you'll find prices extremely attractive. It's because the townsfolk were forward thinking and decided the town should have a nice little airport. This isn't the case everywhere.

As for being treated badly, that's only in the US. Being aircrew I never had to deal with it. But it's much different at small airports, even in the US.

I really believe that regional air transportation could be developed much more fully. The key is you have to have separate little airports. In a lot of big cities the commuter flights will simply be jammed into a little corner of a huge mega-airport.

And that defeats the whole purpose.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 22 2021 0:56 utc | 170

" travel time will be about two hours..."

Total lie. You cannot even get onto a plane and off again in two hours, much less travel out of the city to an airport, go through security, then hang around waiting for clearance to take off.

You have to add at least three to four hours to every airline flight to get the real travel time from origin to destination. The only reason airlines can continue to exist in intercity travel is because of subsidies from taxpayers.

And don't get me started on how horribly uncomfortable airliners are. Why not just stack people up in them? Have everyone just stand like it is a subway? Such nasty, disease-infested, shabby aluminum cans.

Airliners are hands down the most primitive way to travel. Given the time I'd rather walk. The only positive to them is that the amount of time you spend actually jammed into them tends to be relatively short.

You know what was great about living in Japan? Outside of the urban centers the place was freakin` quiet! Even with air travel greatly curtailed due to the pandemic there is nowhere you can go in the US where the rancid din of airliners won't intrude. Airliners are noise pollution machines.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 22 2021 0:59 utc | 171

Cadence @169: "I’m positive there are zero Chinese doing what I’m doing,in the USA"

Gang-bangin`, pimpin' hoes, and selling crack? You might be right about that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 22 2021 1:04 utc | 172

@ HelenB | Jul 22 2021 0:04 utc | 166 with the bicycle rental regulation in China example....thanks

Americans have been brainwashed into not knowing that the US use to regulate lots of business and still does but not to the degree intended at the beginnings....been coopted by big money like the financialization of everything else in the West.

I hope China can keep evolving the public/private economic mix and government regulation to provide incentives for personal creativity, stable support and social safety net insurance for crisis....on an ongoing basis and not get coopted by elite.

With China controlling its own financial system it can better control resource allocation and risk management within a short/long range planning/implementation/feedback 5-year set up like they have executed for 70+ years a planner I would like to know the structure of their systems...

Thanks for your contributions which provide a nice balance to the emotional rants elsewhere here.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22 2021 1:08 utc | 173

I dunno why since despite claims of being critical thinkers just about everyone here appears to operate with a closed mind, favouring one nation/football team by blindly lapping up the tosh all political leaders spout instead of lifting the roof off the executive suite and realising all of these intensely competitive politicians operate in much the same way regardless of their *team*.
It is apparent from responses in this thread that all the self appointed smarties care more about only hearing positive tosh about their team than they care about humankind. Sad.
I have believed a socialist style economic model is the most equitable means of organising an economy since I was a kid, but I have been honest enough to acknowledge that since most revolutions produce leadership models little different than those which preceded it (eg amerika sacked their hereditary king and replaced it with an elected monarch instead of destroying the entire system of governance), much more must be done to ensure a real change than merely casting out the old leaders & replacing them with *new* ones.

Too many ignore their history, that most every team on the way up promotes a benevolent, tolerant attitude until it becomes top dog. eg the early Roman republic, but once that nation state becomes 'successful" the shits coagulate, conspiring & deceiving until they exert sufficient control to ensure their wants are primary eg J Caesar forming a 'temporary' triumvirate before carefully destroying his partners, then establishing an hereditary regime that was just as destructive, corrupt and repressive to citizens as the clique who owns amerika, england or france today.

Given that every organisation of humans that has a leadership model has evolved to this, imagining that the PRC leaders will miraculously avoid that pitfall is magical thinking.

The only way to avoid that inevitable progression to decay is to get rid of the so-called leadership model, firstly by reducing the size of political entities such as nation states by dividing them up, then by ensuring where possible decisions are made by what the shits used to call 'stakeholders' ie all who will be effected by the decision, no others, or if that is impossible by a group of randomly selected citizens whose terms are short,temporary & closely monitored to minimise opportunities for corruption.

It souns difficult to achieve, but those who spout China, China and believe it is immune to these pitfalls would be wise to study that nation's long & storied history which is chocka with both corruption, internecine imperialism and gunboat imperialism of Korea, Vietnam, Japan & Formosa.

