A friend emailed me this article which somewhat
restored (to some degree) my faith of the Americans. It is
an article written by an American and published in the New
York Times on the latest world chess champion - a 16 year
old Chinese girl!
However, the article is not just about the
young lady who is very good at her profession. He went on
praising the achievements
of the Chinese as a whole. I like his reminder of Napoleon’s
famous quote “When China wakes, it will shake the world.”
I came across it at school- that was years ago and forgotten.
But just what made Napoleon say that? Clearly a man who was
something of an extraordinary individual himself must have
seen the greatness
in China and known its potential.
The article's talks about "Chi ku"
reflects the writer's understanding of the Chinese
mindset. They who are schooled by long bitter struggles
for survival are prepared to rough it out and come out tops.
I think this is the gist of many classic
The author writes with respect for the people
of China without the usual slanted derogatory negative remarks.
He says China was known for its sexist attitudes towards
women but recognises that has now changed. There are still
other US/western writers who are trapped in their 1950s mindset
on China! [In fact the change, in particular with
regard to women's liberation and gender equality, started
since the beginning of 1950s, so some Americans are really
trapped in their 1940s mindset on China - Admin]
It ends by comforting Americans by saying not
to worry because China is still far behind! I think China
is 5000 years ahead of U.S. in many aspects!
China already checkmated US in Korea, broke
US encirclement by world diplomacy, become more respected
than U.S. in 3rd world countries. China is renewing itself
whereas U.S. is on the decline. It reached its present day
development within 60 years despite all the upheavals.
5000 years of inventions-
(my criticism is that they did not progress further because
of the imperial monopoly of inventions. How true is that
I have not found out. Also I always wonder for all their inventiveness they
never invent the sewer and aqueduct systems like the Romans
- is it because they re-cycled their waste? - [Just so. China was an agricultural kingdom
and sewerage was one of the most precious commodities to
farmers - Admin]
The following is excerpt
of China Rises, and Checkmates by Nichlas
D. Kristof published on NYT on January 8, 2011,
and its Chinese translation. The full article in English
can be read at this address:
China Rises, and Checkmates
- 尤其是女性人才 - 培育上的大量投资是如何成功地让中国的影响涉及到了世界的方方面面。众所周知，拿破仑曾说过这样一句话：“当中国醒来时，世界将为之发抖。”
– 溺杀女婴、裹小脚以及纳妾等等不一而足 – 但中国社会的华丽转身竟然可以完成得如此迅速，现在男孩和女孩都享有平等的机会了。当侯的父母注意到她对商店柜台里的棋盘表现出特殊兴趣时，立马就给她买了一套，并专为她聘请了教练。中国国际象棋总教练叶江川告诉我他自从7年前就开始和侯女士下棋了。那时她才9岁，但她的棋艺着实让他吃了一大惊。“这孩子不一般啊！”他说。于是叶把侯请到了北京国家队。三年后，侯成为有史以来最年轻的国际大赛选手。
中国还需要很多很多很多年才能真正超过美国 … 但在很多方面中国已经是世界第一了，这包括控制碳排放和女子国际象棋。中国在教育、创造均等机会和倡导吃苦耐劳精神方面的经验值得我们学习。不学不行，侯逸凡已经在将我们的军了。
If there’s a human face on Rising China,
it belongs not to some Politburo chief, not to an Internet
tycoon, but to a quiet, mild-mannered teenage girl named
At 16, Ms Hou is the new
women’s world chess champion, the youngest person, male
or female, ever to win a world championship. And she reflects
the way China — by investing heavily in education and human
capital, particularly in young women — is increasingly
having an outsize impact on every aspect of the world.
Napoleon is famously said to have declared, “When China
wakes, it will shake the world.” That is becoming true
even in spheres that China historically has had little
connection with, like chess, basketball, rare earth minerals,
cyber warfare, space exploration and nuclear research. This is a process that Miss Hou exemplifies.
Only about 1 percent of Chinese play chess, and China has
never been a chess power. But since 1991, China has produced
four women’s world chess champions, and Ms. Hou is the
one with by far the most promise.
At this point, I have
to put my sensitive male ego aside. You see, Ms. Hou gamely
agreed to play me after I interviewed her. She had just
flown into Beijing after winning the world championship,
and she was exhausted — and she shredded me in 21 moves.
Most dispiriting, when I was teetering at the abyss near
the end of the game, her coach nudged her and suggested
mischievously that we should switch sides. Ms. Hou would
inherit my impossible position — and the gleam in her coach’s
eye suggested that she would still win. I protested that
I could survive being beaten on the chess board by a schoolgirl.
But to be toyed with, like a mouse by a cat — that would
be too much. Ms. Hou nodded compassionately and checkmated
me a few moves later.
Women in general haven’t
been nearly as good at chess as men, and the world’s top
women are mostly ranked well below the top men — but Ms.
Hou could be an exception. She is the only female chess
player today considered to have a shot at becoming one
of the top few players in the world, male or female.
Cynics sometimes suggest
that China’s rise as a world power is largely a matter
of government manipulation of currency rates and trade
rules.. But China has also done an extraordinarily good
job of investing in its people and in spreading opportunity
across the country. Moreover, perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its citizens have shown a passion for
education and self-improvement — along with remarkable
capacity for discipline and hard work, what the Chinese
call “chi ku,” or “eating bitterness.”
Ms. Hou dined on plenty
of bitterness in working her way up to champion. She grew
up in the boondocks, in a county town in Jiangsu Province, and her parents did not play chess.
But they lavished attention on her and spoiled her, as
parents of only children (“little emperors”) routinely do in China.
China used to be one of the most sexist societies in the
world — with female infanticide, foot binding, and concubinage
— but it turned a corner and now is remarkably good at
giving opportunities to girls as well as boys. When Ms. Hou’s parents
noticed her interest in a chess board at a store, they
promptly bought her a chess set — and then hired a chess
tutor for her.
China’s national commitment
to education, opportunity and eating bitterness — those
are qualities that we in the West might emulate as well.
As you know after you’ve been checkmated by Hou Yifan.
Helicopter Lands on Himalayas