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China’s accountability of the pandemic and its trajectory ahead

April 21, 2020

WHEN the pandemic has to persist on, it may entirely change the world systems. In economic perspective, Emmanuel Wallerstein gives us “capitalist world system” explaining the relation among countries―core, semi-periphery, and periphery. The core focuses on higher skill, capital-intensive production, while the two others focus on low-skill, labor intensive production. Similarly, the core is the owner of production and the rest are suppliers of manpower and raw materials. The colonizers play as core; colonies do the others. Obviously, this happens during colonial days wherein Europe, then US are the core, and China is out of this system. This runs throughout world history.   Where the system is that China belongs to? They have their own. The Communist has its own system but only with very few countries. In other words, the capitalist holds an exceptional domination in the world system in history.   When the capitalists enjoyed business expansion for centuries, China faced enormous impoverishment that led to the founding of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through Revolution. There were rapid Chinese migrations to Southeast Asia and across the Pacific who escaped dire poverty, leaving their home beset also with state-run murders that depopulated them. The CCP continued reprogramming economic agenda in order to get into the prevalent system. It re-invented itself and tried to penetrate in capitalist order. As a result, China became both a State capitalism with a framework of Communist party rule, meaning the government has the monopoly of power and State-owned large companies with few major private companies, to keep them going. These led them from impoverished state into booming economy to date.   The Connection of Communist China to Pandemic   The prevalent system has led no option of China but reinvention of itself in order to survive. It continued in disguise to mobilize businesses outside its home. We see Chinese companies and businesses operating almost all countries today. Conventional war plays no role for China to penetrate in the dominating system, rather, its disguise capitalist character has taken advantage in the economic order. Being a Communist is extremely opposite to the capitalist democratic institutions. The core countries’ influence has interwoven in the social milieu of its former colonies so that in the Post-independence period, the former colonies and its former Mother countries have continued ties. Philippines clings to China today, but experts say it has to take too long years to eradicate the US hold over Philippines. The bilateral relations between US and Philippines have deeply engulfed in the fabric of Philippine society. The Communist China cannot opt for a War to break these US-Philippines ties or the ties between Europe and former colonies as a whole. What else they can do to ensure that the system would allow the CCP control over the other countries that would replace the prevalent capitalist world order?   Virus has been hot topic decades ago and it goes now a real thing. This virus originating from Wuhan cripples the core countries. Its military would suffer great carnage without being hit by a single bullet. Medical services begin exhausted, and the epicenter traverses exponentially―Italy, Spain, then US. Spiraling situation has no definite hope; to stay at home is yet the recourse. Antidote may take long way to come. Who benefits this situation? China which has a strong State control surprises us how for such country to leak an outbreak. Some articles criticize China why it gets too quickly free from virus, while other Communist countries are unaffected, un-roiled. Doubts shed lights how the world order clashes, whereby the capitalist is always their enemy. Hence, without the cure makes us foresee the end of the prevalent system. The Communist may rise to dominate the world if no soon turning table. We are heading into at the mercy of China!   The Accountability of China   The International Health Regulation in 2005 requires UN member states to promptly notify the world in case epidemic spreads within a country. The country is liable to pay reparation to the injured states over its failure.[1] Despite this, China chose to cover up the outbreak within its home and allowed it to spread throughout the world. Knowing that the virus is a ‘novel’ and that no cure yet, it implies pandemic. This pandemic would have been anticipated by China ahead. Instead, they preferred non-disclosure about it and treacherously spread the virus by not imposing Chinese travel ban from Wuhan to other countries, then manipulated disinformation and pointed US military as the virus origin.   Such act is so terrible as committing blatant Crime Against Humanity. If a proper punishment is imposed at times this crisis would end, the consequence demands them more than reparation. However, all heavy consequences do not bother China. China would not have been thinking of reaching a rap in the World Court. When they surely reach their real goal, as a Communist, that is to destroy their capitalist enemies, thereby no way of reaching settled punishment, but upon their success, they will finally replace the capitalist system where the Communist reigns the world.   But, if the course of history keeps unchanged where the prevalent capitalist system stands still as a result of finding the antidote that would put altogether things back to normal and control over the disease, the trajectory may be great adverse for China when the CCP would receive its most deserved and just prize in the coming days.      About the writer: Lloyd B. Ranises finished his Ph.D. Philippine Studies from Mindanao State University-Marawi. He is a University Research Coordinator of the Misamis University, Ozamiz City.   [1] This is based on ABS-CBN news online posted by Romel Regalado Bagares, VERA Files, “Breaches and reparations: China's international responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic,” March 26, 2020.  

