Why Vietnam Loves and Hates China. Learn some history

Discussion in 'China' started by kickok1975, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    For more than 2,000 years, Vietnam's development as a nation has been marked by one fixed and immutable factor - the proximity of China. The relationship between the two countries is in many ways a family affair, with all the closeness of shared values and bitterness of close rivalries.


    No country in Southeast Asia is culturally closer to China than Vietnam, and no other country in the region has spent so longfending off Chinese domination, often at a terrible cost in lives, economic development and political compromise.


    China has been Vietnam's blessing and Vietnam's curse. It remains an intrusive cultural godfather, the giant to the north that is "always there". Almost a thousand years of Chinese occupation, between the Han conquest of Nam Viet in the 2nd century BC and the reassertion of Vietnamese independence as Dai Viet in AD 967, marked the Vietnamese so deeply that they became, in effect, an outpost of Chinese civilization in Southeast Asia.


    While the other countries of Indochina are Theravada Buddhist, sharing cultural links with South Asia, Vietnam derived its predominant religion - a mix of Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism popularly known as tam giao or "Three Religions"- from China. Until the introduction of romanized quoc ngu script in the 17th century, Vietnamese scholars wrote in Chinese characters or in chu nho, a Vietnamese derivative of Chinese characters.


    Over the centuries, Vietnam developed as a smaller version of the Middle Kingdom, a centralized, hierarchical state ruled by an all-powerful emperor living in a Forbidden City based on its namesake in Beijing and administered by a highly educated Confucian bureaucracy.


    Both countries are deeply conscious of the cultural ties that bind them together, and each is still deeply suspicious of the other. During the long centuries of Chinese occupation, the Vietnamese enthusiastically embraced many aspects of Chinese civilization, while at the same time fighting with an extraordinary vigor to maintain their cultural identity and regain their national independence.


    During the Tang Dynasty (6th-9th centuries AD), Vietnamese guerrillas fighting the Chinese sang a martial song that emphasized their separate identity in the clearest of terms:

    Fight to keep our hair long,
    Fight to keep our teeth black,
    Fight to show that the heroic southern country can never be defeated.

    For their part, the Chinese recognized the Vietnamese as a kindred people, to be offered the benefits of higher Chinese civilization and, ultimately, the rare privilege of being absorbed into the Chinese polity.

    On the other hand, as near family, they were to be punished especially severely if they rejected Chinese standards or rebelled against Chinese control. This was made very clear in a remarkable message sent by the Song Emperor Taizong to King Le Hoan in AD 979, just over a decade after Vietnam first reasserted its independence.


    Like a stern headmaster, Taizong appealed to Le Hoan to see reason and return to the Chinese fold: "Although your seas have pearls, we will throw them into the rivers, and though your mountains produce gold, we will throw it into the dust. We do not covet your valuables. You fly and leap like savages, we have horse-drawn carriages. You drink through your noses, we have rice and wine. Let us change your customs. You cut your hair, we wear hats; when you talk, you sound like birds. We have examinations and books. Let us teach you the knowledge of the proper laws ... Do you not want to escape from the savagery of the outer islands and gaze upon the house of civilization? Do you want to discard your garments of leaves and grass and wear flowered robes embroidered with mountains and dragons? Have you understood?"


    In fact Le Hoan understood Taizong very well and, like his modern successors, knew exactly what he wanted from China - access to its culture and civilization without coming under its political control or jeopardizing Vietnamese freedom in any way. This attitude infuriated Taizong, as it would generations of Chinese to come.


    In 1407, the Ming Empire managed to reassert Chinese control over its stubbornly independent southern neighbor, and Emperor Yongle - no doubt, to his mind, in the best interests of the Vietnamese - imposed a policy of enforced Sinicization. Predictably enough, Vietnam rejected this "kindness" and fought back, expelling the Chinese yet again in 1428.


    Yongle was apoplectic when he learned of their rebellion. Vietnam was not just another tributary state, he insisted, but a former province that had once enjoyed the benefits of Chinese civilizationand yet had wantonly rejected this privilege. In view of this close association - Yongle used the term mi mi or "intimately related" - Vietnam's rebellion was particularly heinous and deserved the fiercest of punishments.