I realise if anyone reads this few will absorb it much less consider it. Most will skim on the alert for a statement which they believe offends for not being suitably supportive of their team, eg having the gall to consider Formosa/Taiwan, an island whose indigenous cultures & languages are related to the Pacifica people, an independent nation, because that is the propaganda touted by amerika, not because the people of that island deserve to be free of all Han Chinese control, socialist or kuomintang, but because a statement of truth appears to superficially align with amerikan imperial propaganda. How narrow is that thinking?

So many trapped in trite hidebound thinking. It seems the bigger circulation this site achieves the more conventional it becomes.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 22 2021 1:13 utc | 174

Gordog and VK - You seem to be talking around each other.

"Or, if you have a small airport nearby, you can take a regional flight on a commuter aircraft seating 50 to 100 people. That return ticket is only going to cost you about 200 bucks, and total travel time will be about two hours."

This is not the same as having a high speed train with a station nearby and the ability to just jump on at regular intervals. Further, who has $200 for just one leg/direction of a regional trip in a developing country on a recurring trip?

The Chinese strategy for rail looks sound to me considering the types of people and places it will serve. There just aren't enough airplanes to safely move the intended number of passengers.

The argument here seems to have devolved into almost irrelevant specifics concerning air and automobile travel.

Now what happens if you need to go 500 miles [and back]? Sure some people will jump in their car, undaunted by the prospect of spending 16 to 20 hours behind the wheel.

It's 640 miles from San Antonio to El Paso, TX and the drive at 60MPH would take about 10.6 hours. However the speed limit at places reaches 80MPH and the trip is often completed in 7-8 hours. You can drive almost 1,000 miles in 16 hours at 60MPH. One needs to be near an interstate highway and able to avoid inner loop city traffic to achieve that duration, otherwise yeah - tack on another hour or more.

Either way, I think the prospect of a high speed train is far superior for most use cases than that of somehow being able to wrangle a trip on a turboprop or small commuter jet. Having that many regional airports with that many planes in the air, that much air traffic to direct and what have you just isn't done anywhere that I can think of - at least if we're really comparing the scope and scale of what China's high speed rail is intended to do.

I've used HSR in numerous countries and in every case it was a pleasant, simple and easy experience. I think the most expensive trip we ever took was about $40 round trip for two of us covering about 500km. Compare that to $400+ for the equivalent airplane trip plus the rental car when you get there or the 6-7 hours spent in a car and it's just a no brainer to me if HSR is an option. Of course one would need to be efficient with regards to packing luggage as we were when we used it.

I'd gladly use HSR to cross Texas (N-S or E-W) if it were to be built. Others have covered this already, but there's a good reason that USA is one of only a small few first world countries that don't have HSR - the lobbies representing certain business interests (including airlines, the auto makers and big oil) put out too much propaganda and hinder legislation to implement it without years of political wrangling. Throw in the need to acquire the land in a country in which every parcel of earth not owned by the federal or state governments is "owned" by someone as an investment (usually) and not to live on and it's a tall order indeed. I use scare quotes because the land is indeed owned, but it's valueless until someone comes along and wants to buy it, which is almost never. So what's the point of allowing one person/family to own tens of thousands of acres if they're not living on it or farming on it? That's another topic, I guess.

My wife's stepfather works for a geotechnical engineering firm that was hired by some group of mysterious billionaires to build a HSR line between Houston and Dallas. The major hurdle they encountered in just doing the geotech reports alone was access to mostly remote and uninhabited/unused (as in nobody farming or anything) land. I can imagine it would be 10X as hard to pry it from the hands of the people who own it in the same manner as land in this state is purchased by fracking companies who send "land men" out in the field to research deeds, plats and titles, which takes a long time itself, before the process begins of contacting the owners and negotiating a price with them.

BUT if it wasn't for those two main impediments, I think HSR would be a real game changer in the USA and that's exactly why it will never happen.

To the points VK is repeating from Global Times and other sources, airplanes are not capable of carrying the number of people that China has in mind on an everyday basis. Furthermore, any of the destinations in the plan likely have existing or upcoming local light rail and subway type systems which makes renting a car for anything except purchasing large items like furniture unnecessary.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 22 2021 1:14 utc | 175

As for being treated badly, that's only in the US. Being aircrew I never had to deal with it. But it's much different at small airports, even in the US.

