The keys to China’s success


China National Day_Female guard  Female Honor Guards train for National Day celebration Video: http://t.cn/RhmCK8o

The institutional system and decision-making capabilities of democratic centralism have proven to be the country’s advantage

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of people’s congress system and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In the past 65 years China has developed rapidly and has made great achievements. Democratic centralism is the core mechanism of the China model, the key to the China miracle, and China’s advantage compared with other major developing countries.

China is still a developing country, and it lags behind the developed countries in many aspects. But it would be wrong to always attribute the developed countries’ achievements to their democratic system. It’s also wrong to deny China’s success because of some partial setbacks or mistakes and to blame these on China’s democratic system.

Democratic centralism is an institutional system as well as a decision-making model. Democratic centralism is an organization principle of the governing Communist Party of China, as well as national organizations, which links the CPC and the national mechanism based on the people’s congress system.

Under democratic centralism, the decision-making process is first democratic discussion and then consensus on opinions on a democratic basis, which guarantees the decision-making process responds to public opinion to the greatest extent.

Currently there are two major political systems in the world: democratic centralism and representative democracy. If we want to make a comparison between the two systems, we should first make sure the premise of “comparability” holds. In other words, China should be compared with those developing countries that also have a long history, huge population and suffered a long time as a colony or semi-colony.

We can divide all the 12 countries with populations of more than 100 million into three groups. The first contains developed countries such as the United States and Japan, whose development is not due to representative democracy, but freedom of speech, rule of law, a market economy and exploitation of other countries.

The second group contains countries that have turned to representative democracy such as Russia. In the 1990s, the former Soviet Union fell apart and terrorism was widespread. The public called for Vladimir Putin’s “controllable democracy”, which has enabled Russia to revive.

The third group contains those developing countries that were colonized for a long time, such as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Representative democracy is the bottleneck for most of these countries’ development and their people’s welfare because of strong social forces and weak national power. The political organizations and family forces behind representative democracy make local social forces in these countries ever stronger, while national power is often too weak to turn national will into reality in this political system.

Some Western people compare India with China and expect India, the largest democracy according to the West’s definition, to surpass China someday because they believe that representative democracy is the biggest advantage of India.

Yet in the Human Development Index, China has risen from the rank of 101 in 2001 to the rank of 91 in 2014, while India has dropped from 122 in 2001 to 135 in 2014. In the Poverty Population Index, 11.8 percent of China’s population is below the international poverty line, while the percentage of India is 32.68. In the Corruption Perceptions Index, China ranks 80th while India ranks 96th. In the Ease of Business Index, China ranks 90th while India ranks 134th. In 2013, China’s per capita GDP was $6,629, which is more than four times the $1,592 of India. The gap of per capita GDP between China and India is larger than two decades ago.

Why has the gap between China and India become larger? India is a democratic society but still has some feudal legacies, and the unfairness under feudalism can hardly accelerate market economy development. As to its “superior” political system, Indian-American political commentator Fareed Zakaria describes it as “bandit democracy”. That means, a candidate who committed a crime yesterday may be elected today. India has about 2,000 parties. The country’s high degree of fragmentation means it fails to propel public policies that benefit its citizens. The representative democracy of India is fragmented democracy that lacks authoritative policy execution.

Compared with the major developing countries that practice representative democracy, China’s centralized democracy guarantees freedom, autonomy, a market economy and also authoritative governmental organizations. China has a lead in governance compared with other major developing countries mainly because of democratic centralism.

Democratic centralism has gone through the first stage during the revolutionary period, the second stage during the first three decades after the founding of New China, and the third stage during the three decades after reform and opening-up. From history and reality we can clearly see the advantages of this political system.

By Yang Guangbin (China Daily)/Asia News Network

The author is a professor of political studies with Renmin University of China.

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17th Asia Games 2014 Medal Tally – 30/9/14

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 120 76 58 254
2 Korea 50 53 59 162
3 Japan 37 50 54 141
4 Kazakhstan 15 16 24 55
5 Iran 12 11 10 33
6 DPR Korea 8 10 11 29
7 Qatar 8 0 3 11
8 Chinese Taipei 8 8 14 30
9 Thailand 7 4 14 25
10 India 6 8 31 45
11 Uzbekistan 5 5 13 23
12 Hong Kong 4 6 20 30
13 Mongolia 4 4 10 18
14 Malaysia 3 9 9 21
15 Bahrain 3 5 1 9
16 Indonesia 3 4 7 14
17 Myanmar 2 1 0 3
18 Vietnam 1 9 20 30
19 Singapore 1 4 7 12
20 Kuwait 1 3 2 6
21 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 2
22 Tajikistan 1 1 0 2
23 Pakistan 1 0 1 2
24 UAE 1 0 1 2
25 Macau 0 3 0 3
26 Kyrgyzstan 0 2 2 4
27 Philippines 0 2 2 4
28 Turkmenistan 0 1 2 3
29 Laos 0 1 1 2
30 Bangladesh 0 1 0 1
31 Lebanon 0 1 0 1
32 Iraq 0 0 2 2
33 Sri Lanka 0 0 1 1

Asian Games Incheon 2014 South Korea; I dream of South Korea


 

Asian Games 2014-IncheonINCHEON — The 2014 Asian Games officially opened in this western port

city of South Koera on Friday evening, attracting more than 14,000
athletes and officials from 45 countries and regions across the
continent.

South Korean president Park Geun-hye declared the games open in front of a watching IOC chief Thomas Bach.

