Welcome to Greater Canton Focus Group
We are a group of community volunteers, both businesses and individuals, interested in supporting and creating community projects in the greater Canton area to promote business and social activity. Membership is open to Canton residents, and others simply interested in supporting Focus projects. Focus also serves as an advocate to the Town of Canton Board of Aldermen, Haywood County Commission and TDA on behalf of East Haywood County. Focus of Canton is a 501-C non profit corporation. By the community. For the community.
Focus of Canton Community
FOCUS of Canton would like to invite you to Share the Season. This year after our annual Breakfast with Santa, we will be moving over to Sorrell’s park in downtown Canton. Yes, bring your own camera and snap a family photo, bring your co-workers down for a picture you can use for your Holiday card or just spend some time with Santa. There is no charge for this event. We are asking folks to bring a non-perishable food item, pet supplies or personal hygiene products for Canton food pantries. We will have boxes ready to collect!
Why They Lock Their Doors in China Too
The Chinese lock industry is a multibillion dollar industry. In fact, the country’s lock manufacturing companies export their products to at least 160 countries. Among these are your typical padlock, door locks, motorcycle locks, magnetic locks and the like.
In the past, people left their doors unlocked, maybe because the environment back then is different. Today, only a few people worldwide consider themselves as the “no lock people.” In China, it is advised that residents always keep their doors bolted. Even if the country has a low crime index and homicide rate compared with other Western countries, it still is best to be safe. Data shows that the China ranked 90 on the crime index by country. Moreover, it is at the 110th spot on the list of countries by intentional homicide rate. The robbery statistics in the country are also low, again in contrast to Western nations. Despite these good data, Chinese residents are still taking extra preventive measures for their safety while in their homes.
Robberies and Burglaries
China Daily released a list of burglary hotspots in the country’s capital. The Dongchan district is considered as the safest while Chaoyang and Haidan districts are regarded as the most dangerous. Based on the report, residents still lose their stuff, even if they have good locks and security guards are on patrol. There are also 24 hour locksmith services for locks that need repairs.
Aside from locks, Chinese households also install anti-theft window frames. These are common in apartments that are mostly on the first or second floor. In Yantai, a homeowner set in place anti-theft rails that are three-meter high. The house was described as “the best anti-theft house.” Beefed up security measures like this are being made in an effort to avert robberies and burglaries in densely populated Chinese cities.
Digital locks are becoming the latest craze in China’s home security. Usually, you can see advanced security features in posh hotels and building. Until recently, a digital door-lock revolution has hit the country as a response to an increase of households needing tighter security measures. These digital locks boast security features such as RFID readers, three-point deadlocks, burglar alarms and floating ID technology, among others.
Disability Care in China
In China the number of people with disability comprise of 42.77 million men and 40.19 million women. 25.96% of them reside in urban areas while 75.04% live in the rural areas. The number of people with disability in China is as follow:
Visual disability – 14.86% (12.33 million)
Hearing disability – 24.16% (20.04 million)
Speech disability –1.53% (1.27 million)
Physical disability – 29.07% (24.12 million)
Intellectual disability – 6.68% (5.54 million)
Mental disability – 7.40% (6.14 million)
Multiple disabilities – 16.30% (13.52 million)
The quality of disability care and attitude towards disability in China reflects the gradual increase in social acceptance among its citizens. The shift in the language used to describe disabled people is an indication of improvement in social attitudes of the people. Prior to the year 1980, disabled were referred by the discriminatory terms “can fei” which means handicapped and useless and “can ji” which translate to “disabled and sick” or deformed. The active advocacy of disability support groups created a fundamental change in the term used to describe people with disability. Today, the term “can jiren” meaning “disabled persons” or persons with disabilities” is commonly used by the official Chinese documentation and the general public.
The low acceptance of people with disability in China can be traced back in mainstream Chinese Buddhism. They have a belief that disability is a punishment for sins in the previous life. Buddhist often believes that a disabled person must have been a thief, rapist or a murderer. National strength is very important in China. The Maternal and Infant Health Law of 1995 instituted checks on the health of potential parents before marriage. The law encourage the abortion of ‘deformed children’ if detected in the womb. It also supports the voluntary sterilisation of people with disability.