Sorry, but this isn't true at all. Being treated badly at airports is something I've endured in Central and South America, Asia and Europe. Certainly some societies have happier people and therefore are likely to have happier people working in airports (usually where they get a good livable wage and such - not the USA obviously), but if you want to get from anywhere important enough to have an airport to anywhere important enough to have an airport, you're going to deal with security no matter where you are.

Like WG stated, for all practical and realistic purposes, you can safely add 2-4 hours of additional time spent driving to and from the airport, being strip searched (physically or via ionizing radiation), poked, prodded, herded into long slow moving lines, having your identification and documents checked numerous times, checking and picking up your baggage, and oh yeah - arriving at least TWO HOURS ahead of the scheduled departure by mandate and also just to make sure all of the aforementioned shit doesn't make you miss your flight. Then you have the airlines that every year manage to decrease legroom in all but first and business classes and cut back on amenities and laying people off while taking taxpayer funded bailout after taxpayer funded bailout to the point that flying is just the worst way to travel. The regional smaller airlines have all been bought up by the larger ones too. In my lifetime, I've known maybe 7 people who have ever even been on a turboprop plane with fewer than 25 seats.

I hate it. And VK's points stand - only the shrinking middle class and rich people can afford to fly in the West. I'm sure it's similar in China, hence high speed rail. I just can't picture this regional airport utopia scenario working out at all.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 22 2021 1:25 utc | 176

Pacifica Advocate @ 153:

I suppose then you won't be terribly interested in reading about Warren Delano's involvement in opium trading in China during the 1840s and beyond.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 21 2021 23:55 utc | 164

I've already read more research on that topic than you will ever see. The US was a bit player in the trade, and moreover Delano was breaking US law by participating. Your tangent factoid in no way alters the gist of easily verifiable history.

You'd do better to mention the anti-chinese immigration laws around the turn of the century, but that was just domestic policy; foreign policy towards the Chinese remained quite friendly and generally supportive.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Jul 22 2021 2:28 utc | 177

Okay folks. A lot of nonsense, and even uncalled for flaming being tossed around.

I live near a small city of about 250,000 people. We have a delightful little airport that has exactly one public terminal, lol!

You can walk the whole terminal from one end to the other in about fifty steps. There is no security other than presenting ID and walking through a metal detector. I have never seen any kind of waiting line, nor anyone ever being patted down.

You can arrive 20 minutes before scheduled departure time because the Bombardier Dash 8 twin turboprop [80 seats] starts boarding 15 minutes before departure.

This aircraft is fast for a turboprop at up to 360 knots, which is over 400 mph. I often take this hop, as a pax, to a major city about 200 miles away because I sometimes captain a Gulfstream G650 that's based there and owned by a corporate client. [Btw, we can make Dubai in one hop in the Gulfstream].

The turboprop takes about 45 minutes for the 200 mile flight. It's a ten minute drive to the airport, and I usually get there 30 minutes before departure. I could make it 15, but I don't want to risk any traffic holdup along the way.

There is never any kind of clearance delay, because there is only one long runway that's only used maybe once an hour. The small planes use a separate smaller runway.

I regularly see lots of folks arriving after me, some of them while boarding is already well under way.

There's also a separate private aircraft terminal, and I've flown the Gulfstream in there too [when it's possible to preposition the plane for a next-day flight]---much to the oohs and aahs of the local turboprop pilots, lol!

No one on God's green earth could force me to drive that 200 miles to my part-time job. Just traversing that megacity traffic would be enough to make me cry uncle!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 22 2021 2:39 utc | 178

@S.P. Korolev
Nice analysis of China's system of government.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 22 2021 2:52 utc | 179


Ridiculously exaggerated. A few days ago, I commented on a government website where I criticised it for its lax enforcement policies and berated the ministers involved. At last count there were 52 other complaints. I am still lounging around in front of my computer. No government stormtroopers have yet burst into my living room.

You fail to mention that the same party has been re-elected every 5 years, and has overwhelming support. And that the foreign workers you mention come here willingly, and many if not most of them have renewed their contracts because they like the terms of their employment.

One thing funny though, the people who support the Singapore government the most are people who have actually lived abroad for a period of time.

I doubt if you are actually Singaporean. Probably someone who applied but got rejected.
Oh, I am in the mood for some Sour Grape juice now. Let me look in my fridge.

Posted by: Littlereddot | Jul 22 2021 6:30 utc | 180

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 22 2021 2:39 utc | 178

Look, guy I appreciate your knowledge of commercial and private aviation. But you're off the reservation big time here when it comes to what China (and other countries) do with HSR.