    China on top

    Sometimes a strongly sexual imagery creeps into this "intimate relationship", with Vietnam, the weaker partner, a victim of Chinese violation. In AD 248, the Vietnamese heroine Lady Triu, who led a popular uprising against the Chinese occupation, proclaimed: "I want to ride the great winds, strike the sharks on the high seas, drive out the invaders, reconquer the nation, burst the bonds of slavery and never bow to become anyone's concubine."


    Her defiant choice of words was more than just symbolic. Vietnam has long been a source of women for the Chinese sex trade. In Tang times, the Chinese poet Yuan Chen wrote appreciatively of "slave girls of Viet, sleek, of buttery flesh", while today the booming market for Vietnamese women in Taiwan infuriates and humiliates many Vietnamese men.


    It's instructive, then, that in his 1987 novel Fired Gold Vietnamese author Nguyen Huy Thiep writes, "The most significant characteristics of this country are its smallness and weakness. She is like a virgin girl raped by Chinese civilization. The girl concurrently enjoys, despises and is humiliated by the rape."


    This Chinese belief that Vietnam is not just another nation, but rather a member of the family - almost Chinese, aware of the blessings of Chinese civilization, but somehow stubbornly refusing, century after century, to become Chinese - has persisted down to the present day.


    During the Second Indochina War, Chinese propaganda stressed that Vietnam and China were "as close as the lips and the teeth". After the US defeat, however, Vietnam once again showed its independence, allying itself with the Soviet Union, in 1978-79, invading neighboring Cambodia and overthrowing China's main ally in Southeast Asia, the Khmer Rouge.


    Once again Chinese fury knew no bounds, and Beijing determined to teach the "ungrateful" Vietnamese a lesson. Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader, openly denounced the Vietnamese as "the hooligans of the East". According to one Thai diplomat: "The moment the topic of Vietnam came up, you could see something change in Deng Xiaoping.


    "His hatred was just visceral. He spat forcefully into his spittoon and called the Vietnamese 'dogs'." Acting on Deng's orders, the Chinese army invaded Vietnam in 1979, capturing five northern provincial capitals before systematically demolishing them and withdrawing to China after administering a symbolic "lesson".


    But who taught a lesson to whom? Beijing sought to force Hanoi to withdraw its frontline forces from Cambodia, but the Vietnamese didn't engage these forces in the struggle, choosing instead to confront the Chinese with irregulars and provincial militia. Casualties were about equal, and China lost considerable face, as well as international respect, as a result of its invasion.


    Over the millennia, actions like this have taught the Vietnamese a recurring lesson about China. It's there, it's big, and it won't go away, so appease it without yielding whenever possible, and fight it with every resource available whenever necessary.


    Just as Chinese rulers have seen the Vietnamese as ingrates and hooligans, so the Vietnamese have seen the Chinese as arrogant and aggressive, a power to be emulated at all times, mollified in times of peace, and fiercely resisted in times of war.


    In 1946, 1,700 years after Lady Triu's declaration, another great Vietnamese patriot, Ho Chi Minh, warned his Viet Minh colleagues in forceful terms against using Chinese Nationalist troops in the north as a buffer against the return of the French: "You fools! Don't you realize what it means if the Chinese remain? Don't you remember your history?


    "The last time the Chinese came, they stayed a thousand years. The French are foreigners. They are weak. Colonialism is dying. The white man is finished in Asia. But if the Chinese stay now, they will never go. As for me, I prefer to sniff French shit for five years than to eat Chinese shit for the rest of my life."


    Yet Ho was an ardent admirer of Chinese civilization, fluent in Mandarin, a skilled calligrapher who wrote Chinese poetry, a close friend and colleague of Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. Ho wasn't as much anti-Chinese as he was pro-Vietnamese. It was his deep understanding of and respect for China that enabled him to recognize, clearly and definitively, the menace that "a close family relationship" with the giant to the north posed, and continues to pose, for Vietnam's independence and freedom.