The 17th Asian Games, which will run through Oct. 4, offer 439 gold medals in 36 sports.

The Incheon Asiad is the third continental event hosted by South Korea, following the Seoul Asiad in 1986 and the Busan Games in 2002.

17th Asian Games open in Incheon, South Korea
Hightlights from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony

17th Asian Games open in Incheon, South KoreaChina aims to dominate the Asian Games medal table for the ninth consecutive time as it sends more than 1,300 athletes and officials for the continent’s premier sporting event.

Hightlights from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony >>

For the Incheon Games, the 897-athlete China Team, its largest ever contingent for any Games overseas, will participate in all 36 sports but kabbadi, featuring 33 Olympic champions.

Liu Peng, chef de mission of the Chinese delegation for the Incheon Asian Games, said that “we’ve been the leaders on both medals and gold medal tables of Asian Games, and we want to keep on winning.”

“The Asian Games are not only a competition but a platform for countries and regions from all over the continent to comunicate, cooperate, exchange opinions and better understanding each other,” said Liu.

“Therefore, we expect more than just titles and medals and No. 1 position in the tally from our athletes, but hope they will show fighting spirit and sportsmanship at the games,” added Liu.

Xiao Tian, the deputy chef de mission of the Chinese team, said,

“We consider the Asian Games an important part of our preparation for the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympic Games.”

Since the 1982 games in New Delhi, China has topped every Asiad medal table, with its largest harvest of 199 golds from the Guangzhou Asiad four years ago.

For South Korea, the 1,068-member squad for the Incheon Games is its largest-ever Asiad delegation, including 831 athletes who will compete in all 36 sports.

With home turf advantage, the hosts hope to win more than 90 gold medals in Incheon to strengthen their second overall position which they occupied since the 1998 Bangkok Asiad in their seesaw battle against Japan.

Meanwhile, three countries are hoping for their first-ever podium finish at the continent’s quadrennial sports event, namely Bhutan and the Maldives, both at their seventh outing, as well as East Timor, which is in its fourth Asian Games.

The Asian Games was first held in 1951, and China and Japan are the only two nations to have finished first in the medal standings.

In terms of overall gold medals, China leads Japan by 1,191 to 910, while South Korea ranks third at 617. – Xinhua


I dream of South Korea

South Korea is at the Crossroads. She will become a helpless victim if she loses her sense of direction

Last night, I had a troubled sleep, tossing and turning, having one nightmare after another. In my dream I found myself in 2020 on the unified Korean Peninsula. I was overjoyed because the long-cherished dream of unification had come true at last. Soon, however, I found that some radical changes had taken place during the unification process. Among them, South Korea had turned into a communist country due to the large number of pro-North people in the South who naively and paradoxically supported Marxism and socialism, even though they relished the sweet fruits of the capitalist economy.

In the unified Korea, everyone had finally become equal, as many South Koreans had long wanted, not only in class but also in wealth. No one was allowed to be smarter than anyone else, and accordingly, all the universities in Korea bore the name of the prime university, Seoul National University. No one was permitted to be richer than anyone else either. Consequently, everybody was equally mediocre and destitute in Korea. Even better, Korea had become a workers’ paradise, where your job came with a lifetime warranty regardless of your performance and competence.

Nevertheless, I found the communist system had some serious flaws and downsides. As the nation had adopted the food rationing system, the government had turned into Big Brother and controlled people’s lives. Naturally, everybody was under constant surveillance and no one was allowed freedom of speech or of the press. Another problem with the communist regime was that it had a hierarchy instead of classes, and thus there were still quite a few privileged people – the party members and political leaders.

Deeply disturbed, I fell asleep and woke up in 2020 again, but this time in a different timeline. I found the Korean Peninsula was at war. Washington had made the same mistake that it had made just before the Korean War; it had pulled back the US troops from South Korea. In an effort to exercise a restraining influence on China’s expansion policy in Asia, the US had formed alliances with Japan, Australia and India, but not South Korea. Disappointed in South Korea’s policy of leaning heavily on China, the US government had retaliated by withdrawing her troops from South Korea.

As soon as the US troops had left, North Korea launched an attack on South Korea with numerous hidden artillery and biochemical weapons that eventually devastated the whole country. Many South Korean soldiers, who belonged to the Soft Generation and whose morale was low due to pervasive violence in military barracks, were not capable of fighting back.

While trying very hard to wake up from these bad dreams, I tumbled into another nightmare. I woke up in another timeline, in 2020 again.

This time, I found everyone was learning and speaking Chinese, as China impudently claimed that the Korean Peninsula had been part of China in ancient times and still was. Not realising what would happen to us, we Koreans had naively chosen China over Japan and the States as an ally.

Frustrated by the series of nightmares, I fell asleep again, intensely wishing to have a sweet, beautiful dream this time. When I woke up in 2020 again, I finally found South Korea had become a peaceful, advanced country without factional skirmishes or ideological brawls. An affluent society, South Korea served as a role model due to its miraculous economic success and democratisation.

Skilfully maximising her geopolitical situation, South Korea had emerged as a powerful, influential nation that earned respect and admiration from her neighbours.

The 1988 movie Sliding Doors shows two different futures the protagonist could experience depending on whether or not she catches a subway train. Our future, too, will be entirely different depending on whether or not we choose the right path at the right moment. Indeed, South Korea is at the crossroads now and thus should decide which way to go. If she loses her sense of direction, she will be inevitably caught in the crossfire and victimised helplessly.