We (and most working class in China) do not GAF what the specifics of your personal access to a particular subset of American or western aviation affords you.

We're talking about how to move large amounts of people, cheaply, regularly and with a (hopefully) minimal environmental impact. I'm not even reading your air speed calculation stuff anymore. This isn't "flaming"...What Gruff said is true. Period. China is a developing country and HSR is a good thing there and even more so in developed countries.

If you want to discuss this further, tell us specifically why China should adopt the regional (I'm thinking Long Island - best airport I've ever been to in the commercial sense) air travel utopia model that you enjoy as a privileged member of the aviation community. COME ON MAN!!

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 22 2021 6:47 utc | 181

Gordog - Do you REALLY think that the only cities served by China's HSR are "small" (aka 250,000 ppl) or even the majority of them??? Have you been to Europe? How about Asia? As a civilian not a privileged aviation professional. Have you tried using the public transport???

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 22 2021 6:48 utc | 182

No one on God's green earth could force me to drive that 200 miles to my part-time job. Just traversing that megacity traffic would be enough to make me cry uncle!

LOL. How many Chinese or Americans do you think NEED to drive (as in can't telecommute) 200 miles to an EVERY DAY part-time job??? You're insane and completely out of touch with reality for about 97% of the entire world's population.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 22 2021 6:50 utc | 183

"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

Actually it is an Alan Shepard or Gus Grissom type of flight. John Glenn did first US orbital flight.



Posted by: Mauro | Jul 22 2021 7:29 utc | 184

Uh, the political shitflinging.

Congrats the chinese for having new trains, I guess?

Posted by: Smith | Jul 22 2021 7:32 utc | 185

@Debsisdead | 82

Bravo! You made (and nailed) some very important observations, for me anyway. I think the comments which accuse you of 'equating' R+C with the Evil Empire have not really thought it through, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, I am now thinking that the 'multi-polar order' (MPO) and the 'rule-based order' (RBO) are but two sides of the same coin. Words and their meaning matters: I notice that the word 'pole' (as in polar) is a synonym for 'centre'. You see where this is going...

If Putin or Xi (R+C) talk about the multi-polar world they sure as hell do not mean that people should make local decisions about what is in their best interest, locally. These guys, just like the Evil Empire, are products of systems of government which have so obviously discredited themselves (by now) that I am not going to waste time arguing about it. So, Xi and China have 'solved' their poverty problem, good on them. But now is the kicker: so what does this mean for the rest of us (including the Evil Empire). Will we have less wars because of it? Nope, jury is still out on that. Will we put our heads together to mitigate the climate catastrophe (its way too late to fix it) staring us in the face? Nope, lets burn more coal so Chinese people can have it a little better and cheaper.

The main problems facing humanity are not related to Chinese or anybody else's poverty line (there may be correlations but I fail to see causation). They are related to humans, as a species, NOT working together at solving real problems.

Centralising power, in poles, may be good for your team for a while, but that does not mean it is good overall.

If history is any indication, then I really agree with @Debsisdead: the multi-polar world will work for those teams for a while, but it will NOT solve the global problems.

Take a look at the ideas and positions held by Chomsky (for so long now). He calls himself an anarcho-syndicalist ( I would start to look for solutions in those kinds of ideas, not in a new and re-configured polarity.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Jul 22 2021 7:36 utc | 186

Listen friend [Tom Q Collins],

What makes you think you have the right to call people names, for no reason whatsoever?

Why don't you go eff yourself good and hard, until you learn some manners?

You're obviously some peevish fellow who flies into arguments about things he doesn't know, and then goes berserk when he's proven wrong.

I never said ANYTHING about high speed rail. I was merely responding to VK's wrong assertion about air travel being 'inefficient.'

There is nothing 'privileged' about my flying economy on a commuter turboprop with 80 other people.

And there are a lot more cities of 250,000 in ANY country, for each mega-city of five million. Are you going to bring high-speed rail to each one of them?

Please do not address me any further. I consider basic civility a non-negotiable pre-requisite for any kind of human interaction!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 22 2021 8:56 utc | 187

What a brilliant Utopia! Let's surround all small cities with little airports. Lets put one at each of the cardinal compass points so people can get to one of them in ten minutes... oh, wait, we'll have to put a couple more airports in there for that. Say four more at the intercardinal points too? So let's say eight small airports for each small city.

Good thing nobody who has to live near an airport has any problem with the noise because now everyone would be living near an airport!

