The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Joe's China Trip & Book Exhibition

Bob:  Greetings. I am back home in the UK.

I am writing this Article in Beijing using my laptop and will send you the article when I get back to the UK. On August 27, 2010 I left the UK for Beijing, China first hop by Air Bus 380 the largest passenger Air\Craft in the world passenger capacity 518 double Decker upper level business and first Lower level 400 passengers. Feature noise reduction more so in first class. Lufthansa to begin using 380 for none stop flight from Frankfurt to Beijing, Air traffic to Beijing has increased by 25% this year, attributable to business and Chinese tourist around the world.   US will benefit from the influx of Chinese tourists.

Airline Emirates a super company to allow more leg room the Airline requested capacity to be 518 passengers first leg of the journey 8 hours none stop to Dubai, lay over 4 hours, Dubai  once desert turned to an Oasis of paradise  gleaming high rise towers of Condo, office complex and many 5 star hotels. Second leg of journey again Airbus 380 approximately seven hours from Dubai to Beijing. All seats taken 60% of the passengers are Chinese tourist and business men.

On arrival at Beijing, a modern airport and 30 mile journey from the Airport to the Hilton Beijing, along a four lane ring road, traffic bumper to bumper all the way, as I travelled I begin to sense that this is no third world country by the type of cars on the road, masses of high rise office complex and high quality luxury condos all built in the last 30 years as China moves forward in becoming the super power and the largest economy in the world second to none by 2020. Presently it is a 5 trillion economy the US currently 15 trillion, Premier of China is a genius and surrounded by super business minds, the west shall become shocked that when a communist government ruled by a few can when embarked on a free market economy has the ability to function more effectively than our so called democracy mired by corruption and ruled by special interest group. My publisher occupied three booths at the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF)  I was given one half day to be in the booth to promote my book from a transcript confined to name of chapters, my Bio and Synopsis, I was impressed with prospective publishers that I spoke to, they show a keen Interest  in the book,  it caught the attention of the Chinese, they were many books majority fiction, novels, children books etc each has several sheets for hand out, my book sheets run out and they had to make more copies.

The seed has been planted and may take perhaps six months with Follow up by my publisher to get the copy write sold to the Chinese For the book to be translated in Chinese for China 1.3 billion market, Here s what my publisher said the world book business excluding China is $40 billon, China alone is close to $40 billion. I was fortunate to get to know the Hilton Bar tender that speaks English fluently. I asked him on his day off to accompany me all day to see for myself what is happening in China, after leaving the new Beijing that looks like an upscale American City we got closer to tenement square where the old part remains and looks like I am in China I then saw the poverty area that looks like any poverty area In any Western city such as London, New York or LA, by no means does any poverty area look like what you will see in Mexico. Paid a visit to tenement squares and visited the old palaces occupied by various Chinese emperors in one was the residence of Chairman Moa, The west version of Mao was extremely biased Also more so because of our anti communism sentiment.

As to the Chinese he is like a God, his pictures is worn on a pin like the American flag on their clothing, they keep saying he liberated us from Japanese occupation, he liberated us from death of poverty That exist in China before he took power. Chairman Mao picture on all Chinese currency the Quan rate of exchange 6.7 Quan equal one US dollar. As to the Chinese Mao killing of those that opposed him was acceptable, where many died due to mistakes in economic policy they do not blame him, since they feel his intention was not to kill Chinese that support him. For Westerners using western Hotels and Restaurant price is the same as the West, the cheapest for Westerners is Taxi fare one third  The cost  all metered same colour on all Taxi.

My bar tender friend then took me to Beijing business center where I saw in excess of 100 business towers, nearby cranes are in place developing an area of 20 more new towers,  All major American hotels have their presence, then to a Chinese five star hotel named China world Hotel, it was impressive inside reminds me of the super five star hotels found in Las Vegas, the employees well dressed in uniform, while there here comes 40 young Chinese girls all dressed in business suit of the same colour, I asked who are there and was told they are some of Baidu talented employees here for a meeting,  China is on the march to make money,  one of the leader said it does not matter what the colour of the cat is as long as it catches mice, its Leader said to day China is a $5 trillion economy and has committed To quadruple that by the year 2020 which will bring it to $20 trillion.