Last night, I was wide awake in the middle of the night, sweating from bad dreams and worrying about the future of Korea. In my nightmares, Korea had headed in the wrong direction and suffered the consequences.

Waking up in 2014, I am so relieved that we still have a chance to prevent a disastrous future by choosing the right path.

By Kim Seong-Kon The Korea Herald

Kim Seong-kon is a professor emeritus of English at Seoul National University and president of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

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Asian Games 2014 Final Medal Table
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 151 108 83 342
2 Korea 79 71 84 234
3 Japan 47 76 77 200
4 Kazakhstan 28 23 33 84
5 Iran 21 18 18 57
6 Thailand 12 7 28 47
7 DPR Korea 11 11 14 36
8 India 11 9 37 57
9 Chinese Taipei 10 18 23 51
10 Qatar 10 0 4 14
11 Uzbekistan 9 14 21 44
12 Bahrain 9 6 4 19
13 Hong Kong 6 12 24 42
14 Malaysia 5 14 14 33
15 Singapore 5 6 13 24
16 Mongolia 5 4 12 21
17 Indonesia 4 5 11 20
18 Kuwait 3 5 4 12
19 Saudi Arabia 3 3 1 7
20 Myanmar 2 1 1 4
21 Vietnam 1 10 25 36
22 Philippines 1 3 11 15
23 Pakistan 1 1 3 5
23 Tajikistan 1 1 3 5
25 Iraq 1 0 3 4
25 United Arab Emirates 1 0 3 4
27 Sri Lanka 1 0 1 2
28 Cambodia 1 0 0 1
29 Macau 0 3 4 7
30 Kyrgyzstan 0 2 4 6
31 Jordan 0 2 2 4
32 Turkmenistan 0 1 5 6
33 Bangladesh 0 1 2 3
33 Laos 0 1 2 3
35 Afghanistan 0 1 1 2
35 Lebanon 0 1 1 2
37 Nepal 0 0 1 1
Source: NDTV Sports

How can China forget ’9/18′ Japanese militarists’ “Mukden Incident” (望海楼) ?


On Sep. 18 of every year, the Shenyang ‘9/18’ historical museum holds a ceremony of sounding the alarm. The 14 bells and the 3-minute air defense warning are always an emotional moment for China. (People’s Daily/He Yong)


On Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese troops blew up a section of railway near
Shenyang that was under their control. They then accused Chinese troops
of sabotaging the railway to create a pretext for war. Later that
evening, they bombarded the barracks of Chinese troops near Shenyang,
starting a large-scale armed invasion of northeast China.

On July 7, 1937, the Lugouqiao Incident occurred, and the nationwide War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression started.

83 years ago, Japanese militarists planned the ‘Liutiaohu’ event and then invaded northeastern China, unleashing full-scale aggression against China. However, this ‘9/18’ event has been deliberately obscured and ignored by Japan. There are only a few words about the event in the Hiroshima atomic bomb data repository: “Japan started its war against China starting on 18th September.” http://english.cntv.cn/special/sept3victoryday/history1931_1945/index.shtml

There are a number of equivocal accounts of the war crimes committed by Japan against China. After the Second World War, unreformed Japanese militarists refused to acknowledge what they had done in the war. They coveted China’s land and resources then, and the Japanese government’s conduct and its policies still indicate an attachment to militarism. The militarists dug their own grave by waging war against China. A militarist mindset will never be of benefit to Japan.

Why was China ravaged for years by Japan, which is only one thirtieth the size of China? Because Jiang Jieshi’s government pursued a policy of non-resistance, even though it had greater military power than its Japanese adversary.

Most of Jiang Jieshi’s troops withdrew without fighting, leaving southeastern China to fall into the hands of Japanese troops in just four months and 18 days. The great powers were busy trying to carve up poverty-stricken China. A backward China was bound to be mauled. These are valuable lessons to be learnt from history.

The victory gained by China in its anti-aggression war against Japan has created a solid foundation for its rejuvenation. 14 years of arduous war cultivated the Chinese people’s anti-aggression spirit. China’s national strength is growing, and so is its national status. But China is still facing challenges from home and abroad, so we must remain vigilant against potential threats even in times of safety. As long as the Chinese people remain united in the spirit of anti-aggression, we can overcome any difficulties and realize China’s dream.

By Hua Yisheng – This article was edited and translated from 《“九一八” 我们怎能忘记(望海楼)》, source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition

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Malays are lazy, dishonest and prefer to be Mat Rempit, Tun Dr Mahathir lamented!


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malays are still unwilling to change their “lazy” ways

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malays in the country are lazy, dishonest and complacent.

In an exclusive interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said Malay men are also lagging behind the women, with many of them preferring to become ‘Mat Rempits’.

“The Malays are lazy and they are not interested in studying. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women, so where are the men?,” he asked.

“They prefer to become Mat Rempit, that is why I said they are lazy,” Dr Mahathir was quoted in the report.

In the interview, the longest serving former premier had also said that the largest race in Malaysia has not changed their “lazy” ways and also lamented over the fact that he has not been able to change that during his tenure as Prime Minister.

“I have never wanted to fool myself. If they’re lazy, I call them lazy. If people don’t like it, then be it. When I was UMNO president, I used to nag all the time,” he said commenting on the criticisms he received over his comments.

Dr. Mahathir also added that apart from being lazy, the Malays tend to be dishonest where money is concerned, and often forget themselves when they have money.

“Now I have a bakery. I want to say honestly, I am ashamed because among the Malay, Chinese or Burmese or any other workers, the Malay ones sometimes when they see money, they forget themselves, they become dishonest,” he said.

