Qin Shihuang and his books and scholars 秦始皇焚书坑儒

Turning on tv tonight, Smithsonian channel is showing China’s Dragon Emperor, which claims books/scholars burning never happened 秦始皇焚书坑儒没有发生 and he wasn’t a terrible emperor as we had taught/believed. The tv show gives credit to him as  who had unified China and language. Many Chinese characters are still in use by us now, with 1.4 billion people, 56 ethnic groups who speak 120 languages dialects. Funny the tv show says, “120 languages” which I’ll have to disagree. It’s dialects!! I checked on wiki and it doesn’t dispute whether Qin had burned the books and scholars.

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Mother’s Day – common daisy

The cut flowers are definitely last longer now.  They used to come with a pack of power that you put into the vase, mixing in the water to fertilize. But now the pack has all but disappeared and the flowers seem to stay pretty longer. The following common daisy and carnations are purchased on 5.13

Week 1: May 14

Week 2: May 20, 520 (white + yellow and more yellow)

week 3: May 28


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Carnation 康乃馨

For a while I liked this kind of flower very much. Buying nothing but carnation.
But then for reason unclear, I moved on, finding elegance and beauty in orchid, Tulips, and calla lily.

Sometimes, I’d recall an encounter that involved carnation.

One day I parked on the side of Roosevelt Avenue between Prince and College Point in Flushing. An India man approached me, posing as a fortune teller. He ranted off a string of facts, turned out to be true. To cap it off, he said that my favored flower is carnation. Then he proceeded to show me a photo of Indian kids in desperation, asking for a donation. I gave him $50.

From a car license plate, you probably can get many facts. But the flower part? I didn’t tell him that I no longer liked it.

The deeper color looks nice, isn’t?

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The red wine of the moment

Daily Mail gossips on the $22 wine Mnuchin brought Jared Kushner: a taste for budget booze! Steve Mnuchin dresses down to visit Jared Kushner and takes along a $22 bottle of wine – despite being worth $300 million. Well, actually, the general consent rates the 2013 vintage a little higher.

On the 2015 Arbalest Bordeaux Blend, another report goes,

The wine getting all the attention is the Arbalest 2015 Bordeaux Blend, a merlot-heavy blend made by winemaker Benoit Touquette. Touquette has consulted for many Napa wineries, including Screaming Eagle and Ovid, and actually makes wine in the Napa Valley for Realm Cellars, Hartwell and Kata. But this one is a product of France, which is why the price is reasonable.
And if you’re curious: An arbalest is a late version of the crossbow used in Europe during the 12th century.

Chinese is lighted up by the story too: 美國財政部長米努勤身價5億美元300 mil only,日前到川普女婿庫許納家作客,只帶一瓶22美元的紅酒作伴手禮。過程被媒體拍攝,兩人在玄關互擁寒喧,紅酒品牌也被放大檢視,引起海內外華人熱議。到底這是「寒酸」、惺惺作態,或美國人真的平實,「官箴」比中國官場嚴格,不妨來看看。
這件小事其實反映了大事。原來中美文化差距這麼大,官場、民間價值觀和做法南轅北轍。有人嘲笑美國文化「帶著土氣」,不夠氣派豪華。米努勤是華爾街大亨出身,有5億財產的人去川普女兒、女婿家作客,這麼好的「拉關係」機會,竟用2015年的 Arbalest Red Bordeaux Blend紅酒打發,太寒酸了。

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Orchid in a silve tank

This orchid from 2015 is blooming, the third time ..

2018.4.29 2018.5.02 2018.5.04 2018.5.08  

On May 26th, 2018


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collagen @ watsons

They’re all good.

I used up the 屈臣氏海洋胶原星肌多糖原液 marine collagen polusaccharide serum very quickly.

The 屈臣氏骨胶原弹润保湿 elastic & moisturizing facial lotion is thinner than the 屈臣氏骨胶原浓润紧致拉丝霜 Watsons collagen thick & firming facial cream. Both are good.

