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Around 20 years ago, my late mother began making regular visits to China, after her cousin was posted there as the Brazilian Ambassador to Beijing. My mother loved China so much, she started a little jewelry business to give her an excuse to go there twice a year.

In 2011, my brother and I went with her on one of her business trips and Beijing was really an exciting place. I had visited Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the early 1980s and the transformation of China during this period was unbelievable. There was an energy there that reminded me of how my grandparents described what America was like after World War II, when anything seemed possible and the sky was the limit.

Landing in LA on our return, America looked like a Third World country by comparison to China.

Because of these experiences, I got sucked into a powerful vortex two years ago that had me binge-watching the whimsical videos of these two young men with a combined total of 4 YouTube channels, Winston Sterzel (aka “SerpentZA”) from South Africa and American, Matthew Tye (aka “Laowhy86”). They’ve each been living and working in China for about a decade and they’re both married to Chinese women.

For years, they’ve been posting their amusing slices of life that offer a full immersion into China. They’ve shared their love of that country and offered advice to Westerners interested in living there. They also set up shop, producing hand-built motorcycles and making road trip documentaries in the Chinese outback.

Well, tensions have escalated to such a degree that they’ve both now relocated to Southern California with their wives and Matthew’s two infant daughters. They’ve been relatively quiet about this development because 1. their wives are Chinese and didn’t want to leave their close-knit families 2. their wives’ families remain in China and any public criticism of China that they make could cause problems for their in-laws.

That’s why this video, in which Matthew Tye explains what’s been going on is momentous. He had moved to China a decade ago because there was amazing energy and things were happening, unlike in his Rust Belt hometown of Binghamton, New York.

He shares the arc of the past decade with amazing images he’s filmed all over the country, talking about how he can no longer purchase train tickets without a Chinese government ID and that Chinese policy would never enable him to become a citizen.

He concludes, “The open tap for dialogue with other people from other countries has effectively been shut off and they’ve created an army of soft-power Internet trolls and government initiatives to try and prove to the world that it’s not only ‘us versus them’ but that ‘our system is best’…

“When you look at your language experience, the people you know and love, the things around you, the place that you bought a house, in the place that you started a family and everything around you is shifting towards the negative, everything around you is being clamped-down and tightened-up and people’s freedom of expression and ideas that once flourished in the early years of me moving to China are now squashed, you realize that in these past 10 years, you’ve started to understand actually how things are working – and not only that, how things are potentially going – and it doesn’t feel good.

“Now, when I go back home to my tiny little town on the forest, it all makes sense and it feels fantastic.”

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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17 comments

  • Yep, but WHY we don’t take a look at OUR own back yard ?! Bozo, I meant Bezos & Amazon just censored my ( 30 ) reviews ( 29 on books ) under the ‘ excuse ‘ of ” suspicious activity ” and I cannot even reply anymore to someone’s review…If I don’t like it, they said to write to the ” Amazon Community “…HUH ?!…Tens, if not hundreds of books are ‘ forbidden ‘ ( mostly regarding the Revisionism )…Aaaah, and China and her ‘ Social Credit ‘…I lived under Communism, in Eastern-Europe and I know what is it ! Guess WHAT…it’s coming to a place near you: ” Penn State Prof: Social Credit will shift low in the West…from Constitution to Analytics and Algorithm…” It’s already here…the ‘ no fly list ‘…and will be the ‘ no job list ‘ and the ‘ no gun list ‘…When there is no ( more ) ‘ Panem Et Circenses ‘ ( bread and circuses ), people revolt…They cannot control a population armed to the teeth…that’s why so many false flag shootings and hysteria in the corporatist mass-media ” to do something in order to protect our children “…

  • Thanks for yet another piece of your China Bashing propaganda routines, added to dirty, racist, Pedophilia Trump’s hatred of China.
    It is not surprising that i knew this rat on the video that he paired with another China Bashing cerebrate “serpentza” noted by the trump’s white supremacists red-neck 1/2 million subscription of serpentza China Bashing Videos. For your information, that Mighty China’s arising couldn’t, can’t ever beat-up by The West inferiority complex, sour grape, jealous and hatred to deter. Do what you need to do to fill up your EGO trip of incompetent, unable to compete,  playing blame games, lost every single wars but never stopping another war. 
    China was a centre of the world, they just coming back home, to be the Centre of the world again. China respected and revered by the world leader and world citizens. To the contrary, Trump to be a laughing stock on world stage.
    “Serpentza” mentally, emotionally damaged for Self Grandiosity in Bipolar Disorder Symptoms of Mania and Hypomania, that Trump also, diagnosed same illness needed to be repaired.  I guess, China’s Rising causes lots of Westerner’s mental disorder also, rising.

  • Surprised it took you so long to realize what they’re about!! I lived there for 5 years whilst establishing and financing an Italian paint company from whom they wouldn’t but as the chinese market is for the chinese…ended that I lost everything…they took over the entire factory, machinery, laboratory,stock, formulations FOR FREE …and now the company does well. NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW THAT FOREIGNERS CAN PRODUCE IN CHINA BUT NOT SELL TO THAT MARKET…THEY MUST AELL IUT OF THE COUNTRY.
    I was also poisoned with arsenic and still paying the consequences 12 years later. They can invade the world but don’t want foreigners there….remember they are the “dragons” (good guys) and we are th “wolves” ( bad guys)!
    Shocking experience I don’t recommend anyone does and always remembering that the truth about China is not in all the bright lights and seemingly progressive country. There are no civil rights and people are made to disappear for reasons of the communist Party….so….just make sure you know where you stand there. 10.000 a year are taken out with the death penalty…but the Politically Correct prevents to world from knowing 😖😖😖😖😖.