He said he was forced to sack many of his Malay staff working in The Loaf, his Japanese-inspired bakery, for swindling money.

In the interview, Dr Mahathir also said that Malays often refuse to pay their debts, although they have the means to do so.

“How many Malays are there who refuse to settle their debts? They receive scholarships and student loans but refuse to pay back.

This is not a question of being unable to, they have the money but just refuse to honour their commitments. We must be honest,” he was quoted.

He said this was the reason why many contacts are being awarded to the Chinese, who he said are more trustworthy, than the Malays.

“We have to be trustworthy so people will give contracts to us. When we want to give contracts, we give to the Chinese instead because we know they will do their work properly. This is our weakness, we are not trustworthy.”

He said Malays should also take the Japanese as an example to become better.

“Why did I introduce the Look East policy in 1982? It was because I admired the Japanese for their attitude when it came to work,” he said.

Contributed by Izza Izelan, Astro Awani September 14, 2014

 

Mahathir Mohamad_Laxy Malays The familiar lamentations of Dr Mahahir

The former premier’s latest remarks about ‘lazy Malays’ cause a stir among Malaysians.

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad used to have only two upmarket bakery outlets known as The Loaf – one in the picturesque Telaga Harbour, where luxury yachts berth in Pulau Langkawi, and the other at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

The number of his outlets, which sell breads and pastries using Japanese techniques, has grown to more than five. As such, he has to hire more staff.

A few months ago, a manager was caught stealing money from the cash register.

The suspicion began when the daily collection was not deposited into the bank. The Malay manager was caught red-handed and the incident infuriated Dr Mahathir.

“I am operating a bakery and have given many opportunities to Malays to hold management positions. Unfortunately, time and time again, honesty and integrity appear to be lacking as there have been staff who keep stealing money,” he said at the launch of the book Wahai Melayu: Allah Tak Akan Ubah Nasib Melayu Kalau Kita Tak Ubah Nasib Kita Sendiri by Anas Zubedy.

“They do not seem to understand that it is wrong to take what is not theirs; they do not think of the big picture or the long term,” he said.

The statesman repeated the criticism in an interview with Utusan Malaysia last Sunday.

That led to various interpretations, particularly on his criticism of the leadership, especially the current prime minister, especially at a time when the Umno general assembly is coming up.

But those present at the book launch believe that his remarks were in line with what he has consistently brought up, whenever the occasion suited it. They dismissed any suspicion of political conspiracy.

The book by Anas, a writer and speaker on motivation, is aimed at young Malay entrepreneurs. In the foreword, the author debunks the myth that the Malays are a lazy race who are only good in politics and the arts, but not in business.

“These are self-limiting artificial boundaries and we ought to break them,” he writes.

“What we need to do is to find the right motivation and inspiration for a specific culture like the Malays.”

But in his hard-hitting speech, Dr Mahathir spent 20 minutes arguing that Malays “lack honesty and inte­grity” and that they fail to “handle money properly” unlike the Chinese or even Myanmar nationals.

Ethnic Chinese, he said, were more honest compared to native Malays where money is concerned. He said these were the reasons for the Malays’ economic failures.

“We have to be trustworthy so people will give contracts to us. When we want to give contracts, we give to the Chinese instead because we know they will do their work properly. This is our weakness – not being trustworthy,” he added.

“If we fail, we should not blame anyone but ourselves. We have failed because we did not do what was right,” he said.

In the Utusan interview, Dr Maha­thir said Malay men were still lazy, citing the gender imbalance at institutions of higher learning, where the majority was women.

“They (the men) are not interested in studying and revising. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women. Where are the men?”

“They prefer to be Mat Rempit, that is why I said they are lazy.”

Dr Mahathir’s comments raised a storm, with some in social media suggesting that he should be arrested for sedition. The Selangor chapter of Malay rights group Perkasa, however, termed his remarks as “father­­ly advice”.

Veteran journalist Datuk Kadir Ja­­sin reportedly said people should not get upset or sulk over Dr Maha­thir’s remarks, especially with regards to the Malays being lazy, as there were those who were hardworking and excelled in whatever they did.

“Give them a crutch and they will turn it into a paddle and a pillar,” he said, adding that there were those from the community who had succeeded and made a name for themselves in the country and all over the world.

Citing legendary warrior Hang Tuah’s famous rallying cry that Malays would not vanish from the world, Kadir said the Malays were rulers and made up the bulk of the civil service, such as the police force, Customs and Immigration departments, and the teaching profession.

Not all Malaysians would agree with Dr Mahathir’s assessment, with some saying he is still caught up in racial stereotyping, even if it is aimed at his own community.

Nobody in his right mind would say Malays are lazy, Chinese are greedy, or Indians are disho­nest. In fact, few Malaysians, especially the younger ones, would link any race in Malaysia with any specific trait or even a vocation.

The NEP has, in many ways, succeeded in its two-pronged strategy of eradicating poverty for all Ma­­laysians as well as reducing and subsequently eliminating identification of race by economic function and geographical location.

Lazy and indolent natives were a favourite theme of 19th century colonialists who wanted the natives to work at producing food while putting migrants to work on the modern economy for their benefits.

Thus grew the myth of “lazy” natives and this myth continued after independence and was even believed by some Malaysians. It was only put to rest by scholars like Syed Hussein Alatas, who wrote a seminal work The Myth of the Lazy Native to explain British colonial policies.

Dr Mahathir is, however, a smart man.