My hotel is booming with American business men and others wanting a piece of China action of growth, yours truly and my publisher also are here for some Chinese money a solid currency backed by a government with less debt. If I have some mega bucks in US dollars I would want to convert same to Chinese Quan the next alternative would be gold. While the US is focused on Wars prodded by the military Industrial complex, China is focused on making money; they are signing deals with many Eastern Europeans countries and others.

As more and more Chinese move up the economy ladder consumer spending grows in leaps and bounds. Bob when you read comments made by some westerners that China Prosperity is being exaggerated just read one of our foremost financial guru Jim Rogers wrote in his book "A Bull in China." I now believe what Jim said about China by what I have personally seen; never in human history can a country that was once a basket case mired in communist ideology that all of a sudden freed itself to a free market economy. When westerners train an employee to give a customer good service, such training of Chinese becomes part of Chinese culture and they serve the customer in a way never seen by me in any parts of the world.

As to the elderly I have never in my life having travelled to many parts of the world seen the respect given to the elderly, in my line up at the buffet a waitress will immediately come to my side and take my plate and as I select what I want and placed it on my plate she will take it to my table, I asked why they told me by Chinese culture the elderly is treated with the utmost respect, on a crowded bus on a train the young will immediately get of their seat and give it to the elderly. It is done in the west but very few younger people will offer you a seat in London or New York.

When you teach a Chinese baker to make a French croissant he makes it to the highest standard as you will find in The Grand Hotel in Paris, the croissant melts in your mouth, McDonald's food is made to the highest standard established by the Company since the Chinese learn fast and stick to what they have been taught to do. When I want to eat the best croissant in London I must go to a French Cafe in London Euro star station, I once asked are they made in London and was told we bring them daily form Brussels. On Friday I made my way to the Great Wall approximately 70 miles from Beijing area known as Badaling, the location was visited by Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Obama.

When they say wealth is flowing to the people it means highly educated Chinese and those employed in management or Chinese entrepreneur that has succeeded, it does not mean that a Chinese workers such as an American blue colour worker that makes $40 per hour or an American plumber that is well paid, Chinese blue colour worker remain at the $150 to $300 per month and with a 1.3 billion people the Chinese  worker will never achieve the level of Western worker wages, hence for the foreseeable future China will continue to lure Western manufacturers to China.

As to the term outsourcing I believe it is incorrectly used, when an American Companies and other western Companies move their entire manufacturing plant to China it is not outsourcing in essence just close your western located plant and build it in China. John Deere has a large factory in Shenzhen province as are many other American manufacturing Companies employing Chinese workers at $300 per month as opposed to western workers that may be paid as high as $2000 or more per month these companies export to the US and other countries around the world, moreover Chinese Companies also begin to manufacture similar products and compete in price. I met at the Hilton a buyer from Africa that I shared a beer and he is off to Shenzhen to buy several tractors and he told me that he is trying to find a Chinese manufacture that offers lower price than John Deere.

With no tariff in place by western countries in time 80% of their labour will be replaced by India and Chinese workers a pool of labour from two countries with a combined population of 2.4 billion. Chinese labour wages will never ever get high enough to give American workers a chance. I believe the US will never achieve 5% unemployment it will remain at 10% unemployed. I travelled on one ring road four lanes in one direction and two additional lanes in the same direction along the side of the ring road Jammed with traffic; I saw many expensive automobiles American, German and Japanese on the road. As to Chinese food the best is made in San Francisco and New York Not in China. I barely saw an obese Chinese the secret is their food, they have no bread in their food nor do they make cheese or eat cheese.

US politics.
China News today newspaper in English announce Obama is going to strengthen the sanction against North Korea to prevent them from buying luxury western goods since its leader uses some of these goodies to reward his supporters. The following is my comments on sanction; Obama several months ago said publicly that sanctions does not work it has never changed Cuba or Iran behavior and in some instance sanctions harms US business interest since the rest of the world do not cooperate with the US on this issue, America lost business is taken over by our Allies who are happy to sell the country goods that they need. Western Europeans pay no attention to Washington imposed sanction, smart entrepreneur the world over knows how to bypass US sanctions.

Those duds in Washington remain in the past when after world war 11 when the US was the only source of manufactured goods. I remember when in the UK when Ford began production you have to place your name on a waiting list and wait for two years or longer to be able to buy a new car.