Air travel is the short person's revenge. You have to be a midget to enjoy it, and a masochist midget who likes being groped by obese and smelly government thugs at that. Maybe kids enjoy flying (the first time, at least) but I suspect the groped-by-goons part doesn't appeal to them very much either.

Hurry up and wait in extreme discomfort is the entirety of the air travel experience. High Speed Rail travel is civilized and pleasant in all of the ways that air travel is concentrated misery.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 22 2021 10:33 utc | 188

Meh, personally, I don't want neither train nor plane.

I just want production to be localized so everyone can ride bikes or walk into the factory, or better, just work from home.

The centralization of production might bring efficiency but it destroys community.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 22 2021 10:48 utc | 189

The centralization of production might bring efficiency but it destroys community.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 22 2021 10:48 utc | 189

It is only "efficient" in the sense that it "efficiently" shovels money into a few pockets. In any sense that means anything to ordinary humans, it is very wasteful, stupid, and exhausting. And we all know that if we think about it. WASTE, lots of waste, is essential to consumer culture. Planed obsolescense has nothing to do with efficiency except efficiently wasting non-renewable resources. Those are "external costs". You and I are "external costs". "Economics" is a con, a racket. Good tools that are durable, simple, and efficient make nobody rich, except the owner, hence we are being submerged in ephemeral crap.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 22 2021 11:15 utc | 190

Reading the various comments here on the merits of air travel versus high-speed rail, I would just like to add my meagre two cents' worth to the conversation by adding a wee bit of context.

My understanding is that in the 1980s and 1990s China did have a domestic airline industry and a number of domestic airlines in that industry. Standards of domestic carriers with respect to safety and pilot knowledge and experience were poor compared to those of the airlines that flew on international routes (the international carriers had to meet international standards) and the domestic industry was infamous for frequent accidents and crashes. The poor reputation of domestic airlines must have been part of the motivation to improve domestic travel through a different transport mode (HSR travel).

Also during this time with Western manufacturing relocating to China, a way had to be found to move huge numbers of people from different parts of China to the cities (mainly coastal cities like Guangzhou and surrounding cities in Guangdong) where the factory jobs were booming. Air travel at the time would have been inadequate for moving thousands of people all at once (especially during Chinese New Year) and there was the public perception of domestic airlines as dangerous and unreliable to overcome.

Considering the physical geography of China and the frequency of earthquakes and the attendant problems (landslides for example), you would think also that air travel rather than train travel or HSR would be more economical. Trains going through mountainous and earthquake-prone regions would require tunnels and bridges, all having to be built at extra cost, and the tracks needing special supports or foundations that move with ground tremors so they don't buckle or cause derailment and crashes. Maintenance of track infrastructures is surely an ongoing and hugely costly issue as well.

The point is that psychosocial and historical considerations that underlie the decision to build a HSR, rather than try to improve domestic airline safety and change the culture in the domestic airline industry (which could have taken a long time), can outweigh the purely economic justifications.

In Australia where politicians have now and again popped the idea of a HSR network joining cities in southeast Australia, the HSR dream has always foundered on the costs of the project and the context in which the project would be built. We don't have the population or the population density to support such a project and domestic air travel in Australia is safe enough to be a major rival to HSR. Though with Brisbane now having been awarded the 2032 Olympic Games, the idea of southeast Queensland having a HSR network to serve Greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast and areas further north to Rockhampton and also down south into northern New South Wales becomes a real possibility.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 22 2021 11:30 utc | 191

Internet video calls having reduced the need for travel, I'd say air still has ... er, legs.



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 13:57 utc | 192

It's good to see b and his sycophants finally embrace their inner totalitarian.

Posted by: JoeG | Jul 22 2021 15:13 utc | 193

@Debsisdead | Jul 22 2021 1:13 utc | 174

I dunno why since despite claims of being critical thinkers just about everyone here appears to operate with a closed mind, favouring one nation/football team by blindly lapping up the tosh all political leaders spout instead of lifting the roof off the executive suite and realising all of these intensely competitive politicians operate in much the same way regardless of their *team*.

You can't equate someone whose thumb is slightly dirty but is otherwise clean to someone else who has mud all over himself. Yes, neither is unsullied, but there's a major difference in degree. The Chinese government could not have lifted 800 million people out of poverty if its resources were squandered by corruption. Their society is probably not entirely clean, but it's hugely better than the country whose vast financial scams triggered a global crisis in 2008. Equating China's minor imperfections to the US's total moral rot is a favorite propaganda ploy in the declining West.