    It's ironic, then, that as the current Vietnamese leadership strive to develop their economy along increasingly capitalist lines while at the same time retaining their monopoly on state power, the country they most admire and seek to emulate is, as always, the one they most fear.
     
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  3. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Vietnam, an interesting place

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  4. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Their people look very close to Chinese

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  5. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    They have same style of life like us

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  6. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Their girls are beautiful and lovely

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  7. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Why we want to have war with our little brother?

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  8. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Everyone calm down, peace

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  9. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Vietnam star in Chinese movie

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  10. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    We like you, cool girls

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  11. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Vietnam, our new travel destination

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  12. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Better not fight

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  13. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Vietnam was a Chinese colony for a thousand years ! No wonder they're a hardy people, fiercely independent.

    China is probably the first colonial power in history.
     
  14. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Nice thread Kickok. I'm glad someone besides me knows Asian history :)


    Hardly true. The Greeks established colonies all over the Mediterranean centuries before the Chinese first arrived in Vietnam. The Phoenicians founded Carthage and other colonies in North Africa and Spain as early as the ninth century B.C.E.
     
  15. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Well Pakistan is closer to India culturally than any other country on the planet and that does not want them to stop hating us! Such talk of closeness does not mean a thing when they already fought a war with China.

    Also why does a fat women with fake bleached hair and trying to look white supposed to make Vietnam an interesting place? Not to mention the next picture shows a Vietnamese women coming out of Gucci showroom? Do all Chinese and Viets live like that kickok? Whats happening to you!
     
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  16. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    What should Vietnam do to prosper next to the giant like China


    VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese leading economists believe that it would be unfeasible to try to escape from the influences from China – and the best thing to do now is to find the way to prosper based on the prosperity of China.



    Japanese Nihonkeizai newspaper, when reporting that Vietnam joins the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) in order to seek multilateral agreements, commented that no other countryin Southesat Asia has been absorbed into Chinese economy so deeply. In Vietnam, analysts have expressed their worries about the reliance of Vietnam’s economy on the neighbouring China. The question raised by National Assembly’s Deputy Duong Trung Quoc remains open: “What should Vietnam do in order to benefit from the cooperation with China and reduce the reliance on China?”



    Leading experts and scientists, including National Assembly’s Deputy Duong Trung Quoc, Dr. Le Dang Doanh, a well known economist, Pham Chi Lan, also a well known economist, Dr. Vu Minh Khuong from Singapore National University, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, Chair of Trung Nguyen Group, and Nguyen Mai Phuong from the US law firm Mayer Brown, have discussed the issue with VietNamNet’s Vietnam Economic Forum.

    Reproach yourself first before you reproach others

    All Vietnamese people now can feel the heavy reliance of Vietnam’s economy on the neighbouring China. However, it remains unclear how big the reliance is and how serious the latent risks are.

    Dr. Le Dang Doanh believes it is necessary to recognize the current reliance, to review our commitments and what we will receive in return.

    “It is necessary to review them and make them public,” Doanh stressed. “We always say that we have to take initiative in the global integration, but in fact, we are regularly on the defensive”.

    Dang Le Nguyen Vu from Trung Nguyen Group said that to date, Vietnam still has no strategy. However, Vu believes that the current conditions have never been so favourable for Vietnam’s development

    “The whole world is supporting Vietnam’s development,” Vu said.

    “However, the problem now is whether Vietnam can understand itself and understand others well in order to set up appropriate economic strategies,” he added.

    Until the 1990s, Vietnam still had exported to China more than it had imported from the country. However, things have changed over the last decade. While China’s exports have increased sharply, reaching $16 billion, Vietnam’s exports remain modest at nearly five billion dollars.

    Vietnam is an agricultural economy, but it is now still importing farm produce from China, including thousands tons of onions and garlic. China-made products have been flooding the domestic market, including the products made in China but labeled as Vietnamese products.

    Vietnamese exporters, who do not care about quality, but attracted by the low import prices, have been importing products from China on a massive scale.

    “The ignorance and the calculation of Vietnamese enterprises, who would sacrifice everything for profit, have brought benefits to foreigners,” said Duong Trung Quoc, a National Assembly’s Deputy. “Therefore, reproach yourself first before you reproach others”.