Not only was he the longest ser­ving prime minister, but he also turned the country into an economic powerhouse, and only smart people could achieve that.

He also believed in throwing good money at individual Malays in the hope that he could achieve a successful Malay entrepreneurial class in a short time.

Some of his efforts ended in failure while others succeeded – but the failures always got the bigger headlines.

Thus was born one of the great themes of his political life – that he had failed to change the Malay mindset and that they preferred to live poor in a rich country.

Thus was also born the phrase, Melayu Mudah Lupa (Malays forget easily).

But while such generalisations will guarantee headlines, the reality is that one simply cannot tar a whole race with the same brush, the way you tar a person or two.

Dr Mahathir might have repeated the “lazy native” syndrome perhaps to get the attention of the Malays, in particular Umno members who are in the midst of division meetings and passing resolutions in support of Islam, Malays and the rulers.

It is a given that even after his retire­ment, Dr Mahathir needs to be at the centre of national life. He needs to have everything revolving around him and needs to command the national dialogue.

So he relies on an old theme that is sure to spark a huge controversy – like the myth of the “lazy Malays”.

But Malaysians want to move on. They want to get out of this race trap and the least said about such stereotyping would be better for Malaysia.

Comments contributed by Baradan Kuppusamy The Star/Asia News Network

The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

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Possibility of Third World War as Ukrainian Crisis Deepens!


WW3_EU_Russia
EU vs Russia

As possibility of third world war exists, China needs to be prepared

WW3_US vs Russia US vs Russia

As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, international observers have become more and more concerned about a direct military clash between the US and Russia. Once an armed rivalry erupts, it is likely to extend to the globe. And it is not impossible that a world war could break out.

The world war is a form of war that the whole world should face up to. During human evolution, the world war has entered its third development phase.

The first phase took place between nomadic societies and farming groups. The second phase was featured by colonial wars, with WWI and WWII as its special representatives.

Currently, the world has entered an era of new forms of global war.

Outer space, the Internet and the sea have become the battlefields of rivalry. Technology is the key, and the number of countries involved is unprecedented.

The rivalry on the outer space and the Internet takes place with the rivalry on the sea as the center stage. During WWII, some major powers attached significant importance to the sea.

Alfred Thayer Mahan, a US military strategist who died in 1914, coined the notion of sea power. He advocated valuing the naval forces, commercial fleet and overseas military base, which served for wars on the land.

But nowadays, we stress the importance of power in the sea. Judging from the contention of the global sea space, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean have seen the fiercest rivalry. It’s likely that there will be a third world war to fight for sea rights.

In an era when a third world war may take place, an important topic for the Chinese military is how to develop its power to maintain its national interests.

This should become the basis for its development, because since the founding of the PRC, the development of its military forces has been centered around maintaining its rights on the land. As the rivalry on the sea grows intense, China’s military development should shift from maintaining the country’s rights on the land to maintaining its rights on the sea.

Meanwhile, China is standing at the focal point of rivalries. This requires China to develop its military power based on a global war. China is in the heartland of the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The development of China’s sea power touches the nerves of many countries. China needs to develop its military power to avoid being squeezed to a passive position.

China’s overseas interests have spread all over the world. As the US has been shifting its attention to the Asia-Pacific region, especially aiming at China, China’s overseas interests have been increasingly threatened by the US.

Without large-scale military power, securing China’s overseas interests seems like an empty slogan.

The long-range or overseas combat capabilities of China’s sea and air forces are quite limited yet. If we don’t view the development of sea and air forces with a farsighted view, we will face various restraints when building up the combat capabilities of sea and air forces or maintaining overseas interests. This will lead to the backwardness of China’s sea and air forces.

China should not be pushed into a passive position where it is vulnerable to attacks. We must bear a third world war in mind when developing military forces, especially the sea and air forces.

Posted in: Viewpoint By Han Xudong Viewpoint Source: Global Times Published: 2014-9-15 19:38:01

The author is a professor at the PLA National Defense University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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Malaysian education: UPSR Exam leaks, okay to cheat our kids!


UPSR leak

 

Testing times indeed!

 

The UPSR leak fiasco seems to suggest we are in a real state of crisis and we are sending out a wrong messages to our kids – it is okay to cheat!

IT’S really incredible how so many of us have reacted over the leaked examination papers of the UPSR, which is merely an assessment examination for Year Six pupils. Yes, for 12-year-old pupils who are taking their first public examination.

The UPSR, to put it bluntly, has no serious bearing on how these kids will perform in future examinations nor will it have any impact on their careers.

But I guess not many would agree with my somewhat frivolous perception of the UPSR, judging from the kind of reaction that seems to suggest we are in a real state of crisis.

Education Ministry officials have been suspended, there are allegations of sabotage, possibly even political ones, and the police have been called in.

We hope the Inspector-General of Police won’t have to personally head a task force to nab the culprits.

I am not sure whether parents are upset that the papers were leaked, which in itself is incredulous, and a resit would mean the children having to go through another round of pressure, or is it because their holiday plans are now ruined?

The sad reality is that this is a country where parents and students are obsessed with the number of distinctions that one gets in public examinations.

Nowhere in the world, except perhaps in some other East Asian countries, do examination results hit the front page of the newspapers, or lead off the prime time news on national television.

And each year, we compare results like the way public companies compare their profit margins. The pressure is always to trend upwards. So, the focus will invariably be about how many more students have the perfect string of As as compared to the year before, giving the impression that we are in the business of producing super achievers.