China is one of the countries with a wide ranging protection of the civil rights of people with disability. In 1990 the Laws on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities was introduced in China. People with disabilities is defined by the law as people who suffer from abnormalities of loss of a certain organ or function, psychologically or physiologically, or in anatomical structure and has lost wholly or in part the ability to perform an activity in the way considered, “normal.”The laws guarantee education, employment, welfare and access to its disabled citizens. The government is doing constructive administrative and legislative actions with the help of disability organisations. These actions improved the living conditions and social status of disabled people in China.
Despite the wide coverage of the law, China makes little concessions to people with disability. There is a gap between law and practice. The problem stems from institutional aspects of the government. In reality, the Chinese government barely took an interest in its disabled citizen save from disability support groups that deal with specific conditions. The China Disabled Persons’ Federation which is a quasi-government organisation is the leader in disability care in China. This activist movement is driven by people with disability themselves. CDPF provides rehabilitation services through rehabilitation centres and Community-Based Rehabilitation initiatives. Despite the government initiatives people with disabilities still remain a vulnerable group of citizens in the country. There is still a great deal to do realize full acceptance, equality and participation of disable people in China.
The promise of the law goes unfulfilled across the country. The law mandates that children with special needs are entitled to proper education. Yet twenty-eight percent of disabled children cannot access basic education.Human Rights Watch reported in 2013 that there is a lack of access to education outside the large cities. Most of China’s disabled population live in the rural areas resulting in 43% illiteracy rate among people with disability. Handicap International reported that only a third of the disabled population receives the services they need and only 55% gets assistive devices such as prosthetics, walkers or adapted software.
Access to education is a major problem in China. The 28% of the disabled children cannot access basic education. Disabled students who graduated from high school are traditionally barred from attending regular universities. The competitive national college entrance exam only became accessible to the blind in 2014. Students who passed the exam may be barred from universities if they fail the physical fitness test. The issue on education affects the employment rate of disabled people. Only 40% of people with disability are employed. 64% of them are male and 36% of them are female. Most employed blind Chinese are massage therapists because it is the only career open to them.
People in wheelchairs are experiencing accessibility issues in public places and restaurants even in large cities. Although there is a disabled accessibility requirement for new buildings, older buildings are not mandated to follow. Wheel chair access is a challenge particularly in rural areas where houses have thresholds to keep the devils out. Most Chinese citizens have no idea of the importance of accessibility and how it can benefit people with disabilities. There is also a lack of public knowledge regarding how to make places accessible to people with disabilities.
The care for children with disabilities is the primary responsibility of the parents. Most parents are experiencing discrimination from outsiders because of their children’s situation. The cost of raising a child with disability is more expensive compared with normal children. The cost ranges from 16,500 RMB for children with physical disability and 6,400 RMB more for children with mental disability. This results in families spending more money on caring and medical cost and less on education and clothing. Carers of children with disabilities are reporting higher levels of stress due to meeting the children’s daily needs.
Improving the disability care for people with disabilities in China involves multi-pronged approach. It needs the government working hand in hand with the people to succeed. Disabled people need to be educated about their human and legal rights. Social movement advocating policy change is needed to change the public attitude towards people with disabilities.
Online Sex in China
Internet prostitution or online sex is illegal in China. That being said, crime gangs exploit cam girls and sex workers into toiling in this line of work. To steer clear from the Chinese police, these syndicates force their girls to use fake IDs and online identities to show at least that they are of legal age. This is also to get round of strict prostitution and pornography laws in the country. Interestingly, there are reported sex workers who undergo plastic surgeries to make them look more appealing and attractive.
The burgeoning of social networking apps and sites like WeChat and Weibo allowed online prostitutes to reach a broader target market. More so, crime syndicates utilize the social media in recruiting new workers for this sex trade.
