Wan Lik Hang

China News 27th September 2021

Last week saw the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival.  Our first article looks at the long history of this festival.  Our second story showed how post-war Hong Kong allowed wealth to be created at all levels by encouraging the rich to set up charities.  Our third is about the rapid development of autonomous electric vehicles in China.  

The history of the Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival originated from the worship of celestial phenomena and evolved from the autumn evening sacrifice to the moon in ancient times.  The Mid-Autumn Festival was popularized in the Han Dynasty. The Han Dynasty was a period of economic and cultural exchanges and integration between the north and the south of China. Cultural exchanges in various places led to the integration and dissemination of festivals and customs. 

In the Northern Song Dynasty, the Mid-Autumn Festival became a folk festival.  

By the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Mid-Autumn Festival had already spread all China.

Since ancient times, there have been customs such as offering sacrifices to the moon, appreciating the moon, eating moon cakes, playing lanterns, appreciating osmanthus flowers, drinking osmanthus wine, etc., which have been handed down to this day and have lasted for a long time. Moon cakes have become a necessary custom for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in all parts of the north and south of China. Of course, there are also various fresh dried fruits that are also delicacies on the Mid-Autumn Festival night.

Source: guoxue.ifeng.com.

Another look at ‘common prosperity’

Deng Xiaoping was indeed a contradictory person. “Let some people get rich first,” – this sentence is simple. But what does it mean to “get rich first”?  What happens after getting rich first? None of this is discussed in detail.  Deng Xiaoping also said “let’s get rich together”, and pointed out that “the greatest advantage of socialism is common prosperity.” However, Deng Xiaoping’s theory did not point out what should be done at this stage if wealth inequality appears in China’s reforms?

The colony of Hong Kong provided a model. After the war, the British economy was greatly affected, and the national treasury was emptied during the two world wars.   There were millions of refugees in Hong Kong at that time, the British government was poor, and the Hong Kong colonial government had no money. The British did not divide the land with the rich in Hong Kong: and the rights and interests of the residents of the New Territories did not change.  

The Colonial Grantham government did not impose heavy taxes on the traditional local rich.  He maintained a low tax system and did not force them to donate property.  Instead, he used royal titles and social status as incentives to make the wealthy people create charitable undertakings.  The colonial Hong Kong government created a good atmosphere, which made Chinese businessmen believe that charity is an honour.

Tang Ke/Xinhua, via Getty Images

At this time, the British Royal family became a benign factor. Many of the jazzy titles in Hong Kong’s colonial era were the result of local businessmen donating to the colony to help improve people’s livelihood. No matter how poor Britain was, it did not reach out to Hong Kong for money, and local wealthy businessmen did not have to donate to Britain. The colonial government took it from local philanthropists and used it for local refugees.  To this day, many charity-derived hospitals and schools are operating well.

Those who only talk about radical ideology will not understand all of this. In their distorted world, all colonialism is “evil”, and only socialism and communism are ideals. In colonial Hong Kong, Grantham did not leave a set of ‘thoughts’, and MacLehose did not publish a ‘Digest’. Hong Kong’s society still had differences between the rich and the poor, but there was upward mobility in society.  In this way, a harmonious Chinese society was built, which was rare, until 1997, together with abundant reserves, Hong Kong was returned to China.

Source: cup.com.hk.

China extends its global lead in electric vehicle design and manufacture.

On August 18, Baidu, China’s largest Internet search engine, released the “automobile robot”, a self-driving concept car that foreshadows the ideal future car.  Baidu will invest 50 billion yuan in the next five years to manufacture and sell all-electric vehicles (EVs) in joint ventures with major car companies. 

Automobile robots are not the same as cars in your imagination. In fact, they will be more like a robot. This will also be the direction of car evolution in the future.

Baidu Chairman and CEO (CEO) Robin Li emphasized at the press conference.

The car robot is two-seater. There is no steering wheel, accelerator, or brakes. Instead, there is a huge display.  Artificial intelligence in the car can continuously learn and provide driving and services that meet the preferences of passengers.

The press conference did not mention the time to market of the car robot.  At this stage, it is considered the car of the future, and Baidu is seeking to join the ranks of pure electric car companies soon.

BY NOEL CELIS /Getty

The cooperation with Geely Holding Group announced in early 2021 has become a strategic pillar.   The Group has decided to invest 50 billion yuan in the next five years to manufacture and sell pure electric vehicles equipped with autonomous driving technology. The concept car is to be announced at the Beijing International Auto Show in April 2022, and orders will be received within the same year. 

Source: zh.cn.nikkei.com.

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