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Olive by watsons

This spring I went to watsons and bought a few this kind of skincare toner, serum, oil and moisturizing (moisturising) facial lotion. The packaging looks attractive and the products are good – I normally use Vaseline, ha ha ha. The oil and facial lotion are easy to use while the toner and serum aren’t – they’ve to shake out. Hope there is an improvement.



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My orchid corner

After visiting the orchid show at NYBG, thought of having my own …

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Photos of our children

Washington Post reports a couple took their holiday pictures to print in a store, found a detective at their door the following day, which led a social worker took their three daughters away from them, citing child abuse and pornography, in 2008.

Emmmmmm … guess I have been lucky? What can one do against such unfair charge and incompetent government workers/officials? Good for the couple who wins in the end. But what about the damages to their names, their home, to their three little girls (taken away from them …) …?

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December orchid from Trader Joe’s

They both are from Trader Joe’s. The dark one @ $13, with 3 bulbs; the lighter one is from last month. The dirt looks different. I like their service. Today the young cashier checks my pack of eggs and found one is broken, he has it changed. Thank you! Little things get to me.

2017.12.12, and 2018.2.21


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The Most Influential Chinese Trump Supporter in the World


Not sure why later David Wang’s face was painted over when I wanted to forward this article to friends.

It’s no secret that Donald Trump is not particularly popular among minority groups — especially Asian Americans. In a 2016 survey conducted by AAAJ with 1,000 registered Asian Americans, only 19% viewed Trump favorably while 61% viewed him unfavorably.

However, there are a group of Chinese Americans who have been vocal about their support for Trump well before his victory.

An organization called “Chinese Americans For Trump” gained notoriety by paying for Trump billboards in over a dozen states and flying aerial banners in over 32 cities during the President’s campaign. They’ve been enormously successful rallying support, particularly on WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging app.

Their efforts have even caught the attention of the President himself. During his campaign, he’d bring members on stage during rallies and has even met up with them in person. Despite his past criticism of China for being a country of job stealers, liars, currency manipulators, copycats, hackers, and spies, the group has only grown immensely over time — with over 8,000 members and counting.

Leading this organization is a rather mysterious man named David Wang. There’s barely any information of him online and it appears he mostly stays out of the spotlight. Most of the information I found in my research were mainly quotes from other outlets on wider topics. In early October, Wang endorsed Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Bobby Lawrence in a video with Miss China while yelling “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

What I found on Wang is that he’s a 33-year-old businessman from Beijing and now based in Southern California — that’s all I knew. I had to track this guy down.

After posting on Trump-supporting Facebook groups, digging through Google, and asking people in my network if they knew him, I came up with nothing. Eventually, I reached out to Kathy Zhu, a 19-year-old Chinese-American who’s built a following for her support of Trump is involved in the Florida Chapter of Chinese Americans for Trump. She was kind enough to share with me Wang’s WeChat handle.

I cold-messaged him and to my surprise, he responded minutes later. The fact that he responded makes me extremely lucky — and you’ll know why later on. To my surprise, he was very open to being interviewed, but not without some ground rules.

His ground rules seemed fair to me. After all, despite how much I’m probably going to disagree with him, my goal isn’t to put him or his family in danger. He sent me a meeting time along with a meeting location, which was a restaurant known for their Chinese buns.

Wang showed up wearing flip-flops, a hat, baggy pants, and a jacket — he didn’t want to be photographed since he wasn’t “camera-ready,” which was understandable. We made some small-talk as we walked to the restaurant.

The restaurant actually turned out to be a stall inside a food court. Wang told me that this place served the best Chinese buns and Jia Jiang Mian in Southern California.

Those two dishes were exactly what Wang ordered for us. We also played the “Asian bill game” and fought over the bill, to which he won — my subconscious immediately told me to stay focused because he’s probably trying to butter me up.

When the meal came, I was surprised. Wang wasn’t lying — it was definitely the best Jia Jiang Mian I’ve ever had.

