Wandering China

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

China lets slip its web control strategy [The Age]

”China has this goal of establishing a Chinese intranet, removing China from the global internet, and you can see that in this report,’‘ Anne-Marie Brady, expert on China’s propaganda system at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

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China lets slip its web control strategy
Source – The Age, published July 14, 2010

THE Chinese Communist Party has detailed its ambitious but secretive strategy for transforming the internet into a force to keep it in power and project ”soft power” abroad.

An internal speech by China’s top internet official, apparently posted by accident on an official website before being promptly removed, outlines a vast array of institutions and methods to control opinion at home and ”create an international public opinion environment that is objective, beneficial and friendly to us”.

”Those efforts provided powerful public opinion support for unifying thinking, consolidating strength, assisting in our diplomatic battles, and safeguarding our national interests,” said Wang Chen, who is deputy director of the Propaganda Department, head of external (foreign) propaganda and also director of the State Council’s Information Office. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Media, Politics

Greenpeace says China oil spill ranks among worst in history [AsiaOne]

Greenpeace says China oil spill ranks among worst in history
Source – AsiaOne, published July 30, 2010

BEIJING, CHINA (AFP) – An oil spill in northeastern China may have been about 60 times bigger than the government reported, ranking it among the world’s worst known oil disasters, an environmental group said Friday.

Greenpeace said between 60,000 and 90,000 tonnes of crude may have poured into the Yellow Sea after two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot in the port of Dalian on July 16 – dwarfing official estimates of 1,500 tonnes.

“It’s one of the 30 largest oil spills in human history,” said Richard Steiner, a marine conservationist with the University of Alaska and an adviser to Greenpeace. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Environment, Resources

China eyes World Cup [Straits Times]

Isn’t this the truth – A World Cup in China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, would present a significant market and immense financial benefits for Fifa. By then China would be already more than 1.5 billion strong if current projects are correct. By 2015, we can be expecting 1.4 billion already. Of course, just like the Olympics, I am sure China will put on a stunning public relations spectacular.

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China eyes World Cup
It will go all out to host the 2026 edition, says country’s football official
By Jonathan Wong
Source – Straits Times, published July 29, 2010

Potential World Cup hosts Qatar (2022) and England (2018) have set up booths at the the Soccerex Asian Forum. -- ST PHOTOS: RAJ NADARAJAN

CHINA dreams of hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet, and will pursue its ambitions even if it is at the expense of its Asian neighbours, said Shao Wenzhong, the general manager of China Football Industry Development Corporation (CFIDC).

Japan, South Korea, Australia and Qatar are in the running to stage the 2022 football World Cup.

According to the sport’s governing body Fifa’s rules, no continent can host the World Cup twice in a row.

China’s push to host the 2026 World Cup would therefore put the Asian bids for the 2022 edition in jeopardy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, International Relations, Nationalism, Social, Sport, Straits Times

China plans $300b-plus splurge on high-speed rail [The Age]

China plans $300b-plus splurge on high-speed rail
Source – The Age, published July 28, 2010 – 5:54PM

China’s construction of a vast high-speed rail network will bequeath it one of the world’s most advanced rail industries, but it needs to keep a close eye on the debts it is running up in the process, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

China plans to build 13,000 km of high-speed rail lines by 2012, more than the rest of the world combined. Trains will travel at a maximum speed of 350 km an hour on 8,000 km of the track and at 250 km an hour on the rest. The Beijing-Shanghai line due to open next year will halve the travel time between the two cities to 5 hours.

By 2020 the network will have expanded to 16,000 km, serving more than 90 per cent of the population, at a total budgeted cost of 2 trillion yuan ($326 billion), according to the government’s blueprint. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, International Relations, Soft Power, The Age

Hong Kong plans rally to save Cantonese language [The Age]

The reality is quite simple – the speakers of Cantonese believe and argue that their language has more historical, cultural and economic weight than Mandarin ever did. They are of the belief that Mandarin is a language imposed on their way of life. Most of the Southern Chinese whom I meet here in Australia feel that way, and are much happier speaking in Cantonese than Mandarin. As a rough guide, I reckon 4 out of 5 will feel this way. China is far from a beacon of solidarity despite its massive vehicles for control, and this is evidence. There is no easy way to ‘control’ and shape the opinions of such a large population without some/or many going through the ‘cracks’. The Chinese overseas have traditionally been strong shapers of the Chinese mindset – Dr. Sun Yat Sen a prime example, and they are not afraid to effect change to their ‘homeland’.