Of course, someday China's moral level could start to sink, but not for decades probably. In the mean time, the giant of East Asia is giving hope to ordinary people around the world, that improvement in their living conditions is distinctly possible. By equating China to the rotting West, you are destroying that hope. I wonder if you even realize what you're doing?

Posted by: Cyril | Jul 22 2021 15:30 utc | 194

@JoeG | Jul 22 2021 15:13 utc | 193

It's good to see b and his sycophants finally embrace their inner totalitarian.

The strong defense around the DC Capitol building makes it look more and more like Orwell's frightening Ministry of Love.

Posted by: Cyril | Jul 22 2021 15:50 utc | 195

There are many structural reasons why Asia - Japan and China in particular - are amenable to high speed rail.
In Japan - the vast majority of the population lives in a dense strip.
China - the same can be said for the coastal and near-coastal cities.
Public transit and high speed rail between cities in the US is not going to work without a generational change in population densities in the entire US outside of New York and a handful of other urban areas.
Let's take California as a simple example.
California has one single dense region: San Francisco. That's less than 900K of California's 40M residents.
LA, while there are a lot of people living in the metropolitan area, is basically an enormous sprawl of suburbs.
If a high-speed rail were to magically appear between San Francisco and any given point in LA - what would the actual benefit be?
Anyone traveling from SF to LA by high speed rail would have to eithe rent a car or ride-share everywhere. You literally cannot survive walking around LA; the few dense areas tend to be literally dangerous.
Conversely: LA to San Francisco. You would need an enormous parking lot in LA to accommodate Angelenos traveling. Once in SF - they would overwhelm the city's facilities if they arrived in any significant numbers. During events like Salesforce or Oracle conventions where 80K to 200K people arrive from outside, the city comes to a near standstill due to traffic, hotels and bars/restaurants being 110% full, clueless outsiders blundering everywhere they shouldn't, etc.
The same can be said for pretty much any cities outside of the New York/Boston metro area.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 22 2021 16:00 utc | 196

it is such a shame that otherwise intelligent people resort to berating others.... it just ain't cool and makes you look bad when you do it... say what you have to say, but skip the attacks... it reflects poorly on those doing the attacking.. i suppose because it is on the internet, you figure you will never meet these people so it is okay to do it.. it ain't...

Posted by: james | Jul 22 2021 16:12 utc | 197

@ c1ue | Jul 22 2021 16:00 utc | 196:

I'll take your point and raise it one: Once you start constructing housing with automobiles in mind, it becomes virtually impossible to conceive of and operate an effective mass transit system. The rise of single-family housing itself from mark of affluence to near-universal availability is deadly enough; consider on top of that the way in which the architecture of single-family housing had changed over the course of the twentieth century. When/where automobiles were relatively uncommon, houses for workers were deeper than wide, multistory for anyone needing more than 900 square feet, with little space between them, and modest amounts of green space, usually in back, sometimes in front as well. As automobiles became available to the common man, houses for the middle and lower classes took on the characteristics of upper-class houses: extra width, more space between houses, yards that often dwarf the size of the house. (Adding insult to injury is the typical architecture of the multi-car household that has become dominant in the last couple of decades: such houses even look like they're built to be dwellings for automobiles, with the garages prominently in front and the living quarters for people tacked on grudgingly as an afterthought.)

These are of course general tendencies, and I know I'm not expressing them with much clarity. My point is that once you construct your neighborhoods and cities for automobiles, there's little to no possibility for reversion to mass transit on an effective scale, unless one is willing to dismiss as irrelevant huge commute times with multiple transfers, enormous and (if multistory parking garages) expensive Park-n-Rides, etc. etc. etc.

Even if one could overcome the prejudice in most of the USA against using mass transit, with its status- and even race-based overtones (where I grew up, it was dismissed as something only housecleaners from the ghetto used -- no self-respecting white person would be seen on a bus), intraurban transit will never be an attractive option. To make it an attractive option, one would have to take a wrecking ball to suburbia. Not that I'd be opposed to that, mind you . . .

Posted by: corvo | Jul 22 2021 16:27 utc | 198

MOA is a Chinese shill website. China hasn't COVID under control at all, and they built authoritarian concentration camps to quarantine people.

Posted by: XEP-C | Jul 22 2021 17:43 utc | 199

Also, Chinese vaccines are a failure, and China asked to import Western vaccines to provide booster shots. MOA will never mention this.

Posted by: XEP-C | Jul 22 2021 17:44 utc | 200

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