Although the majority of students do not belong in this category, the perception is created that super-duper results are the passport for our children to become doctors, lawyers and engineers, and nothing less.

And every year, we have the same problem where the demand for places in universities for these courses far outstrips supply simply because there are so many students with the “right grades”.

Yet, many employers and top-notch foreign universities do question whether their grades actually match their abilities, and have their own ways to sieve out the real talents.

There are suspicions that we have lowered the passing marks and compromised our standards and in the process allowed more students to get these distinctions.

Of course, there are many who truly deserve the As, but it is most unfortunate that there are also those whose As can be questioned.

Forgive me if I sound dismissive and cynical because I come from the old school where we took our first public examination at Standard Five. That was the assessment examination and most parents would not get excited over the outcome of our performance.

It was kid’s stuff and they knew there was little bearing on our future, except perhaps to be enrolled into better classes or schools at the secondary level.

But when we took the Form Three Lower Certificate of Education, which is today’s equivalent of the PMR, it was real serious. You got kicked out from school if you failed.

That’s how it worked at that time with no free ride to the Fifth Form. The LCE required compulsory passes in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mathematics.

The maximum number of As one could get was eight. If you got 5As, your name would probably show up in the newspapers.

But the standards were such that the grades truly reflected your real ability. An A in English for the LCE meant that you were speaking and writing the Queen’s English at that age already.

Today, most of our Form 3 students cannot even string a sentence together in English correctly. The fact that we are now considering including a compulsory pass in English at university level indicates that an A in that subject, whether at the UPSR, PMR or SPM level, is no longer an accurate reflection of one’s English proficiency.

After the LCE, we sat for the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) where the maximum number of As was nine. It was a time when many Malaysians found places, on scholarships, to Ivy League universities in the United States and to Oxford or Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Yes, our MCE grades were deemed equal to the internationally-acknowledged O-Levels.

Now, despite the proliferation of the super achievers, we are told that fewer Malaysians are being admitted into these top universities.

And our students now have to prove their English proficiency to handle tertiary education overseas by taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) paper.

Let’s get our priorities right. The fact that the English paper was leaked even at Year Six level suggests that students are looking for help to pass a subject which they know is important.

What a contrast from those days when we had English-medium schools and getting a pass in English was not all that difficult.

And it is not just about the students. Two years ago, it was revealed that two-thirds of the 70,000 teachers who teach English in the country failed to meet the proficiency level in English for the Cambridge Placement Test.

The findings were revealed by the then Education Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.

“When we did the initial profiling of the English teachers in Malaysia, we found that two-thirds of the teachers did not meet the proficiency level,” Dr Khair, who is now the director-general, was quoted as saying.

We really should be worried about how we can improve the standard of our education. There are many who love to score political points out of issues that affect our children’s education, including the UPSR leak fiasco.

We should start by doing a survey on how many of these politicians actually send their children to the government schools. Or are their own children not part of the system, but are instead in private or international schools, or even boarding schools overseas?

Let’s not play around with our children’s future. Year Six students shouldn’t be subjected to pressure cooker conditions in preparing for the examinations. And with this leak, we are now sending out a message that it is okay to cheat, even at this tender age.

Contributed by Wong Chun Wai on the beat The Star/Asia News Network

Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities and roles. He is now the group’s managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor.

http://www.wongchunwai.com/

On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.

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13 years after 9/11: ISIS in Middle East, Muslim Terrorists from Malaysia and China …


US-Sept 11
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT


9/11 prompted end of US arrogance

 Was it the day which changed the world? Scholars are still pondering on the impact of the September 11 attacks on US foreign policy.

Those who consider the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 as a turning point mainly attribute the subsequent US military reaction to their trauma.

Others who disagree with this perspective employ a rather different argument. They claim that this catastrophic incident only highlighted Washington’s unilateralism, which had been already apparent during the first months of George W. Bush’s presidency and the last years of Bill Clinton’s administration.

Nonetheless, Washington’s response, and especially the war on Iraq, has changed the world indeed.

Advocates of the war in the US claimed that this military campaign was a necessary decision in the context of the international fight against terrorism and the need of a preemptive action against the usage of weapons of mass destruction by dictators.

But the result of the preventive war against Iraq has been rather dramatic. It left chaos not only in Iraq, but in the wider Middle East. The recent success and advance of the Islamic State (IS) outline that stability is a utopian dream at present.

Terrorist groups give the impression of a modern hydra which grows more heads for each one cut off. Few outside of Iraq could recognize the IS last year. But now it is widely considered as a new international threat jeopardizing security in the Middle East and defying human dignity, as in the brutal and videoed beheadings of journalists.

Instead of spreading democracy in the Middle East, the US is continuously involved in new battles and adventures. Its military victories are Pyrrhic, while the risk for the opening of new fronts in the future is high.

More importantly, the lack of clear political objectives complicates its efforts to deliver at the international level. Washington is not responsible for existing internal tensions, ethnic, religious, or political, in the Arab world, but it often incites them through its interventionism.

The image of the US in the Arab world remains problematic 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, just 10 percent of respondents in Egypt and 12 percent in Jordan hold a favorable view of Washington.

Anti-Americanism has been recently on the rise due to additional issues, such as the monitoring actions of the National Security Agency and the use of drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Pew Research Center also reveals that China is more popular than the US in the Middle East, with 49 percent of respondents holding favorable views of Beijing and just 30 percent of Washington.

We cannot tell how the map of the Middle East might have been shaped without the war on Iraq. Some Western policymakers insist that the world is safer as a result of US foreign policy in the aftermath of 9/11. Reality, however, challenges this view, and shows that the brief period of US dominance looks to be over.