These speakers will typically hail from the southern provinces. They gained much economically and learnt much from the West in the 19th and 20th centuries during China’s ‘forced’ period of opening up (as compared to today, where it is arguably, by choice). Speakers of this dialectal and cultural region also form the bulk of the Chinese diaspora. It is interesting how as a result of more than two hundred years of continuous interaction with the West has made these Chinese, a little different (maybe little is an understatement, the North-South divide has existed in China for a long time, like most countries with large geographical mass) from their northern neighbours. Of course, Hong Kong was even ceded to the British for a good part of the past two centuries so ideas of democracy and rights are well ingrained in the populace.

Here’s a report on the same story by Reuters in Singapore’s Straits Times – HK rallies to save Cantonese (Straits Times, published July 27, 2010)

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Hong Kong plans rally to save Cantonese language
Source – The Age, published July 27, 2010 – 5:34PM

Hong Kong activists will rally on Sunday against China’s bid to champion its national language Mandarin over Cantonese, following a rare protest for the same cause in southern China. Organisers have called on supporters via Facebook to help protect their mother tongue, after hundreds protested in support of Cantonese in the city of Guangzhou last Sunday, defying government orders. Many of the protesters were young people wearing T-shirts reading, “I love Guangzhou” written in Cantonese, while shouting “Protect Cantonese, Love Guangzhou” and singing popular Cantonese songs, the Global Times reported.

“I believe we can gather 100,000 people to stop China’s evil act of promoting Mandarin and destroying Cantonese!!!” the organisers wrote on the event’s Facebook page.

“Protect Chinese heritage. Against the extinction of our culture by dictators,” a supporter wrote on the site. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Culture, Domestic Growth, Environment, Hong Kong, Influence, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, Politics, Population, Social, Soft Power, The Age

Three Gorges Dam stands test of another peak flood [China Daily]

Three Gorges Dam stands test of another peak flood
Source – China Daily, published July 28, 2010

YICHANG – China’s Three Gorges Dam on the swollen Yangtze River is experiencing another test as flood flows peaking at 56,000 cubic meters per second, the greatest peak flood of the year, arrived at the dam at 8 am Wednesday, engineers said.

The dam buffered the flood by discharging water at a rate of 40,000 cubic meters per second, holding up 16,000 cubic meters in a second, they said.

The water level of the reservoir behind the dam rose to 158 meters at 8 am Wednesday, about 17 meters under its maximum capacity of 175 meters. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: China Daily, Disaster, Natural Disasters, xinhua

More die as rain pelts down on China [Straits Times]

“The persistent storms have wreaked havoc in countless communities, killing 823 people and leaving 437 missing nationwide this year, according to the latest official figures released yesterday.”

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More die as rain pelts down on China
Ancient capital of Luoyang at risk as more floods, rain expected; it shuts down World Heritage Site
Source – Straits Times, published July 27, 2010

PRescuers carry an injured villager who was evacuated from the flood-hit Luochuan county in Luoyang, north China's Henan province on July 25, 2010. Torrential rains have left 37 dead in China's ancient capital Luoyang and shut its World Heritage site as authorities on July 26 warned other flood-hit areas to brace for renewed deluges in days ahead. Photo: AFP

BEIJING: Torrential rain has left 37 dead in China’s ancient capital Luoyang and shut its World Heritage Site as the authorities yesterday warned other flood-hit areas to brace themselves for renewed deluges in the days ahead.

China’s worst flooding in 10 years has already left more than 1,200 dead or missing this year, but government officials said some major rivers would face their biggest floods in decades following renewed rain.

Weekend torrential rain left another 19 people missing in Luoyang, a city in the central province of Henan that is famed for its 1,500-year-old Longmen Grottoes, a World Heritage Site. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Environment, Natural Disasters, Politics, Population, Social, xinhua

China’s national union to help 1 mln people find jobs in 2010 [Xinhua]

China’s national union to help 1 mln people find jobs in 2010
Source – Xinhua, published July 26, 2010

Wang Zhaoguo (C, Front), a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), addresses the closing ceremony of the fourth session of the 15th ACFTU Executive Committee in Beijing, capital of China, July 26, 2010. (Xinhua/He Junchang)

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) — The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) said Monday it would work to help 1 million job-seekers find jobs this year, as well as provide vocational training for an additional 1 million people.

