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Eric Merola’s Trip to Ghanzhou, China
So, I spent a week in Ghanzhou, China to cover a couple of alternative cancer therapies. The main event was the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Clinical Hyperthermia Society (ICHS) at the Clifford Resort & Hotel.
Its focus was in Hyperthermia and its relationship to cancer therapy. A proven effective therapy, that the entire world is paying attention to—except of course (you guessed it) the USA & UK. The Lancet has published numerous articles about this proven effective modality.
Before I get into the details around the reasons for my trip, I want to say some things about my impression of China. I had to get a Visa to enter the country, so with two letters of invitation from two separate groups, I was granted a business category F visa. I am a documentary filmmaker and my reasons for going were to film many things during the conference, one-on-one interviews with some of the doctors, and the hospitals I toured. Everyone scared the hell out of me for wanting to bring big video cameras into the country. First, the Chinese consulate told me “be sure to declare your cameras, and they will be charging you money to bring the cameras in – they will also check to see if you are bringing the cameras back – and they might want to watch any video tapes that you record before they let you leave the country, etc”. Well, none of that turned out to be true. When I landed, and was waiting for my luggage at baggage claim, I found an American who had been to the country many times. I explained to him my concerns, and he said “No way, just walk out through the “nothing to declare” exit. You’ll be fine.” He was right. There was zero issues with the cameras, going in or out of the country.
China is highly populated. Ghangzhou, being the 3rd largest city in China, was very populated. I don’t mean this sarcastically when I say that I understand why they issued a “one-child policy”. When asking one of the locals about this, he explained that you are only allowed one child, if you come from a family where you grew up with a brother or a sister. So, if you had a brother or a sister, you are allowed one child. But, your only child can grow up to have two children. Then, both of those kids are only allowed one child. So, it’s 2 kids, one kid. Driving by schools where parents are waiting for their kids was intense, since most parents can only have one child, that one child means a lot to them. If you illegally have a 2nd child, you essentially have to pay gigantic fines to first have the kid, and then in order to get that kid an ID, go to school, doctor, etc – you have to pay even more fines.
“Communist China”? Hardly!:
While there, in the hotel room looking to see if the typhoon that hit the Philippines was going to come my way, I had English CNN on. Sure enough, a news report came on and opened with “Today in Communist China…” This is just absurd, and made me laugh out loud. China is far from communist. It’s the most capitalistic place on earth. In fact it’s an American capitalist’s wet dream since they have zero regulations, from environment to labor—the average American capitalist could only dream of having China’s unbridled capitalism.
Given there are no regulations, the air was quite polluted – in fact I never saw the sun once due to the smog. The sky was just one big white umbrella, with sort of a “glow” where the sun is. You can definitely smell it in the air. While touring the hospitals (which I will explain later in this blog) I was told that lung and liver cancer are super high there – which makes sense as the lungs are breathing in highly toxic air, and the liver has to detoxify the rest of the pollutants. Also, a form of “nasal” cancer is also high there, while being extremely rare in the USA, presumably due to the pollution. Overall, with the tropical climate in southern China combined with the pollution, being outside quickly became an uncomfortable sticky experience. Overall, anyone that uses the term “communist” to describe China either (a) has no idea what he is talking about, or (b) has no idea what he is talking about.
One Party Political System:
Perhaps since China has a one-party political system, some equate that to communism. Yes, there was a time up until 1979 where Chinese residents were not allowed to leave China, that has all changed today. Yes, it is true that Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, most blogs, etc were unable to be viewed on the internet there – but all you do is buy what is called a “VPN” – to gain access to the entire internet. Like any good capitalist society, money will buy you anything!
Does the USA have a multiple party system in comparison? Not from where I sit it doesn’t. Whether we vote democrat or republican, regardless of who is in office we will also be ruled by the “one party,” which is MONEY and corporate control. Perhaps both countries would be better defined as a plutonomy: Citibank Memo The Plutonomy Symposium Rising Tides Lifting Yachts. Taking a good look at the Obama administration with the whole “Hope For Change” bullshit – will tell you the USA’s “two-party political system” is a big fat scam. At least in China, they aren’t lying to the public by pretending that there is freedom in their politics. They at least tell you the truth “The State owns the party,” instead of bullshitting its citizens as we see all day in American media and politics.