Online Sex and Social Media
A year ago, the International Business Times reported that the Chinese authorities are cracking down social media accounts of prostitutes in WeChat and Weibo. This measure is meant to suppress prostitution rings that are being advertised on these websites and applications. The said step sparked mixed emotions from Chinese Internet users. Some say that they are baffled that such messaging app can be used as an online brothel.
There are also instances where a prostitute will be ascribed with false characters and recognitions. For example, Qiao Shengyi became popular because of phony identities tagged on her. Shengyi, a sex worker, claimed she was a famous model and a former beauty queen. Because of these pretences, her rates ballooned and she was able to inveigle clients with deep pockets.
Some online dating sites in China also operated as prostitution rings. Online censors in the country shut down dating sites because these sites allow its users to create false accounts and post lewd and bawdy images.
Masking Cybersex in China
Even China’s leading sites are used by prostitutes in promoting online sex in China. In fact, Taobao.com, the country’s biggest online shopping and auction site (pretty much like Amazon and eBay), was discovered to have been misused by some users. According to reports, sex deals are now available in Taobao. For instance, once you typed “selling spare time” or “conversation companion” in the site’s search bar, you will be shown with online stores that use images of actual people as their selling point.
Despite the continuous efforts of the Chinese authorities in cracking down the cyber sex industry and in censoring the Chinese Internet, it seems that sex workers and crime syndicates still have the upper hand on this matter.
Corporate Headquarters in Guangzhou
Many consider corporate headquarters to be the part of a corporate structure that manages and deals with a number of important tasks which includes strategic planning, corporate communications, taxes, law, marketing, finance, human resources, and information technology. In addition, the corporate headquarters is usually the one responsible for the overall success of the corporation, ensuring corporate governance and as such it is oftentimes referred to as the main or head office. Basically the core where business is operation is usually found in the corporate headquarters. Let us look a number of companies who have their corporate headquarters in Guangzhou.
Many companies find it important to place their corporate headquarters in a booming and thriving location that is close to a huge number of individuals. People generally don’t want to have their main office setup in a remote area which is understandable since hardly anyone will be visiting the place. This is one of the many reasons why Guangzhou has become a central hub and people today will not be finding shortage of corporate headquarters that have setup their office in that said location.
Guangzhou is largest city of Guangdong Province in southeastern China and is considered to be the 3rd-largest Chinese city, behind Beijing and Shanghai, holds sub-provincial administrative status, and is accounted as one of China’s five National Central Cities. Guangzhou is a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River and has a thriving food scene with it being known as the birthplace of dim sum. Guangzhou has been dubbed as Capital of the Third World with the rapid increase in numbers of foreign residents and illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as from Africa
Guangzhou’s specialize in wares ranging from eyeglasses to electronics and this is the reason why there are a number of Corporate Headquarters in city that specializes in electronics. This includes ZWCAD Software Co. which is a CAD/CAM software provider with headquarters in Guangzhou, China. Its main business is to develop computer-aided design software products for 2D and 3D design use. There is also NetEase Inc. is a Chinese Internet technology company providing online services centered on content, community, communications and commerce. The company was a key pioneer in the development of Internet services for China. There is also Denway Motors Limited which is an investment holding company that engages in the manufacturing, assembly and trading of motor vehicles and automotive equipment and parts in Mainland China and Hong Kong through its group companies
These companies who are based in Canton make use of the latest Webvine software which they integrate to their day to day business activities. Such technology is considered to be of utmost importance especially to doing business in the 21st century where innovation is key. It is good to hear that Microsoft sharepoint technology is changing the way these companies do business globally allowing them to compete worldwide. Using the latest technology, companies feel much confident as they are able to keep up with the competition. Fortunately, such technology today is made readily available allowing just about anyone to acquire them in a short amount of time. Software providers have setup and integrated their services online which make it relatively easy to find them over the internet in the present.
China: A Country of Icons
China is a country known for its power and reach. It is not surprising to see their products arrive overseas making them relatively easy to acquire today. Some countries today even have their very own little Chinatown which is considered to be a name described for an urban region that contains a large population of Chinese people or a large number of Chinese businesses within a non-Chinese society. This is where people will be able to find their fair share products in the local community. People often identify China with the country’s icons. Let us look at some of them below and see how far they have come.
