Book Review: “When China Rules The World” by Martin Jacques

9 10 2011

Usually I send out a ping/tweet about books that I read, liked and think my friends should read to. I just finished a book that I like so much, that I am posting a short review about it. I liked it so much, as it really opened up a new world to me and created a ‘wow-effect’, maybe even an enlightenment moment.

Martin Jacques

For the over a decade everyone is speculation that China is going to rule the world, but as China is slowly growing and becoming its own self fulfilling prophecy, nobody really quantified why and/or if China is going to rule the world. When I heard about Mr. Martin Jacques, and his newest book: “When China Rules The World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World“, I knew I needed to read it immediately. (By the way, I first heard of him via TED.com, where I learn many mind gobbling things 🙂 ).

Although it is a thick (441 pages) and rather academic, it does read rather smooth. This book is not just a in-depth analysis of the current situation of China and where it is moving, but gives an deep, full historical understanding of the 3000 years old Chinese culture. It gives an inside view, seen from the Asian perspective AND Western perspective. Very well done.

As I declared this book as a ‘must-read’, I don’t want to spoil too much… The books concludes in “The Eight Differences that Define China”:

1. China is not really a nation-state in the traditional sense of the term but a civilization-state.

2. China is increasingly likely to conceive of its relationship with East Asia in terms of a tributary-state, rather than nation-state, system.

3. There is the distictively Chinese attitude towards race and ethnicity. The Han Chinese conceive of themselves as a single race, even though this is clearly not the case.

4. China operates, and will continue to operate, on a quite different continental-size canvas as continental in scale.

5. The nature of the Chinese polity if highly specific. Unlike the Western experience, in particular that of Europe, the imperial dynasty was neither obliged, nor required, nor indeed desired to share power with other competing institutions or interest groups, such as the Church or the merchant class. The Confusian ethos that informed and shaped it for some two millennia did not require the state to be accountable to the people, but instead insisted on its loyalty to the moral precepts of Confucianism.

6. Chinese modernity, like other East Asian modernities, is distinguished by the speed of the country’s transformation. The Asian tigers are time-compression societies. They embrace the new in the same way that a child approaches a computer or a Nintendo game console.

7. Since 1949 China has been ruled by a Communist regime. Paradoxically, perhaps the two most significant dates of the last half-century embody what are seemingly entirely contradictory events: 1989, marking the collapse of European Communism and the demise of the Soviet bloc; and 1978, signalling not only the beginning of the most remarkable economic transformation in history but also one presided over by a Communist Party.

8. China will, for several decades to come, combine the characteristics of both a developed and a developing country. This will be a unique condition for one of the major global powers and tems from the fact that China’s modernization will be a protracted process because of the country’s size: in conventional terms, China’s transformation is that of a continent, with continental-style disparities, rather than that of a country.

As quoted in the final chapter of the book. It also contains a great Guide to Further Reading on pages 438-441.

If you have read the book already, please share your thoughts. If you are interested in China, world politics and/or economics, please do read this book.

I really enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it.

看到您的到来 (Kàn dào nín de dàolái) = See You Soon

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Gold ATM Machine

2 10 2011

The title sounds a bit weird, but now you can get physical gold bars from an ATM machine instead of cash money. The first gold vending machine that actually spits out gold was presented in (where else) Dubai. But this week I ran in to one in Europe. Now where else than in London, United Kingdom. This is a picture I took of the machine at Westfield London White City Shopping Mall:

GOLD TO GO ATM Machine at Westfield London White City

This surprised me a bit and made me curious if there is a serious business (plan) behind this, or it’s just a good marketing stunt?!

The company that created these gold vending machines is: Gold to Go. And, they seem very professional and serious…

This is what they write on their homepage:

“A simple and brilliant principle: put your money in and pick your gold!

The GOLD to go™ vending machine is an unmanned point of sale. It offers an extraordinary opportunity to purchase gold bars and coins of assured quality, backed by the security of a Swabian Fort Knox® and with the ease-of-use of a vending machine. Prices are updated in real-time. The GOLD to go™ gold vending machine is largely burglar-proof and tamper-resistant. It has an excellent user guidance, which makes it very easy to handle.

geschenkbox-krugerrandIn the standard version, our GOLD to go™ ATM’s are equipped with the following products (alternative product portfolio is possible, depending on the requirements of the respective location):

Gold Bars 1 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram and 1 ounce

Krugerrand 1/10 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1 ounce

Kangaroo 1/10 ounce ($15) and 1 ounce ($100)

Maple Leaf 1/10 ounce ($5)

All these come in a precious gift box.”

Today, there are already 27 ATM machines installed: 15 in Germany, 8 in The UAE, 2 in Italy and one each in The USA and The UK.

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World’s First Watch & Shoe Pop-Up Store

13 03 2011

As you know I love retail, I love watches and I love fashion. One of my favorite shoe manufacturers is the Italian firm: Santoni. This year IWC and Santoni teamed up and the new IWC Portofino watch collection will be supplied with handmade Santoni watch straps. Great synergy and two brands adding value.