“Are you a real foodie? I got to take you to place to try the ‘Trump sandwich.’ This place only serves it when I order it. It will literally be the best thing you’ve put into your mouth. It deserves four Michelin Stars,” Wang told me as we started eating.

Despite media predictions that Donald Trump would lose the presidential race to Hillary Clinton, Wang was extremely confident he was going to win, so I decided to ask him how he knew.

“It was all math,” he replied.

“Can you give me any details on how you calculated that he’d win the election?” I asked.

“I can’t reveal how I did it exactly, but I used numbers to predict a Republican victory. I did that at the end of 2015 when Trump had very little support within the party. If you look at party turnover rates since WWII, you can easily predict which party will take office,” Wang told me.

After a quick meal, he suggested we go to a quieter place to do the interview. We ended up at a Boba shop down the street, sat down outside, and I began to get to know David Wang a little more.

Wang came to the United States in 1999 and has lived here since. He is a green-card holder who’s working towards citizenship. While he can’t legally vote yet, it hasn’t stopped his tireless efforts to influence others who can.

Around 2007, Wang started get more involved in politics, personally going out to protest for Chinese-American rights. In fact, he was a supporter of Obama when he won the Presidential election in 2008.

“I thought he was cool,” Wang said. “I was glad to witness the first Black guy become U.S. president because maybe an Asian American guy can become one someday.”

However, as time went on, Wang despised Obama and the Democratic party. Prior to Trump announcing his presidency, Wang was a huge Jeb Bush supporter:

“I really don’t care who’s going to be president, as long as a GOP candidate became president because I realized what Democrats are doing with Asian Americans — taking our money and then backstabbing us. There’s so many bills against Asian Americans legislated, passed, and voted by Asian-led lawmakers.”

One bill Wang is referring to is the SCA 5, a bill introduced by California State Senator Edward Hernandez to the California State Senate in 2012, which sought to eliminate CA Prop 209’s ban on the use of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in recruitment, admissions, and retention programs in public colleges and universities in California.

Some Asian Americans were against this bill because they interpreted it as a way for the system to weed out students with “Asian-sounding” name while giving preferential treatment to “other minorities” to meet a “diversity” quota.

“If you’re last name is Wang, you’re expected to study hard,” Wang said. “You’re expected to get a 4.3 GPA because that’s the average GPA of a Wang to get in UCLA, and that’s without the bill.

“With the bill, it’d be like 5.0, so it’ll be way harder to even get to UCLA than Harvard for an Asian kid, but not for an African American kid, so that’s not fair.”

Asian Americans have been divided when it comes to Affirmative Action. Critics of it simply feel that it gives other minorities a “leg up” while Asian Americans will need to work even harder in order to get into a top-tier university. However, those who are for it believe that that notion is relatively short-sited.

“Affirmative action benefits everyone, including Asian Americans,” Nicole Gon Ochi, an attorney for the civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice, told the LA Times. “It especially helps traditionally disadvantaged Asian American students, like Southeast Asian university students and low-income Asian students.”

While a majority of Asian Americans support Affirmative Action, support for it is at it’s lowest among Chinese people. A 2016 poll sponsored by AAAJ found that 64% of Asian American voters supported “affirmative action programs designed to help blacks, women, and other minorities get better access to higher education.” While only 25% of Asians opposed it, support was lowest among Chinese, at 41%, according to the LA Times.

“Think about it. If you were, let’s say, a Black person, 3.5 GPA with number one in a sport with a state title, you’re going to get into UCLA. Berkeley even, back in ’06. Seriously,” Wang said.

Wang stressed that he’s not looking for schools to give preferential treatment for Asian students, but just for it to be “fair”. He believes that instead of race-based, it should be merit-based with respect to an individual’s socio-economic background. So if there were two candidates with the same achievement, but one spot available, the person who comes from a lower social-economic background should get it.

When Trump announced his run for the Presidency in 2015, Wang randomly added two friends on WeChat and started the “Duck Mouth Fan Club”. Once they reached 100 members at the end of the year, they changed it to CAFT, or “Chinese Americans for Trump”.