People will not be finding any shortage of icons that helps symbolize and represent the country. Icons such as the Chinese national flag, the Great Wall of China, the entombed warriors & others symbols of China are used often making them very much recognizable to a huge number of individuals in the present. Are these icons, and their representations, promotional products for China?
Well before we answer the question, it should be noted that each and every one of these icons has its own meaning behind them. For instance, the Chinese Dragon icon is the symbol of China’s feudal monarchy. What it represents is the emperor’s power during the years of China’s feudal system while at the same time is also sign of auspiciousness and wealth among the people. On the other hand, the Giant Panda is considered to be the national animal of China. A native to central and southern China, the giant pandas are known its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on its rotund body. It is popular to both children and adults making it a famous icon of the country.
Another popular icon is the China’s national flag itself. Adopted in 1949, the Flags of People’s Republic of China is known for its red and yellow colors. The spirit of the revolution symbolizes the red color while the unity of the people of China under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is what the five stars signify.
China has a number of monuments and structures but not as iconic as The Great Wall of China which is considered to be the pride of the Chinese people. Known as the world’s longest man-made structure, the Great Wall was built between 5th and 17th century BC in an effort to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of successive dynasties. Due to its huge popularity, many are even saying that you can see the Great Wall of China in space. Regardless if this is true or not, this fine structure is indeed worthy of the praise it has been receiving even today.
China’s icon also stretches with their national costume or dress. Cheongsam is what Chinese often wears while on the other hand, the females wear Qipao. The nation’s geographical, cultural and political identity is expressed with these National costumes that are made popular today.
To answer the question earlier, yes companies can use these icons and their representations as promotional products in for China. As long as the items that are being sold will not tarnish the good reputation of the country or perhaps provide a negative feedback.
Family Planning in China
During the 1980s, the Chinese government enforced the infamous one-child policy which is conceived as vitally important to the social and economic aspects of the communist nation. For decades, human rights activists have been pushing for the deregulation of the said policy, with some saying that it is as if the Communist Party had also owned the wombs of its citizens. That being said, the government has rebutted that if the one-child policy was not introduced, there would be an additional 400 million in the country’s growing population.
The results of the policy were harrowing. The Diplomat reported that there were around 70,000 children being sold on the black market each year. There were also cases of infanticide, kidnappings and forced abortion. In comparison with the abortion in Australia, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said that China performs at least 13 million abortions in a year.
Just last year, The Guardian published in an article that the Chinese government has finally put an end to the one-child policy. Due to gender imbalances that ensued following the implementation of the said policy, a statement put out in China’s official news agency said that “the change in policy is intended to balance the population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.”
Interestingly, there are also rules that were put in place as measures in controlling the population. There were incentives given to couples who will marry or have a child late. In addition, there were sex education, family planning and use of contraception.
Although a relatively new concept in the country, the sex education in China aims to make sure that young Chinese adults will be given complete and thorough information on sex and family planning. Through this, they will be able to come up with a responsible decision regarding sex and contraception.
According to US-China Today, China has one of the highest rates of the use of contraception in the world, with 86.4 percent prevalence. This is in contrast with Japan’s 54.3 percent prevalence and the United State’s 78.6 percent.
The Chinese government’s policies on family planning are primarily intended on married women. In fact, sterilisation has 28.7 percent rate of use while intrauterine devices (IUDs) have 40.6 percent rate of use.
Even with a relaxed one-child policy in the form of two-child policy, the billion-people nation is actively promoting family planning methods in order to control the growth of its population, decrease gender imbalances, and lessen the ratio between its ageing citizens and its workforce.
Chinese Investment in Australia
Australia is growing in popularity as one of the premiere venue to start an investment. The country has received its fair share of the spotlight drawing and piquing the interest of both local and foreign investors at the same time. One of the countries that have spent a good amount of attention is China. Let us look at Chinese investments in Australia and consider how much it has grown over the past few years.