    Economist Pham Chi Lan said that Vietnam proves to be unselective when openings its doors to foreign investment. “The land in coastal areas has been allocated to foreign investors, 80 percent of whom are investors with Chinese origins,” Lan said.

    Local newspapers once quoted Ta Van Huong, Director of the Energy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade as saying that the Chinese have been chosen as the EPC contractors in 80 percent of coal-run thermopower plant projects.

    Nguyen Mai Phuong from Mayer Brown law firm said that with the current bidding laws, the contractors from the US, UK and Japan don’t have the opportunities to win, because their equipments are good and so offer higher prices.

    Vietnam should develop based on China’s prosperity

    Dr. Nguyen Quang A believes that it would be “utopian” thinking to try to escape from the influences from China, and a wiser approach is necessary.

    According to Dri Vu Minh Khuong, Vietnam should think of trying to develop together with China, and not to escape from its influences. “Vietnam-China prosper together” will be a better motto. “We cannot avoid China.there is a saying “to jump out of the frying pan into the fire”.

    Khuong believes that Vietnam should set up an agency for cooperation for development with China

    It is undeniable that China, the neighbour of Vietnam, has been risingrapidly, and Vietnam should take full advantage of Chinese strong development to create an impetus for its own development
     
  17. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Reliant on loans from China, Vietnam “swallowing bitter pill”


    VietNamNet Bridge – In many cases, using Chinese contractors is the only choice for Vietnam, because it uses Chinese loans for the projects. And if problems are found where Chinese enterprises are EPC contractors, Vietnamese investors have no other choice than “swallowing the bitter pill”.



    China as big lender to Vietnam



    China has never been listed among the big ODA (official development assistance) providers to Vietnam, and it has never been listed in the top 10 of foreign direct investors in Vietnam.



    Over the last 20 years, China has made only $3.184 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, ranking 14th among the 92 foreign investors in the country. In 2010, China ranked 11th with the total investment capital of $364.6 million, accounting for just one percent of the year’s total FDI.



    However, in fact, Chinese capital invested in Vietnam so far proves to be not small. There have been no official statistics about the Chinese capital flow, but it is clear that low-interest rate loans sourced from China have been used in many industries in Vietnam, especially from China Eximbank.



    Four out of nine power projects developed by the Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) use loans from China. These include Cao Ngan, Son Dong, Cam Pha and Mao Khe projects.



    The power projects developed by the Electricity of Vietnam have also been using loans sourced from China, including Quang Ninh 1 and Quang Ninh 2, Hai Phong 1 and Hai Phong 2 and the expanded Uong Bi thermopower plant.



    Most recently, on December 18, 2010, the Ministry of Finance signed an agreement on the loans worth $300 million from China Eximbank which will be used for the Vinh Tan power plant project.



    Chinese capital has been used not only in power sector. The loans from Eximbank have also been present in key projects in other sectors. Vinachem is using $500 million worth of Chinese capital for a fertilizer production project, and the Vietnam Plastics Corporation is also using the preferential loan worth 50 million yuan.



    The dilemma



    According to an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Chinese contractors understand that the weak point of Vietnamese investors is the lack of capital. Therefore, they help Vietnam arrange capital, and in return, Vietnam has to use Chinese contractors.



    The offer proves to be too attractive to refuse, and, as the result, Vietnam has to use Chinese contractors, machines and equipments, even though it knows that Chinese technologies are much worse than G7 countries’ technologies.



    In other words, every medal has two sides. While Vietnamese investors can borrow cheap loans from China, they have to use the low-quality Chinese technologies.



    Chinese banks, which consider the applications for loans, have the right to examine the technical requirements of the projects to see if they are suitable for Chinese contractors. In many cases, they demand to lower the technical requirements, or they would refuse to provide loans.



    Insiders are aware what the consequences are of using low-quality technologies. Vietnamese supervisors used to refuse to the low-quality equipments, but now they have to let the low-quality “get through”. Otherwise, the capital disbursement would have been stopped.