Since 2003 Ace Jewelers has an annual IWC Novelty Show in one of ours stores. We are always the first retailer in The Netherlands to present the new IWC show collections, as soon as it has been released by the headquarters in Schaffhausen. So, this year  I came up with the idea  to do really something new and innovative. A new retail concept: we transformed our store, Ace & Dik Jewelers, in to the first watch & shoe pop-up store in the world. For two days Ace & Dik became: The IWC & Santoni Pop-Up Store. See the video for the result:

For pictures, please visit Ace Jewelers Facebook Fan Page: www.ace.am/facebook

Strong health is a result of regular exercise and lifestyle. How can remedies hels up? However, there are online pharmacies that offer discount drugs to patients who need them at low costs. Some families already heard about Zovirax that is an antiviral drug. Usually, this curing is mostly used to treat outbreaks of herpes. Zovirax will not fight herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of it. Many men order online such remedies like Cialis. What about how much does viagra cost and sexual being? Nearly each man knows about discount viagra. (Read more viagra prices). The signs of sexual soundness problems in men include improbability to have an erection sufficient for sexual functioning. Typically, this may include diabetes, anxiety, or a panic disorder of some kind. Along with their utility effects, most medications, still, have unwanted aftereffects although mostly not everyone experiences them. Finally purchasing medicaments from the Web can save money, but keep above mentioned tips in mind.



Alon the SpeedCoach

28 09 2010

In case you are a (starting) entrepreneur or wish to become one, keep on reading…

On the 20th of October, 2010, the non-profit foundation Suikeroom, will organize the second event this year: DURFkapitaal. This event is meant for (starting) entrepreneurs that are seeking advice and/or funding. Not only can you do an elevator pitch to win a prize, but also have SpeedDates with investors or coaches… Like me 😉

For English readers, please call Suikeroom via: +31 (0)20-670 71 32 or visit: www.suikeroom.org

For alle Nederlandse ondernemers (in spe), investeerders en geintereseerden:

Wegens groot succes organiseert Stichting Suikeroom op woensdag 20 oktober 2010 voor de tweede keer dit jaar het DURFkapitaal evenement in de Garage Notweg te Amsterdam West. Het programma loopt van 15:30-20:00 uur en deelname is gratis.

Het doel van het evenement is om bezoekers te informeren over durfkapitaal en (startende) ondernemers en investeerders met elkaar in contact te brengen. Ondernemers kunnen ‘speeddaten’ met specialisten op het gebied van durfkapitaal en investeerders. Er is een informatiemarkt, er komen interessante sprekers en tijdens de onderbrekingen en het heerlijke diner zijn er volop ‘netwerkmomenten’ aanwezig.

Een aantal ondernemers krijgen tijdens het evenement de unieke kans om hun businessplan te presenteren tegenover een vakkundige jury en investeerders.

Ben jij die gedreven (startende) ondernemer naar wie Stichting Suikeroom op zoek is?

Wellicht wil je, net als ik, op andere manier een bijdrage leveren aan het succes van dit evenement? Zo ja, dan zijn Speedcoaches, investeerders, informatiestandhouders, sponsoren of andere geïnteresseerden uiteraard ook meer dan welkom en kunnen zich net als (startende) ondernemers via bovenstaande button aanmelden.

Hoop veel geintereerden te zien op woensdag 20 oktober 2010!

Voor additionele informatie: www.suikeroom.org

Strong health is a result of regular exercise and lifestyle. How can remedies hels up? However, there are online pharmacies that offer discount drugs to patients who need them at low costs. Some families already heard about Zovirax that is an antiviral drug. Usually, this medication is mostly used to treat outbreaks of herpes. Zovirax will not fight herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of it. Many men order online such remedies like Cialis. What about how much does viagra cost and sexual life? Nearly each man knows about discount viagra. (Read more viagra prices). The signs of sexual soundness problems in men turn on impossibility to have an erection sufficient for sexual functioning. Typically, this may include diabetes, anxiety, or a panic upset of some kind. Along with their utility effects, most medications, still, have unwanted aftereffects although mostly not everyone experiences them. Finally purchasing medicaments from the Web can save money, but keep above mentioned tips in mind.



Ace Jewelers eCommerce Cross-Channel Strategy

26 09 2010

As you might know I am a great fan of everything related to Internet, eCommerce, mCommerce and social media. For our family business, Ace Jewelers, I had the honour to set up our fourth store in 2008: Ace eBoutique. This was the first website in The Netherlands of a luxury jeweler that started selling online. Every since we had a lot of media coverage. Just want to share the newest pic and articles (in Dutch) with you:

Photo shoot by Suzanne Dorrestein of me at Ace & Dik Jewelers for trade magazine Edelmetaal.

Photo shoot by Suzanne Dorrestein of me at Ace & Dik Jewelers for trade magazine Edelmetaal.

Europa Star (Interview about Augmented Reality – PDF in English)

Edelmetaal (Interview about eCommerce – PDF in Dutch)

00/24 Horloges Magazine (Interview about eCommerce – PDF in Dutch)

Strong health is a result of regular exercise and lifestyle. How can remedies hels up? However, there are online pharmacies that offer discount drugs to patients who need them at low costs. Some families already heard about Zovirax that is an antiviral drug. Usually, this curing is mostly used to treat outbreaks of herpes. Zovirax will not fight herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of it. Many folk order online such remedies like Cialis. What about how much does viagra cost and sexual existence? Nearly every man knows about discount viagra. (Read more viagra prices). The signs of sexual soundness problems in men include impossibility to have an hard-on sufficient for sexual functioning. Typically, this may include diabetes, anxiety, or a panic upset of some kind. Along with their utility effects, most medications, still, have unwanted aftereffects although mostly not everyone experiences them. Finally purchasing medicaments from the Web can save money, but keep above mentioned tips in mind.