On Iraq departure here is what China editorial had to say; as expected US President Obama announced on Tuesday that the US Combat mission in Iraq has ended. But both countries can be expected to reel from the open wounds of the war for a long time. The US has spent more than $7 trillion dollars in the Iraq war, Bob I do not know if the $7 trillion is accurate, the comments went on to say 4,400 US troops killed and 35,000 injured. It states that US creditability and influence have also been eroded After blatant war crimes was committed by US troops, With the Iraq war officially winding down and another in Afghan coming to an end soon. It went on to say the Iraqi people are still under the threat of bomb attacks and religious feuds daily.

Bob my two chapters in the past were named the Iraq and Afghan war fiasco, `Six months ago I have renamed these chapters as Iraq the lost war and Afghan also the lost war. Some of our NATO allies are withdrawing from the Afghan war. The USA has now found that the military solution no longer works, it has failed in Vietnam and will fail in Iraq and Afghan. My Grandson served two years in Iraq and saw many of his friends  Killed, fortunately he is back home and safe and out of the military service, as to my daughter and son in Law they justify the war since their son served in that war, same for those that lost their son. If there is such a Law on the books Bush and Blair and his accomplice should be tried and placed in prison when the WMD Was not found and the validity of that war was put into question. In their argument Bush and Blair will then use Iraq freedom and Democracy, Blair deep inside feels guilty for this reason he is denoting his $7.5 million from his latest book to UK wounded veterans. In Dublin in a bookstore where Blair was promoting his book, he was pelted with eggs and insult by some.

Here is a Quote by Robert Gates US Defense secretary; ‘’ The problem with this war, I think for many Americans is that the premise on which we justified going to war turned out not to be valid’’   Another major China news some of US Southern State Governors are wooing Chinese enterprise to establish a business in the Southern States and offering them incentives to do so.

India with a population of one billion is getting the Chinese red carpet they are honored at the Beijing book show and India Has the largest number of booth built to the highest first class  Standard,  they occupy the high rent section of the Exhibition hall,

To my regret the US is in the low rent area of the exhibition hall and their stand is a disgrace to the US one of the greatest and richest country. My comments to my American colleagues at the show were correct and I was told we want to appear like the poor Chinese folks.  The US Embassy has given US Publishing Companies a great support, they have a small booth in the American section, as I Approached the stand with my English Chinese badge hanging as an exhibitor I was greeted warmly and given a directory of Chinese publishing Companies and other businesses in China. Our Embassy is giving American business all the support they need to penetrate the Chinese market which I whole heartily support.

Bob unlike any countries of the world where you will find many that speak English. China is different it is difficult to find  A Chinese on the street or any Taxi driver that speaks English, I have to take an address written in English to the Hotel Consignee To write same in Chinese for my Taxi driver. The reason when China became a communist country they did not  Embraced western culture and did not teach their children a second language, now that has changed, Chinese that can speak English is in great demand

Condo price up scale deluxe range from $3,000 to $5,000 per square feet. Thousands are being built height some 30 storey’s or more. Finally you may ask would I want to live here my answers is no, I just could not feel as comfortable as I would in other countries major reason I could not  find any one that speak English unless I am in my Hotel. I did not encounter the same problem in Russia.

My final comments the manufacturing base of the world from the beginning of the Industrial revolution to 1980 remained in the Western world foremost of all the USA. That has now changed it has now shifted to, for the most part to China and India. The American blue colour worker high wages is gradually coming to an end and by 2015 such wages will become history.

The new generation will say once upon a time an American blue collar worker used to enjoy a standard living of the rich.  And was able to afford to eat in a 5 star restaurant, or live in a three bath home or have two cars in his driveway,  that era is coming to an end. Moreover, Historian will one day write that once upon a time there was the American dream for the poor that is no more.   I see the prospect with Globalization for Western tourist Industry  Growing to meet the needs of the Indian and Chinese tourist also A major growth in the US food business export to feed hungry Chinese and Indians. - Joe

Joe:  fascinating & well written! It would be very interesting too have a driver take you further out into the countryside to see life in the small towns. Just as you cannot judge the US by NYC, or LA to know the US one must visit the Mid-West, Texas, and the South. I hope you might have that opportunity this trip or someday. - Bob

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