According to their web page, “CAFT is an informal group made up mainly of Chinese Americans from across the United States of America.” These include “successful businessmen and women, real estate developers, store owners, restaurateurs, doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers; but there are also ordinary clerks, government workers, veterans and housewives.”

It also goes on criticizing Democrats on three main topics:

“The Democrats want to grant unconditional amnesty to all illegal immigrants that hopped a fence to get into the US, when our family members are still waiting for their turn to enter this great country lawfully, sometimes for more than 10 years. That is NOT the America we knew and loved.

“The Democrats want to pass laws that restrict college admissions based solely on skin color and ethnicity, so that our children have to get a 4.5 GPA to get into high-ranked state colleges while an illegal immigrant kid only needs a 2.5. That is NOT the America we knew and loved.

“The Democrats have made it NOT okay to call Islamic Extremism for what it is. Asian Americans died in San Bernardino and yet we are not even allowed to discuss the event for what it truly was. That is NOT the America we knew and loved.”

Wang has built such a large network that he gets — wait for it — over 500,000 messages a day on WeChat.

“I can show you. I need to delete my WeChat messages, the entire thing, every day. Right now I have, almost a quarter million messages, and you see the number will jump up like that.”

“Are these just messages from these different types of groups you’re in?” I asked.

“Look at that, look at that, 500, 527, it’ll just keep on going, 557, just got 30 more.”

“OK let’s step back here. If I initially messaged you on WeChat and you get over 500,000 text messages a day, how did you even see my message?” I asked.

“Just through pure dumb luck. You are so lucky — you messaged me at the right place and time, because you would be washed down most of the time.”

“And because you’re David Wang, do these people treat you like a god?” I joked.

“No, no. I never look at it that way. I think everybody’s equal, equally important. You are not more important than me, I am not more important than you. We are all equal human beings, nice friends. You can disagree with my views, cool, I actually like it so I can debate.”

Aside from his CAFT network, Wang is also a part of a multitude of other groups on WeChat, including Asian American Soldiers for America (AASA), a group Wang co-founded and has around 5,000 current members.

“They are Chinese Nationals who came to America to become soldiers, to die for America,” Wang said.

“At the same time they would get a fast Green Card and get citizenship within like, six months.

“At first, I thought they just wanted a fast Green Card, but after I talked to a lot of them I realized it’s their dream to become a soldier. They feel like joining the military will be part of their life experience to complete themselves. They wanted to get experience, and they love America. It’s unbelievable.”

I was astonished when looking through Wang’s WeChat. Most of the conversations were in Chinese, but it was mind-boggling seeing so many Chinese who support Donald Trump. But why would they support someone who’s criticized their homeland so harshly in the past?

“When was the last time a U.S. president candidate said anything good about China, ever? It’s political talk. You have to basically say things about other countries. What he said is kind of true. China is a currency manipulator, but not in an illegal way, you know?” Wang said.

“Trump is going to make America great again and I’ll tell you why: He’s a great person and he only cares about Americans. He’s willing to challenge every other nation and its citizens to make sure that our people are number one.”

Wang also argues that Trump is very supportive of Asian Americans. He claims he even stood up for Asian American rights 10 years ago when

Rosie O’Donnell mocked Asians on T.V. by saying “Ching Chong.”

“He’s definitely not a White supremacist. Tell me about how Rosie O’Donnell made fun of Asians at her show, and then Donald Trump stood up for Asians and said she should get fired for making racist remarks, and she’s a fat person.”

While a Google search did yield articles from 10 years ago of Trump insulting O’Donnell for her weight, the only reason I found why he did it was because she criticized him for not firing Miss USA Tara Conner for under-aged alcohol and drug use, allowing her to keep her title.

Like many supporters of Trump I’ve spoken with in the past, the age of “political correctness” is also what seems to be fueling the anger of David Wang and many other right-wing supporters.

“If you side with anybody middle or right, you immediately get punished for your freedom of speech. When Trump went to Asia, especially China, he made big deals. He made a Chinese company buy a lot of U.S. products. I’m talking I think $253 billion worth of products. That includes , I think, natural gas, and beef, and some chips and different stuff.