In 2015, Australia has become the second most favoured foreign country for Chinese investors, after the United States. In fact, China is considered by far the biggest foreign buyer of property by the Foreign Investment Review Board annual report which shows the country spending $24.3 billion in 2014-15 which is than triple the United States and six times the outlay from Singapore. In addition, in the same financial year China exceeded the US for the very first time as Australia’s number one foreign investor and this continues to go on in the remainder of the years. This is the reason why many feel that Chinese investments in Australia are steadily increasing. So what is the primary means of investment Chinese citizens are engaged in Australia today?
According to reports, about half of all investment rubber-stamped by FIRB in 2014-15 was for real estate. This clearly shows that Chinese are very much interest in acquiring international property most notably buying properties in Australia. With that being said, it should be noted that Chinese buyers don’t necessary purchase properties as a way of investment. In some cases, Chinese buyers may look into buying properties due to the fact that they family or friends in the country or are planning sending their children abroad to study and gain newfound experience.
For those who are interested in buying foreign properties, FIRB approval is required before offshore buyers are allowed to buy new homes and established homes under several circumstances. In the case of temporary residents, these individuals are able to purchase one established dwelling under the agreement that they will be selling the said property within three months when it’s no longer their residence. In addition, temporary residents will also be able to purchase an existing habitable dwelling however they will need to replace it with multiple dwellings.
With the help of Chinese buyers, Australia has experienced a huge boom in residential construction. This has benefited a huge number of people not only limited to Chinese investors but also in the local community. Other foreign investors have also seen the huge potential of investment opportunities in Australia and they have been slowly shifting their attention towards it over the past few years. Australia is divided in cities each with their own properties to share and can be invested in. One popular example of this is Adelaide which is the fifth-most populous city of Australia which also provides a huge room for investment properties. Property investment in Adelaide is increasing all the time.
It is good to hear that Australia was able to answer the huge demand and needs of properties by foreign investors. With that being said, properties can also run out once all of it has been bought and reserved by investors. This is the reason why it is important for one who is planning on buying properties to act fast and waste little time in securing them.
The Ancient Chinese Art of Prophecy
No one knows when it all started, but men have been quite interested with what lies ahead. Fortune telling or divination, involves hundred of methods for which some can be traced as early as 4000 B.C. In fact, there are proofs that forms of divination were practiced in ancient China, Egypt and Babylon. Dreams of prophets and visions of oracles have played a significant role in ancient medicine and religion.
In China, conferring with alchemists and fortune tellers is a part of their culture. In fact, Chinese fortune tellers aided their leaders in making decisions. The Chinese also strongly believe in predestination and things that can bring luck or ward off misfortunes. At some point in the 2nd century B.C., fortune tellers use the texts of Li Hsu-chung. Aside from birthdates, clairvoyants use a person’s facial features, fortune sticks and the palms as the bases in divination.
Fortune Telling Industry
Fortune telling has different types and levels. As a matter of fact, advanced fortune tellers are allowed to hold important government positions or prominent social standing. Government officials, bosses of big industries and wealthy families seek advice or assistance from fortune tellers. For instance, some politicians in Taiwan consider fortune tellers as their most trusted scholarly and political counsellors. The Kuomintang Party (KMT) is said to have been counselled by fortune tellers during the 2008 presidential elections. Jin-pyng Wang was also “advised” by a clairvoyant that he will make a “fine presidential candidate” while Premier Den-yih Wuh was envisaged by a seer that he has an “emperor’s destiny.”
Due to the widespread belief in fortune telling, there are people who use this as a means of scamming people. The Associated Press reported that a New Yorker was ripped-off with $700,000 by a fortune teller. The man consulted the psychic for a love advice. On the process, the New Yorker made several payments to get rid of the negativities that are keeping him away from the woman he loves. The expenses, according to the seer, will be used in building a bridge to confine the evil spirits and in cleansing of sins.
