Wandering China

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

Overreach in Beijing’s great power leap [The Age]

A sampling of the comments in response to John Garnut’s analysis of China over-stretching its power. A pertinent remark here – ”How do you deal toughly with your banker?” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

And here are what readers of the Age have to say…

The fundamental question is this. Does China have any reason to resent extenal influence? Less than 100 years ago China was carved up by Japan, UK, USA, Germany, Portugal, France who plundered the country. They stole cultural relics of which China’s constant pleas for them to be returned have been disappointingly denied. The Island dispute with Japan has is not new news its just that now people care because for the first time China can finally protect itself. History has shown China that Western Allies are NOT their allies.

Ken | Sydney – December 31, 2010, 9:33AM

When was the last time we saw a rapidly arming, highly populated, nationalistic, brutal autocracy talking up it’s greatness while banging on about historical grievances? Oh that’s right, it was Germany and Japan in the 30’s. The Germans even had an Olympics to flex their muscles, but that wasn’t enough. They hack with impugnity and employ people like Ciao to astroturf the party line. All militarised dictatorships are a threat to their neighbours. China has never stopped threatening to crush democratic Taiwan. Liberalisation and democracy is the best outcome, war is the worst; in the mean-time, containment is essential.

CityWorker | Melbourne – December 31, 2010, 10:43AM

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Overreach in Beijing’s great power leap
John Garnut
Source – The Age, published December 31, 2010

It was only last year that China surprised itself as much as anyone else by discovering that it had arrived as a world power, years ahead of expectations.

The great leap in relative power was partly due to the Chinese Communist Party’s unique capacity and determination to pump up the local economy at a time when the developed world was being battered by the financial crisis.

”How do you deal toughly with your banker?” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, referring to China, asked then Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd in March 2009, according to US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Influence, International Relations, military, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China prepares for war ‘in all directions’ [The Age]

The key is here – the Chinese think that China’s military growth corresponds to its national power strategy, who would not want the means to protect oneself?

Analysts remain divided over whether China is initiating an Asian arms race. Even allowing for undeclared spending, China’s annual defence budget is still less than one-sixth of America’s $US663 billion ($A651.5 billion) a year, or less than half the US figure when expressed as a percentage of GDP.

Related article –
Military must be self-reliant: [Defence] minister [China Daily]

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China prepares for war ‘in all directions’
Peter Foster, Beijing
Source – The Age, published December 31, 2010

CHINA is preparing for conflict ”in every direction”, its Defence Minister says.

”In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction,” General Liang Guanglie said in an interview published by state-backed newspapers in China.

”We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, India, Influence, International Relations, japan, military, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Taiwan, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Being Chinese and Singaporean [Straits Times]

Insightful piece by the president of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University – training ground for China’s mayors. Finding the middle path in engaging Chinese as Singaporean ethnic Chinese is something only a few who are able to do. To engage both the west and their Chinese roots at the same time is a smart strategy given the latest state of global power. However, even less who seem to want to. I hope this piece inspires more.

– – –

Being Chinese and Singaporean
By Su Guaning
Source – Straits Times, published December 29, 2010

Photo – Straits Times

A RECENT column by Professor Wang Gungwu in this space – ‘China needs to stay true to its civilisation’ – caught my eye. In Prof Wang, we have an exemplary bilingual and bicultural scholar. He wrote an insightful piece on China, using English, the (near) universal language. It is a pity there are so few such scholars.

I was educated in Chinese and transitioned to the English world when I attended Raffles Institution. In my eight years as president of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), I have had deep engagements with China, while continuing to be engaged with the West. I experienced first hand the differences between the two worlds. This leads me to seek an understanding of what it means to be a Chinese and a Singaporean.

Before 1965, there were no ‘Singaporeans’. We were Malay, Chinese, Indian or Eurasian. The stereotype of the colonial Chinese gentleman was English-educated, urbane and sophisticated. He was often disdainful of backward China. And the stereotype of a Chinese business and cultural elite was of someone whose motherland was China and who was disdainful of Western thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charm Offensive, Education, Environment, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Realist China, realist Asia [Straits Times]

The zero-sum game that is politics today. This article reflects on the idealist happy vision that Chinese public diplomacy is projecting against the very realist reality that is the political and international relations arena – that self-interest is ‘almost’ always at the fore.

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Realist China, realist Asia
By William Choong, Senior Writer
Source – Straits Times, published December 31, 2010

THERE are two major schools of thought in international relations. One is liberal institutionalism, which argues that an anarchical world – that is, a world with no global government – can be ameliorated by norms, regimes and institutions. The other is neorealism, which argues that states can advance their own interests only at the expense of other states.

In this context, it could be argued that the discourse surrounding China’s rise in recent years has turned increasingly liberal in recent years.

In 2005, China expert David Shambaugh wrote that China is a ‘good neighbour, a constructive partner, a careful listener, and a non-threatening regional power’. Around that time, Mr Robert Zoellick, then the United States deputy secretary of state, offered the vision of China becoming a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in global affairs. Beijing has proffered its own vision of ‘peaceful rise’ and ‘harmonious oceans’ surrounding China’s periphery. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Influence, International Relations, japan, Media, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, U.S.

China schoolgirl aspires to be ‘corrupt official’:state media [AsiaOne/AFP]

Has the ugliness and material realism of life beginning to manifest in the Chinese young? One child may not be entirely representative, but it is a sign that the seeds are sown.