“You know how many jobs $253 billion would create? A lot. A lot of jobs, but nobody talks about that. Nobody. People only want to talk about, ‘Allegedly, somebody has found something about Trump talking to the Russians.’”

There’s no doubt that Wang has a substantial influence beyond his online community. He’s been able to draw large numbers of Chinese-Americans to protest on the streets for their causes. On February 2016, when the ex-cop Peter Liang was convicted for the death of Akai Gurly, Wang got 150,000 people in 47 cities to protest on the streets using ONLY WeChat.

“That national protest took 7 days to organize, and we spent $0 on advertising, it was all done on WeChat,” he said.

“Getting Chinese-Americans on the street to protest is very hard because they don’t know if it’s legal or not. I kept telling them, ‘Look, you can go on the streets, wave a banner, and you’re not going to go to jail for it.’”

During one particular Trump rally in Bolsa Chica State Park, Wang says he was attacked by antifa members.

“There’s a YouTube video titled ‘Battle of Bolsa Chica’. It’s recorded by the police helicopter. We didn’t know it was there, it was super high up, but you can actually see me in the brown jacket getting stabbed and punched and beat down, it’s crazy.”

Wang’s effort have certainly not been in vain from his perspective. Apart from the fast growth of his organization, the President himself has even taken a liking to the Beijing-native. During a meet and greet with CAFT, Trump went around the room to look for him.

“He kept asking, ‘Where’s David? Where’s David?” Wang said.

“What was he like?” I asked.

“Just stuff like, ‘I love you. You love me back,’ and he said, ‘David, I’ll be watching you.’”

Despite how unpopular Trump is currently in the media, Wang remains confident in the President.

“I’ve been telling people that you’re going to hear things like this about Trump for the next eight years. Do you get it? Next eight years. Know what that means? It means he’s going to win again. Because people are so fed up with this kind of stuff. If I supported a candidate who had less than 1% party support before he was even a candidate, and he won, I’m pretty confident.”

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Is this a robbery or what?

I ran a red light. Here is the notice (issued two months later …):

  1. $50 fine
  2. $45 driver responsibility fee
  3. $55 public safety fee
  4. I just need your cash???

There is something fishy – Nassau County TPVA Red Light Camera: the timing of the yellow lights have different timing, which I think, favors the government to ticket us. I have trouble to remember which traffic light has longer yellow time.

When I look at the fine, I thought, holly molly, are they robbing in board daylight or what? Again, when choose to pay online, a convenient fee is accessed: $6 for paying with a check and $6 for paying with a credit card – it’s cheap by mail in a check, which is probably keep many people at their jobs, which can be easily and more effectively replaced by automation.


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Low end population; Amazon; RYB

I ordered Hershey chocolate on Nov 26 for a birthday boy in Beijing.  In 22 hours, it shipped out from Shanghai and arrived in Beijing (Dahongmen 丰台大红门 Big Red Door @ Fengtai district), to be delivered. However, after two days, it returned to Shanghai on Nov 29. Not giving up, I ordered something fresh, originated in the city that guarantees to deliver within two hours. Again, failed due to fire inspection warehouse rectification:

【每日优鲜】尊敬的用户您好,您的订单由于消防检查仓库整改 大仓最近不到货,导致无法为您配送,辛苦看到后联系在线客服或者拨打4009911977为您处理,如果24小时内未处理,这边会为您操作退款,给您带来不帮请您谅解,祝您生活愉快!回复N退订

This has everything to do with Beijing government’s sudden evictions of millions of migrants from the city. The term 低端人口 low-end population has been in blog sphere  for a little while. My first thought is, how can they do that to these people, who contributed to Beijing’s prosperity? The reason for the sudden action was  the fire in Beijing killed 19 at Daxing on Saturday Nov 18. (Reuters) But the illegal buildings must have local government’s tacit permission. Will they take responsibility and return the bribery? As for migrants, I vividly remembered when Nainai and I rode over the portrait of Chairman Mao in Tiananmen, Nainai spited and said, “tubie,” 土鳖 country hicks! Mao and his band of brothers were all migrants! Just listen to their accents.