Also, the ACFTU will provide training and job opportunities for 200,000 housekeeping workers this year, said Li Shouzhen, spokesperson with the ACFTU, at a meeting of the national union’s executive committee.

The ACFTU has launched a five-year campaign of vocational training to help improve the skills of workers, Li said.

The ACFTU has been working to protect migrant workers’ rights and recovered 2.5 billion yuan (366.03 million U.S. dollars) of defaulted salaries for migrant workers in the first half of the year, Li said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Human Rights, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Nationalism, Politics, Social, Trade, xinhua

Hu Shi thanks the imperialists [Danwei]

A peek back in time in China circa 1929, as the primary advocate for the literary revolution of the era Hu Shi shares – the three glaring faults in China. ‘First, look at how its people treat children; Second, look at how they treat women; Third, look at how they spend their free time’ Fast forward to today, China treats their children supremely well (with the exception of shady factories producing tainted milk), the women have almost equal footing (not there yet, but gaining fast), and they spend their free time touring the world spending their newfound wealth. Has China shown amazing recovery from that period of humiliation?

Above all, this articles shows the beauty that can result from breaking down the barriers of East and West, there was, is, and still is much to be learnt from each other. This is something pockets of Chinese have known for a long time. Why not the best of both worlds? Do we really need a common enemy to facilitate that? I hope not.

– – –

Hu Shi thanks the imperialists
translated by Julian Smisek
Source – Danwei, published July 19, 2010

Chinese tradition is fairly enthusiastic about filial piety, having much to say on how to be a good child. Rather less is said about being a good parent. In this short essay, Hu Shi (1891-1962) asks readers to consider how poorly Chinese children are treated.

On caring for children

by Hu Shi / translated by Julian Smisek

The other day, a friend told me something rather profound: “to see how civilized a country is, you just have to examine three things: First, look at how its people treat children; Second, look at how they treat women; Third, look at how they spend their free time.”

These three standards are straightforward. It’s disappointing that China fails at all three. No matter which of the three we choose, we find that our country is the most barbaric. How do we treat children? How do we treat women? How do we spend our free time? The country is filled with fools boasting about our intellectual and ideological development, yet not one of them has reflected on these three issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Culture, Danwei, Domestic Growth, Education, Health, History, Social, The Chinese Identity

A ‘generation in peril’ in China [Straits Times]

This is a fear I share  as well, the Chinese I have met here in Australia are either very desensitized, or hyper-nationalistic, there are few in between. This is real. The new media is strongly shaping the minds of the Chinese.

I think this is the inevitable future of China at this stage, clashes between tradition and the new are frequent, and in this stage of hyper-flux where we are exposed, sometimes not by choice, to perception shaping media that form our personal narratives. Because the Internet and boundary-free (mostly) connectivity and access to information is still so new, excess is bound to happen before balance is found.

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A ‘generation in peril’ in China
The Internet can spawn independent thinkers or be used to violate the right to free speech or privacy, says don
By Clarissa Oon, Senior Political Correspondent
Source – Straits Times, published July 25, 2010

An Internet cafe in China. Prof Zhu warns of manipulation by online commentators planted by the government. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

China’s young adults are a ‘generation in peril’ and the influence of the Internet could make or break them, one of the country’s leading cultural critics believes.

On the one hand, their cyber-savvy gives them the skills to crack Beijing’s firewalls and access information not found in their history textbooks or in the traditional Chinese media.

This could produce a new wave of independent thinkers and social activists, leading to a more progressive China, Professor Zhu Dake told The Sunday Times.

The catch is that ‘just as you can make use of the Internet, the Internet can turn around and make use of you’, said the outspoken cultural scholar with Shanghai’s Tongji University.

For one thing, less discerning netizens could be manipulated by government-paid ‘commentators’ who, under the cover of pseudonyms, try to steer Internet opinion towards the establishment line. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Great Firewall, Greater China, Influence, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Population, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times

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