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Yours sincerely

April 17, 2020

WHEN letters were the only form of written correspondence, signing off was obvious. Actually I am still  adopting that old tradition. No matter, if it comes to letters or emails. It's just a matter of respect and education. If addressing a sir or madam, it was unambiguous. You concluded "yours faithfully". When writing to a specific person – for example, a Mr or (hey, ladies first!) – it was simple, your letter would always be signed off "yours sincerely". Only missives to family or close friends would ever finish with a "love from" or "with much love, yours". For many people, there's a weird status thing when it comes to the more blunt you are in emails. I'm asking myself, why? An email is just a letter - an online one ... . Sad to say,  the arrival of email has disrupted this etiquette, making the rules far less obvious. Indeed, for many of us there are no rules. A whole subculture of personalized email sign-offs has emerged everything from "TTFN" to "peace out". And of course, it’s not just what we say but why we say it. Neither in English nor in any other language. I get the same stuff in German written emails and even letters or text messages. "Emails have become the medium of business, leisure, family, love and everything,” says children’s author Michael Rosen. When we sign off emails, we try to give off the "right vibe", he adds. He says it’s all about how we want to come across to the recipient. "Thoughtful, grateful or just very, very busy?" Oh sure, we are all so very, very busy... . Some of the most successful business people are notoriously blunt in email communication – if they even bother with a sign-off at all. "There's a weird status thing when it comes to the more blunt you are in emails, the more you can be (blunt) because you're senior in the company," says author Emma Gannon, recalling the editor of a famous newspaper whose response to pitches was often just a curt "yep" or "nope". Although being succinct can convey a certain authority and status, it also communicates a dose of self-importance or arrogance. And we’ve all dealt with bosses who fire off email edicts of "is this done?" or "update me on that". Even if they are not so direct, many emailers (email senders?)  like to convey a sense of being busy by using or adapting abbreviations. So "kind regards" becomes "KR", or "yours" may do away with pesky vowels to leave "yrs". Heaven forbid! "When someone signed off 'BR' for 'best regards', I just thought they were cold, brrr," says Gannon. And, in my opinion, sorry to say, I even don't reply anymore after receiving such correspondence. Oh sure, we are all busy, but there should be just a minimum of respect, if I communicate with someone. In business or personal. By letter, email or text message. Many times, there are those who pare it down to the absolute minimum, signing off with simply their name or even just the initial letter of their forename. Others might omit a sign off altogether. While this may come across as peremptory or rude, at least it avoids misinterpretation. Nearly formal but not totally formal, but they're not as informal as 'CU in a MNT on bus OMW'. Some people swing the other way and end their emails with an altogether friendlier tone. While most would consider that kisses have no place in a business environment, they often creep into emails – and sometimes from people the recipient has never even met. For some, an "x" at the end of an email is a friendly end note; for others it is totally inappropriate. What’s clear is that some British terms used to end emails just do not translate well. A casual "cheers" is frequently used as a sign off on UK emails, but can be utterly perplexing for other nationalities. Not surprising when a hearty "cheers" also can be used for clinking glasses at the pub, or to thank a checkout person at the supermarket. Here we have to deal with British and American English. For author Michael Rosen, emails now occupy a halfway house between texts and letters. "The key thing is that emails aren't the same as letters. I position them in my mind as a sort of halfway place between texts and hard copy letters: nearly formal but not totally formal, but they're not as informal as 'CU in a MNT on bus OMW'," says Rosen. I strongly agree with him. And, he adds given their place in this ambiguous no-man’s land of communication, it follows that there will continue to be a whole raft of ways to say "goodbye". +++ In times with Covid-19, I can only say: people stay safe. And sad to say but it will never be the same again. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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BEEF OR VEGGIES?

April 15, 2020

I LOVE both. Veggies and any kind of meat. While staying at home due to the "house arrest",  I fund much more time and came across a new slogan: pass the beans, hold the beef to save yourself and the planet. I suddenly felt guilty while really enjoying a wonderful steak for lunch today. With salad of course. But here is the thing: Humans need to eat more beans and lentils and less red meat to protect the planet and our own health, researchers said. Meat intake for adults would be limited to 14 grams per day, that's about half a slice of bacon. Again: half a slice of bacon!  How many slices did you take for your breakfast today? Where did I get all this stuff? Food production and consumption must change drastically to avoid millions of deaths and "catastrophic" damage to the planet, according to a study published already on January 16, 2019 in the scientific journal The Lancet. The key to both goals is a significant shift in the global diet and would mean eating about half as much sugar and red meat and twice as many vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, the study found. Researchers from the EAT-Lancet Commission said, and allow me to quote, that if people followed the "Planetary Health" diet, more than 11 million premature deaths could be prevented each year, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut and more land, water and biodiversity would be preserved. The diet would see adults limited to 14 grams of red meat a day (about 30 calories — a quarter-pound burger patty contains roughly 450 calories), no more than 29 grams of poultry (around one and a half chicken nuggets) and 13 grams of eggs, or just 1.5 eggs per week. The diet is the result of a three-year project commissioned by The Lancet and involving 37 specialists from 16 countries. I don't know how you feel right now, my dear readers while getting to know this: "We are in a catastrophic situation," said co-author Tim Lang, a professor at the University of London and policy lead for the EAT-Lancet Commission that compiled the study. We are indeed in a catastrophic situation because of the Covid19. But climate change is still far from over ... . Lang said feeding a growing population of 10 billion people by 2050 with a healthy, sustainable diet will be impossible without transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste. "We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before," Lang said. Life-threatening diseases  including obesity, diabetes, malnutrition and several types of cancer are linked to poor diets. Researchers said unhealthy diets currently cause more death and disease worldwide than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined. Honestly, it's difficult for me to believe this. The dietary changes would be felt more in some regions than others. For example, people in North America eat almost 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat, while people in South Asia eat only half the amount suggested by the planetary diet. Meanwhile, meeting the targets for starchy vegetables such as potatoes and cassava would require big changes in sub-Saharan Africa, where people on average eat 7.5 times the suggested amount. "More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease," said Walter Willett of Harvard University. "If we can't quite make it, it's better to try and get as close as we can." Beans of beef? What's your decision at the moment? Hard to give the correct answer in times of Covid19. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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