There are also those who do harm when given “wrong” advices by psychics. In Hong Kong, a businessman set on fire the office of the fortune teller he consulted for counsel. The guidance given to the businessman did not work but only resulted to harming his business and family.
Chiropractic Comes to China
When the Beijing Olympics was held in 2008, the U.S. Olympic health care team sent 62 medical and allied health professionals to look after their Olympic delegates. Part of the 62-man team was four chiropractors. It is also reported that other Western countries included chiropractors and therapists on their medical teams. Will the arrival of these Western chiropractors see more Chinese people embrace this form of treatment?
Currently, there are a few chiropractors that can be traced at key Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Their number is quite few considering that the billion-people nation is a good market for chiro practice.
Chiropractic Care One Step at a Time
With only a handful of licensed chiropractors working in China, the country presents a great opportunity for chiropractors. In order to bring the practice to the country, Dr. Corey Rodnick decided to start small. He first introduced chiropractic in Zigong, Sichuan. With over 6 million people, Zigong is teeming with industrial facilities, mining operations, learning institutions and vast enterprises. With the population growing at an expeditious rate, the city’s hospitals are in need of health care providers and professionals. In response to this demand, Dr. Rodnick proposed to the Chinese government that chiropractic be included in the services that hospitals in Zigong provide. After eight years, his efforts paid off. The city is now looking for chiropractors who will work in their hospitals.
Like Dr. Rodnick, Dr. Lee Atkinson also felt that China should be introduced to chiropractic care. After working for 30 years in Michigan, Dr. Atkinson went to Sichuan to start her chiropractic care practice. The opportunity allowed her to present the wonders of natural and drugless healing to Chinese doctors who had no idea about chiropractic care and what it does to our bodies. Her takeaways in this experience are the fulfillments chiropractic care brings when rendering services that will help alleviate the pain of patients without unnecessary surgeries and harmful drugs.
For those who wish to bring chiropractic care to countries where it isn’t accessible yet, Dr. Atkinson suggests to know more about the culture of the country or place, look into the living conditions, study the language and assess yourselves whether or not you can live with the food or climate.
As chiropractic care starts to become available in some parts of China, everyone, regardless of social status, can now manage their pain without heavily relying on drugs or surgeries.
Entrepreneurial Leadership in China
The first great entrepreneurial leader in China was Deng Xiaoping. From 1978 until 1989 he led China through a number of envelope stretching market economy reforms. The China we know today, which is on the brink of becoming the biggest economy in the world, is a direct result of those Deng led reforms. Communism/socialism, as we know it, does not work as a market economy and changes had to be made to the system established by Mao Zedong. Deng studied in France in the 1920s and returned to China prior to the revolution; he was a veteran of the Long March.
Entrepreneurial Leadership in China
Deng began something, which has been continued by a succession of Chinese leaders, to move that populous nation into a world economic super power. Chinese people around the world have been known for their industriousness and economic networking. This nascent energy and motivation of the Chinese people, domestically and abroad, has been channelled by the leaders of a socialist state to allow China to flourish economically, and to avoid what happened in the Soviet Union. Leadership development was vital for China to move forward into the twenty first century. Political systems and management systems that get stuck in genuflecting to the past rarely survive into the future.
Xi Jinping is continuing that strong entrepreneurial leadership today in China. More market reform is on the agenda, along with crack downs on graft and corruption within China. The political situation in China is far from perfect, but it is a lot better than it once was. There is still a great deal of nepotism and bribery for favours at the top levels of government. This type of corruption exists everywhere, but is particularly prominent within authoritarian regimes like communism. Powerful politburo members protect and favour their family members, often creating dynasties of power.
Wherever there is money there will be corruption and entrepreneurial situations demand investment. China will continue to grow and evolve within as a market economy, and the economic demands will mould it in new directions. The world, including China, is in a relatively low growth phase at the moment and only entrepreneurial skill will get us out of this slow growth. New technologies will continue to feed market demand in the consumer realm. New businesses will emerge out of these continuing technological developments. Governments need to foster growth and not hamper it with unnecessary red tape and backward thinking; China is no exception.