My next thought was, holly molly, who’s going to deliver the packages and all the chain reactions associate with it? The stores, the packager, the shipper, … oh, let’s get the mayor to do deliver that millions packages.

This morning, Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America’s new nomads caught my eyes because of the above. There will always be different kind of people – some work for a company while living in cars, and some benefit enormously be investing in the company – which brought me to the follow 60 Minutes interview of Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos.

“What’s with the Honda?”
“This is a perfectly good car.”

AMZN ipo’ed in 1997 at $18 per share. Perhaps how to treat the less fortune people is the key separate two countries?

(Another event that embroiled Beijing is 红黄蓝教育 RYB Education wiki, a NYSE listed company in preschool business, headquartered in Beijing but is registered in the Cayman Islands, is accused of abusing kids.)

1516 Second Avenue Columbia, sandwiched between porn shops, porno parlors, wig store, teriyaki restaurant at corner, Settle – King County Department of Public Health Needle Exchange Program …

昨天一本书讲到 ’生活在汽车里,为亚马逊工作‘ 令我想起这个1999 60分钟的采访. 那时亚马逊的总部挤在色情店,假发店,公共卫生部的针头交换计划中. 走进办公室里  烂桌子 赃地毯 … 那年 亚马逊的市值是 30 billion (560 billion in 2017) … 采访的人问 “你自己有大约 1 billion dollars? … 这个旧的本田汽车是怎么回事?”
“这是一辆非常好的汽车呀.” 接着又是一阵笑声. 俺也失笑出声了. AMZN 1977 上市每股 $18 一股. 今天开市 (on 2017.12.4) at $1,174.65. 人总会有不同: 有些人替一公司打工住车里; 有些人投资在一个公司里可以早早退休住在海边. 我想社会/政府的不同是住车里的人有什么基本保障和尊严!

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The leap years

It’s also called intercalary (闰年 in Chinese) when February has 29 days. According to this website, 1600 and 2000 have 29th day but 1700, 1800 and 1900 have not. This website explains:

A normal year is defined as 365 days. … Putting all of these rules together, you can see that a year is a leap year not only if it is divisible by 4 — it also has to be divisible by 400 if it is a centurial year. So 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was.

And here is the Quora discussion. But I just looked up on iPhone’s calendar, Apple seems to disagree: the February of 170018001900 (of course 2000 too) all have the 29th day!


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The Vikings, the Brits and the Chinese

I’ve been on and off watching the television series (written and created by Michael Hirst for the History channel). Ragnar Lothbrok’s first wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is very pretty -:).

The British Isles were invaded a few times, from 2000 BC to 1688. The Vikings raided it from 793 at Lindisfarne to 1284 for its riches, because they had superior ships and navigation ability. A BBC report.

King George III of the Great Britain sent his men to China, asking for trade, in 1793 and 1816. Both times were refused. Inward as she was, China was the riches economy in the world and she did not need to intercourse with anyone. Her haijin sea ban had limited foreign trade, and the little foreign trade she reluctantly allowed was restricted in Guangzhou (Canton). To gain market, the Brits invaded China twice, in so called two opium wars, in 1839 and 1856. … and look at China now.

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Orchid in Nov 2017

This one is from Trader Joe’s, in a white vase. This one has the longest first bloom, from Nov 13, 2017, to June 14, 2018, and is still going.

2017 – this one lost its last flower on Feb 18 2018.


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Why China tolerates N Korea for so long?

The radio station wnyc this morning had an interviewee who’s knowledgeable on North Korea (was he the ambassador to South Korea?). He said China thinks (thought) the Kim family brings stability to the country. And it was unwise for the United States to ask a favor of China to reign in the little Kim. “No country does favor to another.”

It seems such short sight to think Kim brings stability to his country. A good chess player looks 5 or more steps ahead. And China looks for now.

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