A new multipolar world has been created in recent years. Washington’s failure in Iraq and the ensuing economic crisis have seriously hit its post-Cold War superiority.

In parallel with this, the rise of new countries such as China has started to alter the balance at the global level. This new environment is perhaps the most significant evolution of the post-9/11 era.

The study of international relations has to closely follow developments. Ironically, in spite of critical changes such as the relevant fall of the US and the rise of China, a basic factor remains constant. This is the success of terrorism. It was Al Qaeda 13 years ago and it is the IS now, as far as the Middle East is concerned.

The new multipolar world requires international cooperation more than ever. Arrogant foreign policy choices can no longer find a place.

By George N. Tzogopoulos Source: Global Times Published: 2014-9-10 19:23:01

The author is a research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

To Destroy ISIS in Middle East and Syria! 



From Malaysia ISA to IS – Islamic State Terrorists

ISA_IS
He lived hereMohammad Fadhlan’s family home in Kampung Bukit Kabu, Kulim. The self-proclaimed jihadist was killed during an attack by Syrian warplanes and tanks.
ISA_Terrorists

Fighting for a faraway cause: (top left) Mohd Lofti, Zainuri, Mohd Rafi, (lower left) Samad, Zid Saharani among the five former ISA detainee who had gone to Syria along with Zainan (lower right), who was recently killed.

PETALING JAYA: Five former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees are among 40 Malaysians who have joined up with the Islamic State militants in war-torn Syria where multiple factions are vying for supremacy.

The five are former Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia (KMM) members Zainuri Kamaruddin and Rafi Udin along with former Jemaah Islamiah (JI) operative Samad Shukri and Zid Saharani Mohamad Esa.

Former Kedah PAS Youth information chief Mohd Lotfi Ariffin, 45, rounded up the list.

Sources said that Zainuri, Rafi and Samad had gone to Syria on April 18 along with recently killed Jihadist Zainan Harith, also known as Abu Turob.

The latest Malaysian to be killed in the conflict was Mohammad Fadhlan Shahidi Mohammad Khir, 21, from Kedah. He was killed while fleeing an attack by Syrian government forces on Tuesday.

“Zainan was killed in an attack in Syria which left the other three severely injured. The authorities believe all the former ISA detainees are still in Syria fighting for a militant group,” a source said.

It is learnt that the five along with Zainan, were deeply influenced by extremist teachings and would often keep to themselves.

“It can be said that those who went to fight in Syria are very similar to each other. They believe that almost any means justifies the ends thus they are willing to do almost anything to justify their false jihad,” a source said.

In Malaysia, they held meetings dubbed “Usra” in random locations to avoid detection.

“These Usra included planning attacks and heists to fund the extremist movement. Their ultimate goal was to bear arms and fight in Syria,” the source said.

Surveillance by the authorities also resulted in various “Usra” locations being identified in the Klang Valley. Among the locations were Puchong, Shah Alam and Puncak Alam in Klang.

Aside from planning, the Usra was also used to invite “key” speakers, including jailed JI leader Abubakar Basyir. It is learnt that Abu Bakar gave various talks between 1998 and 2000 to further indoctrinate the followers.

Citing the example of Zainan, a former KMM member, the source explained that the 52-year-old man would distance himself from the family.

“If he did talk to his wife or other family members, it was about religious matters,” he said.

It is learnt that Zainan did not finish secondary school and joined the “tabliq” (missionary) movement soon after dropping out.

“He spent most of his time at the mosque in Taman Datuk Harun here. In 2000, while with KMM, Zainan was involved in the Hong Leong Bank heist in Petaling Jaya along with four others. They escaped with RM110,000 in cash,” the source said.

This was followed by a string of robberies, including a weapons raid on the Guar Cempedak police station and Southern Bank in Petaling Jaya.

“Zainan was finally arrested in 2001 and released from prison in 2010,” the source said.

When he left for Syria in April, Zainan did not even tell his wife about it. He just threw the car keys and said he was leaving.

“He only contacted the wife when he was in transit to Syria. They have been in constant contact via Whatsapp since – until their last communication on Aug 15,” the source said.

The source said the wife, who works in a private company, never suspected that Zainan would be involved in illegal activities, let alone extremism.

“She is used to his mysterious nature, having not told the wife when he went to Cambodia for some humanitarian work. The wife also learned not to ask any question as Zainan never brought any friends home,” the source said.

By Farik Zolkepli The Star/Asia News Network

 

Youngest jihadist is second Malaysian to be killed in Syria

ISA_Mohd Fadhlan Shahidi
Mohd Fadhlan youngest Malaysian jihadist in Syria.

PETALING JAYA: As Syrian jet fighters and tanks fired on a militant base in east Hama, Syria, in a daylight attack, the self-proclaimed jihadists, which included several Malaysian volunteers, fled in trucks and other vehicles.

Mohammad Fadhlan Shahidi Mohammad Khir, 21, from Kedah, was in one truck when he was hit by shrapnel and fell out of the speeding vehicle during the assault on Tuesday morning.

A tank was firing on the truck so the driver could not stop to enable the other passengers to pick up Mohammad Fadhlan, a fellow Malaysian jihadist Ahmad Salman Abdul Rahim revealed.

Militants in another truck managed to pull him into their vehicle shortly after but he was mortally wounded and died minutes later.

“Fadhlan died in the arms of a comrade,” Salman said.