  • The bigger picture. If we are to believe the story depicted in “The China Hustle”, what is happening in China now makes sense. These guys went there at a prime moment in history when China was exploding because of the billions raked from American and global investors. How China skirted the rules of the SEC by buying defunct businesses still holding positions on the stock market, changed the names and then marketed them as if they were up and coming. When in fact the facilities in China purporting to be growing businesses were dilapidated minor interests. All those billions went to the PRC and the wealth spread to create something similar to what America once was. When Trump told corporations to get out of China, he wasn’t talking about packing up factories. He was talking about the fraudulent investments blindly being made in Chinese businesses that basically don’t exist. He was saying, get your money out now while you can because the bad investments are being exposed and are falling like a house of cards. It is not illegal in China to lie to foreign investors and fleece them. Now we see what happens when the lies are exposed. Trump has wisely called them out on trade. A police state is a natural progression for the PRC. What if those millions of Chinese citizens knew found out about the bigger picture? Would there be a revolution of the people? Especially now that they have had a taste of Western Freedom. Built on Western ideas and cash. Like Trump says, we built China. Now it is crumbling.

  • When they make deals in other countries to help build out infrastructure and build out their businesses in those same countries, they hire employees at minimum wage and the Chinese keep to themselves not interacting with the natives. That fits with the attitude of the trolls.

    • That’s true. I had a Chinese teacher as a student of mine in Yerevan, Armenia. When I mentioned the Armenian Genocide, she had never heard of it?!? She was actually a very sweet young mother but she only went back and forth to work and back or to my class and didn’t interact much. I think possibly because she is connected with the Confucius Institute, she had to be careful too.
      This was a very thoughtful piece. I’ve followed his friend Winston Sterzel’s videos more but, from where I am living in Shenzhen I can see what he’s referring to.

  • Truly sad. A warning about what is coming unless Americans wake up, a preview of what is in store for us by those sick control freaks that humanity has allowed to proceed with their anti life agenda.

  • I went to China in May, 2015 and remained until August, 2017. My reason was to determine if China was a viable market for my business.
    I lived in Schenzen for several months and then moved to Beihai City. I was never asked for my credentials by any military or police, travelled on trains and planes, with no limitations. The apartment complexes! Lived in, were 100% Chinese. But while many were not friendly, none ever disrespected me and some were very friendly. I made friends with a few women with children. Most men were not friendly, but on occasion, a few would bring their small children to get their picture taken with me. I was asked numerous times to have my picture taken with many strangers on the street. And, on two separate occasions, a 3 year old girl kissed me on the cheek, in front of her parents. They were shocked. Couldn’t understand their daughters behavior and told me, she had never done this before. Note: The father was one of my taxi drivers who I saw frequently.

    But the other time, I was in a restaurant, and an apparent grandmother brought her 3 year old grandson over to my table for pictures. I was holding him, and after the photo shoot, she said something to him, and he kissed me on the cheek.

    As I traveled to Schenzen, Nanning, Guangzhou, Foshan, Beijing and other cities, I was never disrespected, although mostly ignored by the men and some women.

    So during my time in China, and not knowing the timelines reported in this article, I did not experience much of what was written by the writer. I am not doubting his experiences, rather explaining what I experienced.

    • I, too, had a wonderful time in China. One time I was just on a street corner and I thought I was talking to my daughter (I was looking at a map), when suddenly I heard this woman’s Chinese voice. I looked up and lo and behold it wasn’t my daughter I was talking to but a Chinese woman and I realized I wasn’t talking to her, and she knew I wasn’t talking to her, and we both burst out laughing. It was just a spontaneous moment and although she couldn’t speak English, we enjoyed a great moment of joy. (My daughter had wandered to a street corner and I didn’t realize it…)

      The thing that bothers me about Serpentza and Laowhy86 is that their videos (I don’t know if it’s a Youtube request) are not new. They are re-runs of their old videos to make it seem that they are in China. It is like they want people to think they still live in China. Those of us who have followed them for years, know that they now live in Southern California. And that’s a pricy area to live in. They’re not near YouTube which, I believe, is in San Francisco. Either they have family money (which it sounds like they do have) or have squirreled a lot aside from their videos. My hunch is that they have family money that allows them to live in one of the most expensive places in the U.S.

      Their videos are not new, the information isn’t new, and it’s not fun anymore. Sometimes they superimpose a photo of themselves on an actual video of China – but you can obviously see it is a photo superimposed.

      In the beginning they were at the cutting edge of showing what China is like. Regardless of politics, they were “the” people who showed China as it is. Now, I think it’s time for them to start something new. They are both educated and intelligent. And they have family money. So, I’m sure they could come up with something creative and unique to keep them in California. If they continue to live in CA with no Youtube anymore, then you can be sure that their families are helping them out. (I prefer people who are making it on their own, not with family money.)

      They probably hear things from their friends in HK, and then wrap a video around it – but that’s a lot different than being there themselves.

      They’re both smart, they obviously have family money, and they have a good reputation. I’m sure they can swerve from the China topic into doing something else. With their family support and a good reputation already, I’m sure they could start any kind of company and succeed.

      I just don’t think they have the same effect now that they no longer live in China.

      • I wasn’t sure if they were living there part-time or what.

        I think they both made a lot of money on YouTube. They have huge followings and get massive views. They might each be worth millions at this point.

        Neither comes from wealth. I’ve seen the episodes where C-Milk goes home to a semi-detached townhouse in Upstate NY. His parents were both teachers. SerpentZA’s father has a small snake farm or something (that’s how he got his name). His native country has collapsed and they’re killing all the whites over there.

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