    That explains why Cao Ngan thermopower plant, though having been operational for a period of time already, still meets a lot of troubles and it needs further repair.



    The Ministry of Industry and Trade says that it is necessary to strengthen the quality supervision of Chinese equipments. However, it is clear that with the above barriers, this will be a difficult job.
     
  18. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    What and how much to import from China?



    VietNamNet Bridge – China is the huge production base of the world. mobile phones, computers or clothes, which bear the well known US or Italian brands, are made in China or assembled with the accessories sourced from China. it is understandable why Vietnam has been importing so much. However, experts believe that now is the time to reconsider what and how much to import from China.

    Vietnam infatuated by cheap technologies














    Vietnam is importing billions of dollars worth of technologies from China, which as a country is not a source of modern technologies. But Vietnamese enterprises have been persuaded by the low prices
    However, the cheapest turns out to be the most costly. Vietnamese industries now suffer bad consequences of using cheap technologies.

    Chinese enterprises have been the EPC (Engineering /Procurement / Construction) contractor in most of the coal-run thermopower plants in Vietnam and Chinese technologies have been applied in most of them. The reason behind this is simple. The prices of the technologies, as the officials from the Ministry of Industry and Trade revealed, are just ½ of those offered by G7 countries.

    In other cases, Vietnam has to choose Chinese contractors because the contractors promise to help Vietnam arrange capital for the projects.

    However, the implementation of most of the power projects has been slow, while the plants’ operation is not stable or reliable. The technical problems were described by Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang at the latest National Assembly’s session as “shortcomings”. However, as for Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc, these “shortcomings” can cause serious problems:. Some projects have been delayed for two-three years, and the problem is that there is a serious shortage of electricity in Vietnam
    Until now, the two power generation units of the Hai Phong thermopower plants, where Chinese enterprises act as EPC contractor, have stopped operation, while the contractor is still busy fixing the equipments.

    The equipments used at the power plants break down all the time, leading to the paralysis of the whole chain. The project has beendelayed for two years and it should be handed over to the Vietnamese investor by February 2011.

    Making a rod for its own back

    The story about the steel industry is also a typical example of the consequences of using cheap Chinese technologies.forVietnamese enterprises

    According to Nguyen Tien Nghi, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Steel Association, 29 percent of hot rolled and cold rolled steel products have been fed up with the imports from China. Especially, as for the rolled structural steel, the figure is higher at 34 percent.

    Chinese rolled steel imports to Vietnam are subject to 10 percent tax, but they still sell at prices lower by 300-500,000 dong per ton than domestic products. This has caused distress to many Vietnamese. The market share held by Vietnamese enterprises has now reduced from 27 percent to 18 percent.

    What will happen to Vietnam’s steel industry in the next four years, when the import tariff is cut to zero percent under the framework of the ASEAN-China free trade agreement?

    According to Nghi, the competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises is very weak, because they use the cheap and backward technologies imported from China.

    To date, many companies are still using the furnaces with the capacity of 20-40 tons per batch. The most modern 350 cubic metre blast-furnace technology is being used by Hoa Phat Company.

    The paradox is that Vietnamese enterprises are using the technologies that China has discharged and have banned since 2005.

    Vietnam has been importing not only machines and equipments, technologies and high grade products, but it has been importing consumer goods in large quantities. Despite the warnings about the quality of many import products, more and more consumer goods have been flowing into Vietnam. China-made fabric is now accounting for 90 percent of Vietnam’s market. Meanwhile, in February 2010, Vietnam’s agencies discovered three batches of fabric from China contained high content of formaldehyde, a substance that causes cancer. In March, the HCM City Market Control Sub-department discovered that 7500 out of 7608 China made necklaces and rings contain lead and cadmium.
     
  19. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Godless-Kafir:

    I hope above 3 articles will help you understand why Vietnam and China's relationship is not an easy zero sum game.
     
  20. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Why the hell do east asian's have this fetish for Italian brands?I haven't seen this sort of obsession in Indians atleast in the South
     
  21. aramsogo

    aramsogo Regular Member

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    In post #3, is the woman in a Panamera?? If so, is it popular in SE Asia??
     

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