Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China invests in rail [Straits Times]

China invests in rail
AFP
Source – Straits Times, published June 06, 2010

BEIJING – CHINA will invest 700 billion yuan (S$145 billion) in high speed rail construction in 2010 as part of the nation’s ambitious plan to revitalise its railways, state media said on Sunday.

By the end of the year, China should have over 11,000 kilometres (6,800 miles) of high speed track in operation, up from just over 6,500 kilometres, He Huawu, the railway ministry’s chief engineer told Xinhua news agency.

The existing high-speed line between Beijing and the eastern port city of Tianjin, which reaches a speed of 350 kilometres an hour (217 miles an hour), serves as the standard for the nation’s high speed system, Mr He said. He was speaking at an international seminar on railway construction and urban development in China’s far north-eastern city of Harbin, the report said.

High speed lines currently under construction include the Harbin-Beijing line and a north-south line linking Harbin and Fujian province on China’s south-east coast, he said.

As part of its efforts to spur economic growth amid the global downturn, China announced last year it planned to build 42 high-speed railway lines by 2012 in a massive system overhaul, state media reported earlier. Earlier this year, the railway ministry announced the high-speed line linking Beijing and Shanghai will open in 2011, a year ahead of schedule, cutting travel time from 10 hours to four, state press said.

Beijing has an ambitious rail development programme aimed at increasing the national network from the current 86,000 kilometres to 120,000 kilometres by 2020. The expanded network will include 50,000 kilometres of high-speed rail. — AFP

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Filed under: Automotive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Influence, Nationalism, Politics, Resources, Straits Times, Technology

Another Foxconn pay raise [Straits Times]

It looks like a pay raise is in order for Foxconn employees, following the recent spate of suicides that captured global media attention on working conditions in China. “The basic salary at Foxconn’s China plants was about 900 yuan per month before the 30 per cent raise, and new recruits are paid 1,200 yuan per month.” Any 30% pay increase is substantial, apply that across the vast number of employees – it feels like a knee-jerk tactical measure, something has got to give. It is thus important to examine if there are increased and stricter conditions for working at Foxconn now.

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Another Foxconn pay raise
AFP
Source – Straits Times, published 06 June, 2010

Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group said salaries would be raised in October to 2,000 yuan (S$413) for workers at its plant in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Workers elsewhere in China will get raises in July adjusted for local conditions, the statement said. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI – FOXCONN workers in China will get another pay raise in coming months, on top of an increase that just took effect in response to recent worker suicides, the company said on Sunday.

Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group said salaries would be raised in October to 2,000 yuan (S$413) for workers at its plant in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Workers elsewhere in China will get raises in July adjusted for local conditions, the statement said.

Less than a week ago, the maker of iPads, iPhones and other electronic gadgets for international companies had raised workers’ pay by 30 per cent at its plants across China.

The basic salary at Foxconn’s China plants was about 900 yuan per month before the 30 per cent raise, and new recruits are paid 1,200 yuan per month.

‘This wage increase has been instituted to safeguard the dignity of workers,’ said Foxconn chairman Terry Gou in the statement. ‘We are working diligently to ensure that our workplace standards and remuneration not only continue to meet the rapidly changing needs of our employees, but they are best-in-class.’ The company added workers in Shenzhen have to pass a three-month review period before they qualify for the October raise. It did not elaborate. Foxconn employs 300,000 in Shenzhen.

Labour activists accuse the company of having a rigid management style, an excessively fast assembly line and forced overwork. Foxconn denies the allegations, but it has been under great public pressure to improve conditions at its Chinese operations. Ten workers have killed themselves and three have attempted suicide at Foxconn’s operations in southern China this year, mainly workers who jumped from buildings. — AP

Filed under: Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Social, Straits Times

Chinese vice premier stresses environmental protection [China Daily]

Political alignment with a focus on being responsible environmental stakeholders is a position China has quite cleverly adopted. To facilitate that, China has developed a strong environmental protection market worth $130 billion USD by 2015. For more, go here – Fast growth for environmental protection market: report (China Daily, 07 May 2010).

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Chinese vice premier stresses environmental protection
Xinhua
Source – China Daily, published June 7th, 2010

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd L, Front) visits a photo exhibition on environmental protection in Beijing, China, June 4, 2010. Li Keqiang has called for better protection of the environment in order to boost the transformation of the country's economic growth and to promote sustainable economic and social development. Photo - Xinhua

BEIJING – Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for better protection of the environment in order to boost the transformation of the country’s economic growth and to promote sustainable economic and social development.

Li made the remarks when meeting with environmental advocates in Beijing prior to the World Environment Day on June 5.

Environmental protection not only concerned the country’s economic development, but was also crucial to improve people’s living standards, the vice premier said.

Li added that China has made substantial progress in environmental protection in recent years, but admitted serious conflicts between environmental protection and economic and social development still exist.

Li said environmental protection should become an important tool to accelerate transformation of China’s economic growth and called upon the public to contribute to an energy-saving and environment-friendly society.

Filed under: China Daily, Chinese Model, Education, Environment, Influence, Media

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