Wandering China

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

N.Korea seeks to soothe China [AsiaOne]

North Korea’s relationship with China is surely under strain, this compounded by the sinking of South Korean warship Cheonan is not going to make it easy to remain friends on the surface between the two long-time partners.

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N.Korea seeks to soothe China
Reuters
Source – Straits Times, published June 10, 2010

BEIJING – NORTH Korea has told China it will punish those responsible for shooting dead three Chinese nationals near the two countries’ border last week, and vowed to prevent any repeat, Chinese state media said on Thursday.

The isolated North made the effort to soothe China, its sole major economic and political supporter, after North Korean border guards last week shot at the Chinese nationals crossing the river border near the northeast Chinese city of Dandong.

Three were killed and a fourth was wounded. On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry made a rare public complaint about its neighbour, and now North Korea appears to be seeking to placate Beijing.

North Korean border authorities said an initial investigation showed the incident was an ‘accident’, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

‘The North Korean side expressed its grief over the Chinese deaths, and offered condolences to the families of the dead and to the injured, and will severely punish the perpetrators,’said the report.

‘The North Korean border security authorities will further investigate this incident and prevent such incidents from recurring,’ the report added. — REUTERS

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Filed under: AsiaOne, International Relations, North Korea, Public Diplomacy, Sinking of South Korean Warship Cheonan 2010, Strategy

China rebuffs US criticism [AsiaOne]

China rebuffs US criticism
AP
Source – Straits Times, published June 10, 2010

BEIJING – CHINA said on Thursday it has taken a ‘fair and responsible’ attitude in dealing with North Korea’s alleged attack on a South Korean warship, batting aside criticism by a top US military official that Beijing hasn’t done enough.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China’s goal has been ‘to safeguard peace and stability’ on the Korean peninsula. ‘All that we have done is based on this position, so we hope that all parties can understand that and cooperate with China to properly deal with this issue,’ he told a regularly scheduled news conference.

Mr Qin was speaking a day after Adm Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was disappointed by the international community’s ‘tepid’ response to the North Korean attack in March on a South Korean warship, singling out China for not doing more.

Adm Mullen made his comments in Washington DC at a dinner hosted by the Asia Society.

South Korea has asked the UN Security Council to punish North Korea after an international investigation found that a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean navy ship in March, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang has denied responsibility and says any punishment will trigger war.

The US and South Korea have been looking to China to approve some kind of international condemnation or punishment of the North. — AP

Filed under: AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Influence, International Relations, Media, North Korea, Sinking of South Korean Warship Cheonan 2010, Strategy

Foxconn stops payments to suicide workers’ families [AsiaOne]

This sounds unbelievable. What timing… Click here for an Australian perspective – ‘Foxconn dumps suicide condolence payments‘ (News.com.au, June 10,2010)
– – –

Foxconn stops payments to suicide workers’ families
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published June 10, 2010

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (AFP) – Taiwan’s IT giant Foxconn said Thursday it has stopped offering condolence payments to the families of staff members who kill themselves as it tries to stem a spate of factory suicides in China.

The decision is part of a series of initiatives including raising wages, offering consoling services and installing safety nets, an official said.

Ten employees have leapt to their deaths at Foxconn’s sprawling plant in southern Shenzhen city this year, while an 11th committed suicide at a north Chinese facility.

Chinese media have reported that the families of those who died had received compensation of up to 100,000 yuan ($20,700), equivalent to about 10 years’ work at the company.

Foxconn officials declined to confirm the amount of compensation, saying it was given on a case-by-case basis.

Observers have speculated that some of the workers might have killed themselves to trigger the payment to their relatives.

Foxconn, the world’s biggest electronics contractor which makes products for companies such as Apple, Nokia and Dell, has been accused of overworking its staff after the suicides.

But company founder Terry Gou said none of the suicides was directly work-related and that he was cleared by Chinese authorities of any wrongdoing in the period up to the suicides.

The company made a surprise announcement Monday that it would increase the monthly salary for its Shenzhen assembly line workers to 2,000 yuan from October 1.

Filed under: AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Education, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Migrant Workers, Technology

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