And, if you have any cognitive dissonance over the fact that China imprisons its citizens for standing up to the state, and the like—take a big fat look into an American mirror and remember Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and the rest. Do they have prison labor camps? Sure do. But America does too! America is equally as guilty as China for its political climate. Again, at least China is upfront about it.
I personally get a little tired of the USA claiming they are any better than China. The only thing that the USA has over China is an EPA. I am happy we do have an EPA, but like all of America’s regulatory institutions, it’s a matter of time before Industry highjacks and purchases that agency too – as they have the FDA.
The economy in China is booming to say the least. The average 2 bedroom condo in the area where I was staying is selling for $400,000 USA dollars. No one lives in houses that I could see. They all lived in apartment or condo buildings. These condos were selling faster than they can be built. China is more than obviously going to quickly rise up to outshine the USA’s economy. Many people in the USA seem to hate China for “taking all our jobs,” but we must remember that it’s the American politicians and corporations who are sending our jobs over there, not the Chinese. Again, that’s capitalism – the true capitalist will take the least expensive route to turn the highest profit, and if it means selling out its own citizens to do it (as the USA has done) that’s what will be done.
Not far from where I was staying is the famous “Apple iPhone parts factory” that has the giant nets outside to keep people from leaping off the roofs and killing themselves due to hating their jobs. Most of us think it’s some kind of forced labor, but it’s not. Those people have a choice to quit those jobs if they wish—yet another misconception. Frankly, most every office job I have ever had, I have at one time or another imagined throwing myself through the plate glass windows to splatter myself all over the sidewalk in disgust of what I have had to tolerate in my past “wage slave” jobs. All jobs suck, period. I thank my lucky stars every morning when I wake up that I managed to escape and make a living as a documentary filmmaker.
Also, apparently, the Chinese banks are beginning to fully back its currency with gold. So if the Western economy crashes, China will be just fine. I met an American there who has moved all of his money into Chinese banks for this reason.
“China is taking our jobs!” They aren’t taking our jobs, our jobs have been taken (past tense)! We have to remember, it’s the USA’s fault for opening China up to the WTO, and it is the 57,000+ USA factories fault for moving their factories to China. They didn’t have to, but they needed to in order to compete. It’s just capitalism folks. If you don’t like it, perhaps you need to lobby for a new system. I am not saying it’s “right,” just pointing out the glaring reality. You can’t say one thing and do another – you gotta call a spade a spade.
Note on photo below:They must think the average Westerner is still a complete militant racist. I was reluctant to post this photo, but anyone that knows me knows that I am the most liberal open-minded person they will meet, and certainly not a racist – but holy cow how RACIST is the watermelon statue? Yes, these were in the GIFT SHOP of the 2nd 5-star hotel I stayed in! Stunning. You have to see the humor in such absurdity.
Overall, the people were pretty nice. Finding people that spoke English was very challenging, however. You can tell the males dominate, with females being slightly less superior. It seemed evident in their demeanor. Bicycles are everywhere, many of them with three wheels like giant tricycles. It wasn’t uncommon for 3 to 4 people to be piled onto a bicycle barreling down the street. The Chinese didn’t seem to care about adhering to any sort of traffic laws either – cars drove the wrong way down the street, bikes and people and cars would somehow seamlessly interweave in and out of each other without collision. People walking couldn’t care less about “don’t walk” signs, in fact often they would walk right in front of your car, hold up their hand as to say “stop!” and walk right across the street into full-blown traffic. People driving seemed to accept this as perfectly normal.
As far as it being a “Police State,” I sure didn’t see many police. I see 10 times more cops in the USA in one day in our so-called “free country” than I saw in China the entire 7 days I was there.
My biggest complaint was the food. With the exception of one private dinner with Clifford Pang, a local billionaire, the food was less than desirable for me—even at both 5-star hotels I dined in. To start, every meal I had was “buffet style.” Therefore, everything was way overcooked. The seafood was nothing like my palate had ever tasted. Every single morning for breakfast I had rice, noodles, iceberg lettuce, baked beans, and what appeared to be McDonald’s chicken McNuggets.