Mohammad Fadhlan is believed to be the youngest Malaysian jihadist and is the second Malaysian to be killed in the ongoing conflict between the militants and the President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The attack also wounded two other Malaysians: former Kedah PAS Youth information chief Mohd Lotfi Ariffin, 45, and another known only as Abu Agfhan.

Mohammad Fadhlan’s mother Fatimah Md Lazim, 55, identified his body from photographs, according to a source here. His remains were buried in east Hama.

His father Mohammad Khir Ismail, 59, has not been told of his death, reports ROYCE TAN.

“We have yet to break the news to our father because he is bedridden after suffering a stroke.

We don’t think he will take the news well,” said Mohammad Fadhlan’s brother Firdaus, 27, at the family home in Kampung Bukit Kabu in Mahang Karangan, Kulim, yesterday.

Mohammad Fadhlan was the fifth among eight children in the family. He has four sisters and three brothers, aged eight to 29.

He went to Syria on May 13 via Istanbul.

“He sent our mother a text message on May 14 telling her he was going to fight in Syria. We didn’t believe it at first. We only realised he was serious when we saw his Facebook postings,” said Firdaus.

After that, Mohammad Fadhlan did not keep in touch with his family.

“We tried sending him messages on Facebook but he never replied,” Firdaus said.

The first Malaysian militant to die in Syria was Abu Turob, 52, who was killed during an attack by tanks and snipers on Aug 19.

Another militant, Pahang-born Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki, died in Iraq when he drove a military vehicle packed with explosives into a SWAT headquarters and detonated it, killing 25 soldiers in May.

Source: The Star/Asia News Network

China unlikely to step into IS fray

Washington to extend airstrikes to Syria

China is unlikely to directly join in the current stage of the US-led fight against the radical Islamic State (IS) but will provide moral support instead, analysts said Thursday, following US President Barack Obama’s call to build a broad anti-IS coalition to crush jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

In a broad escalation of the fight against the IS, which occupies large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria, Obama said in a televised speech Wednesday night that the US will extend airstrikes to Syria and expand operations in Iraq.

Obama also said he was building a broad anti-IS coalition involving Sunni-led governments in the region and Western allies.

His speech came after reports that US National Security Adviser Susan Rice requested China’s support in forming the coalition during her visit to Beijing earlier this week. The Washington Post quoted an anonymous official as saying that, “The Chinese expressed interest [at the proposal].”

On Thursday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, didn’t directly respond to the question of whether China will join the coalition, but said “China is ready to abide by the principle of mutual respect, equality and cooperation in strengthening anti-terrorist cooperation with the rest of the international community and maintaining global peace and stability.”

Dong Manyuan, a deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that he does not expect China to directly step into the fray, despite some shared interests between the US and China in combating terrorism.

Last week, Iraq’s defense ministry posted on its Facebook page photos that it said show a captured Chinese man fighting on behalf of the IS, reported the New York Times.

The Chinese government has yet to confirm the report, but various sources previously suggested that jihadists from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are fighting alongside IS fighters in Syria.

Wu Sike, China’s former special envoy to the Middle East, told a press conference in late July that around 100 jihadists from Xinjiang, most of whom are members of the separatist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement, are fighting or being trained in the Middle East.

Turmoil in Iraq, a major source of China’s oil imports, also posed a threat to Chinese businesses operating in the country.

Zhao Weiming, a professor of Middle East Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, said China may support the US in its fight against the IS, but that its support will be limited to the diplomatic level, and “it is not going to participate in any military actions against the IS.”

However, Zhao told the Global Times that support for the US fight against the IS doesn’t mean that China supports all US military actions carried out in the name of fighting terrorism.

“China opposes the US using anti-terrorism as an excuse to serve its own ends,” he said, referring to the US decision to strike Syria.

Obama Wednesday also asked Congress to authorize $500 million to train and arm “moderate” Syrian rebels outgunned by the IS and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“We hold that in the international struggle against terrorism, international law should be respected, as well as the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries concerned,” Hua told Thursday’s press briefing.

The US plan for airstrikes in Syria drew protest from Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs, who said any military action without Damascus’ permission is an act of aggression.

“China might give a tacit consent to strikes against IS targets [in Syria], but it has a bottom line – no attack on Syrian government targets or civilian facilities,” Zhang Jiadong, a professor with the Center for American Studies at Shanghai-based Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Zhang added that China will not allow the US to weaken Assad’s regime or destabilize Syria under the disguise of anti-terrorism.

China’s stated policy is consistently one of non-intervention, which has been criticized by some observers in the West.

In an August interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Obama said China has been a “free rider” for the last 30 years, referring to the crisis in Iraq.

Dong argued that US Middle East policy is the cause for turmoil in the region, and has forced some Chinese companies to pull out of the region. “The US not only failed to give Chinese companies a free ride, but actually made trouble for them.”

Zhao shared similar views, noting that China played a significant role in Iraq and Afghanistan’s reconstruction following US-led wars, and contributed to local economic development.

In the fight against the IS, Zhang noted that China can play a unique role in bridging the differences between Washington and Damascus.

US hostility toward both Assad’s regime and the IS, combined with close ties between Damascus and Baghdad, have made it very difficult for the US to carry out its policy, as its anti-terrorist efforts might be offset by the complex situation, Zhang told the Global Times.

“China should press the US to change its policy toward Damascus, and push for national rebuilding in Syria to ensure its stability and security and weaken the foundation of the IS,” he said.

By Yang Jingjie Source: Global Times Published: 2014-9-12 0:53:01

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