Many chatroom users praised the child for her “realistic” outlook on life, while others expressed cynicism over rampant corruption in China.

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China schoolgirl aspires to be ‘corrupt official’:state media
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published September 04, 2009

BEIJING – A six-year-old girl has become a media darling in China on her first day of school by expressing her aspiration to become a “corrupt official” when she grows up, state media said Friday.

The young student stated her aspirations in a televised interview that was posted on a southern China website, leading bloggers to describe her comments as “a reflection of social reality,” the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

“When I grow up I want to be an official,” said the girl, whose face was blurred to protect her identity. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Corruption, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Lifestyle, Social

Chinese paradise: surf’s up in Sanya [The Age]

Chinese paradise: surf’s up in Sanya
Source – The Age, published December 30, 2010

A new dawn … China is about to begin a push for more international tourists to visit the island of Hainan. Photo: Reuters

Beaches and resorts fringe a rainforest hinterland on Hainan, a laidback tropical getaway south of Hong Kong, writes Rachel Browne.

“WHAT is your final destination?” asks Hamid, a China Airlines staff member at the check-in counter. “Sanya,” I reply, handing over my bag. Hamid looks puzzled: “Where’s that?”

It’s a response I was to hear often when I told people I was bound for the seaside resort town on Hainan, an island off the coast of southern China.

Admittedly, Hainan is not exactly top of mind for Australian tourists when it comes to Asian beach destinations. Only about 500 Australians visit the island each year, compared with about 10 million Chinese tourists. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Lifestyle, Media, Population, Social, The Age

China needs ‘more Internet security’ [China Daily]

The rhetoric of the cyber-wars begins! As the number of attacks arising from China rises, China deflects some of that attention – “Our current protection input is not enough, and the scale and size is far less intensive compared to that of Europe and the United States,” Su Hao, expert on international security at the China Foreign Affairs University

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China needs ‘more Internet security’
By Ai Yang China Daily
Source – China Daily, published December 29, 2010

BEIJING – China should invest more in its own Internet security, lest it become a victim, or even scapegoat, for international hacking activities, an industry expert said on Tuesday.

“Our current protection input is not enough, and the scale and size is far less intensive compared to that of Europe and the United States,” Su Hao, an expert on international security at the China Foreign Affairs University, told China Daily.

Su was referring to a recent news source in Germany, which again singled out China for suspicion of cyber attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Internet, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Military must be self-reliant: [Defence] minister [China Daily]

A self-reliant army featuring at least two million troops is Defence minister Liang Guanglie’s target to synergise with China’s comprehensive national power. The key here that is being reminded is that this growth will necessarily correspond with its economic and national power growth.

He also added – China has made significant progress in international military exchanges and established them with more than 150 countries and defense and security dialogue with 22 countries.

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Military must be self-reliant: minister
By Wu Jiao and Li Xiaokun
Source – China Daily, published December 29, 2010

Beijing – China’s military buildup will correspond with the rapidly developing economy and enhanced national power, Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said.

In a recent interview with the Chinese media, Liang also said that China’s armed forces could only depend on themselves, not others, to ensure modernization and the development of equipment.

“In the next five years, our economy and society will develop faster, boosting comprehensive national power. The developments will provide an even more stable material base to our defense and military buildup,” Liang said at the headquarters of the Chinese military in Beijing. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Daily, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Influence, military, Nationalism, Politics, Strategy

580 economic fugitives still at large overseas [China Daily]

In recent years, a large number of Chinese criminal suspects have fled to Western nations, due to their ideological and legal differences with China, to escape punishment.

– – –

580 economic fugitives still at large overseas
By Zhang Yan
Source – China Daily, published December 28, 2010

BEIJING – A total of 580 fugitives suspected of economic crimes are still at large in foreign countries, with most fleeing to North America and Southeast Asia, a senior police officer said.

Meng Qingfeng is head of the economic crime investigation department under the Ministry of Public Security. Photo – China Daily

Meng Qingfeng, head of the economic crime investigation department under the Ministry of Public Security, said these fugitives have allegedly been involved in crimes including contract fraud, illegal fundraising, bank loan fraud and illegally transferring funds abroad.

“Most of them have escaped to North America and Southeast Asia,” he told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

But he stressed that since 2007 the number brought back from abroad by Chinese police has exceeded that of new fugitives.

Chinese police have seized more than 250 fugitives in 20 countries and regions, including the United States and Canada, since 2006.

“On the one hand, economic crime investigation departments have stepped up efforts to trace and arrest fugitives who have fled abroad,” Meng said.

“On the other hand, we have set up a prevention mechanism to effectively curb fugitives fleeing to other countries.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: China Daily, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, People, Social

16 dead, 25 injured in 2 China road accidents [AsiaOne/AFP]

190 dead a day due to road accidents is no small amount.

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16 dead, 25 injured in 2 China road accidents
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published December 27, 2010

BEIJING – At least 16 people were killed – including nine schoolchildren – and 25 injured in two car accidents in China on Monday, one of which involved over 100 vehicles, state press reported.

The nine children died when the vehicle in which they were travelling plunged off a road in central Hunan province early Monday, Xinhua news agency said.

One person was missing in the accident in Hengnan county, while 10 others were injured, the report said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Automotive, Domestic Growth, Environment, People, Population, Social

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