That’s right, someone is selling the exact same McNuggets to China’s hotels. Same shape, same taste, same texture, right there in the buffet line. Except these nuggets were soggy like a sponge. After being in China, I don’t want to see any Chinese restaurants, or any Chinese food for at least a year. I frankly wonder why anyone thought it to be a good idea to open a Chinese restaurant in the west. The Chinese food in the USA is nothing like the Chinese food in China. All the beverages were in big vats with a spout. They even poured Coca-Cola into big vats with a spout, which of course makes it entirely flat. I don’t drink Coke often, but I had to try the “vat Coke” to see what it was like. One day I ate “Cantonese” chinese food, and I couldn’t tell the difference between that and “other” Chinese food. When they serve meat, they just chop it up with all the bones and cartilage. You have to fish through each bite not to injure yourself on the bones and cartilage. The only thing that saved me was plenty of fruit (watermelon, dragon fruit, etc) and their version of “Udon” soup, where I’d point to the noodle type, and ingredients, with bizarre round fish balls and broth. Anyone that thinks they are going to China “for the food” should reconsider. Japan was not like this, Japan’s food was some of the most memorable meals I have had in my life.
Unless of course, you get a chance to eat in the private dining room of Dr. Clifford Pang, which he only opens for the likes of the Vice Premiere Of China, and somehow us 🙂
Clifford Pang, engineer, medical doctor, philanthropist:
Dr. Clifford Pang was sort of our “guide” though the first leg of my trip. He recognized the proven benefit of hyperthermia when used with standard of care, and brought it to China. Not only that, he literally built a hospital that includes this therapy. Originally from a peasant family, he got a degree in city engineering and went back to get a medical degree. He bought a large plot of farmland, moved a mountain out of the way (he literally moves mountains), drained a swamp, and built a huge gated community with 50,000 homes, selling for an average of $400,000 each. He is set to build another 150,000 homes. He gave us a tour of this community, and it was a bastion of happy people. Kids running around playing in the parks, parents playing with kids, cooking outside, etc. Hardly the “repressive” vision we are all taught back home. His real estate is worth over $10 billion today, and growing. When Dr. Pang passes, the entire thing goes back to the people. He was also offered to make his corporation public to the stock market and refused, knowing how making such a move would only lead to corruption to serve its stock holders. Dr. Pang is hardly the average hard-nosed capitalist. Oh, and by the way, for a 30 day stay at this hospital, with Stage IV cancer (left to “go home and die” stage), you get a VIP room for you and your entire family to stay in, standard therapy, hyperthermia, ozone therapy, acupuncture, non-sugar organic diet, China seems to recognize that sugar feeds cancer, unlike the staunch denial from the USA doctors: “What? We inject radioactive sugar to allow the tumors to light up in a PET scan? That has nothing to do with sugar feeding cancer! Drink that milkshake! You need your calories!” 🙂 — restaurants, all the bells and whistles that come with Chinese medicine to help keep a strong mental state – for a mere $10,000 for the entire 30-day stay. Dr. Pang said that since the hospital has opened, he has a 30% cure rate for all Stage IV cancer patients who check into its program – regardless of cancer type. This wasn’t just a top-notch hospital, it is a 5 star resort, with billiards rooms, hair salons, movie theaters, crafts, outdoor parks, meditation, yoga – everything.
2000+ years of incredible technology:
On my last day there I visited a 2000+ year old tomb that was discovered in the 1980s. “The Museum of the Nanyue King of Western Han Dynasty.” This tomb was over 2000 years old, with most everything found in it in pristine condition. Anything made of wood was of course gone and disintegrated, but anything made of stone or metal was in near perfect shape. I was shocked to find that 2000 years ago, before the “birth of Christ,” they had crossbows, oil lamps, forks, spoons, knives, guitars, chariots, umbrellas, medicine, garment hooks, games, pot and pans, steamers, shoes, paper and fabric printing. You name it—they had it. Short of electricity and the internet, they were doing everything and had everything we have today. All of which had the upmost of aesthetic visual beauty, with incredible craftsmanship. When we think about the times of the “birth of Christ” 2000 years ago, we all imagine people wearing rags, and clubbing wild animals to death. This might have been in the western world, but in China, they were apparently light years ahead of the rest of us.