Wandering China

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

China’s disappearances are difficult to stomach [The Age]

Australia: Were the Chinese really behind the disappearance of Yang Hengjun? Has China’s intent on managing its public image gone too far? John Garnaut, the Fairfax China corespondent who has actually met Yang sheds some insights into his disappearance –

‘Yesterday, Yang’s legions of online followers voiced hope that this increasingly brutal system would not be so irrational as to ”disappear” him, when it would have been simple to send him back to Sydney or gently warn him that the censor’s red line was closing in. Bizarrely, Yang’s writings were yesterday still on the Chinese internet.’

– – –

China’s disappearances are difficult to stomach
John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published March 30, 2011

 

Illustration: Dyson Source - The Age

An Australian blogger is the latest to vanish without trace. Is there no limit?

You might think it would get easier to stomach the news of a good friend or terrific individual ”disappearing” in China, given the rate at which it has been happening.

But Yang Hengjun’s vanishing from Guangzhou’s Baiyun airport hits deeper into the abdomen and rises further up the throat, I think, because it comes with an added feeling that the ground is shifting fast beneath our feet.

Nobody has heard from ”Henry” Yang since Sunday, when the Australian writer phoned a colleague to say he was being followed by three men. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, People, Politics, Social, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Yang Hengjun

Fears rise over missing political blogger in China [The Age]

And now there are three. If proven true, this makes three Chinese-Australians that have been ‘targeted by China’s justice system in recent years, following Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and entrepreneur Matthew Ng.’

For more on Yang, visit his website here.

Yang Hengjun. A photo of "Old Yang" posted recently to his blog, in which he poses with a number of books that are banned in China. Source - China Media Project

Elsewhere in cyberspace –

“I have not heard of such a person,” was the response given by foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu at a press conference yesterday when asked about the whereabouts of celebrity Chinese blogger and CMP fellow Yang Hengjun (杨恒均). Yang, known for his outspoken advocacy of democracy and freedom through personal anecdote, has been unreachable since he reported being followed in the Guangzhou airport late Sunday. (China Media Project, 2011)

– – –

Fears rise over missing political blogger in China
Dylan Welch and John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published March 30, 2011

CHINA’S crackdown on internet dissent, sparked by the ”jasmine” revolutions sweeping the Middle East, may have claimed its highest-profile target, with one of China’s most influential political bloggers disappearing at Guangzhou airport.

The disappearance of Yang Hengjun, an Australian citizen and one of China’s more prominent online political analysts, will also prove a headache for Julia Gillard, who is due to visit China late next month.

Dr Yang, a former Chinese Foreign Ministry officer turned novelist and political blogger, has not been seen since calling a colleague from the airport on Sunday to say that he was being followed by three men. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Human Rights, International Relations, Media, People, Politics, Reform, Social, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Yang Hengjun

Costa Rican football fans celebrate opening of stadium built by China [Guardian]

China’s charm offensive at work again as it continues to win favour with the soft power of financial incentives. The fact that they have been regularly rebuilding government buildings and infrastructure to reward its friends is not new. Surely a continued strategic move to expand its own sphere of influence overseas (Africa and South East Asia in particular, and now Central America), I think a 35,000 seater national stadium is a first. The two countries first established diplomatic ties in 2007, and it is noteworthy one two counts. First, that all this transpired so quickly in just four years. Second, that alignment has been made with a country that consistently scores top marks as the Happy Planet Index (3rd), for human development, and environmental consciousness; a far cry from its other ‘friends’ most would deem as ‘rogue states’.

And the Chinese media report – ‘Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla… said the newly built National Stadium donated by China will be a “permanent monument of friendship” between the two nations…

The National Stadium will be a permanent monument of friendship between the people of both countries and it will be a permanent symbol of improvement for the Costa Rican people, inspired by the values of the Chinese culture...’

(See ‘Stadium monument of China-Costa Rica Friendship’ in People’s Daily Online, March 26, 2011)

– – –

Costa Rican football fans celebrate opening of stadium built by China
National team plays out 0-0 draw with Argentina at rebuilt, state-of-the-art Estadio Nacional stadium
Seth Freedman in San Jose
Source – Guardian, published 30 March 2011

 

Costa Rica's Estadio Nacional stadium. Photograph: Alexandria Jackson/The Price of Kings © Spirit Level Film

Thousands of Costan Rican fans turned out for the reopening of a state-of-the-art football stadium donated by the Chinese government.

Around the Estadio Nacional stadium’s perimeter, laser beams lit up the night sky, acrobats hurled themselves through the air and PAs blared dance music to create a carnival atmosphere in the Sabana neighbourhood of the capital, San José.

Inside the national team played out a goalless draw with Argentina, for whom Lionel Messi was a late withdrawal through injury. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Costa Rica, Economics, Guardian, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy

China 1st, Australia 12th in clean energy [The Age]

This came as a bit of a surprise having lived in Australia for a while now. On the ground, Australians seem more savvy and willing to go green; though it may not have equivalence to being ‘clean’. Australia after all, is one of few countries with a credible political party based sustainability (see – The Greens). The Earth Hour originated here, for example. Ground sentiments are no match for policy, it seems. In any case, this is evidence that China is doing something right; by setting an example given its newfound place as second largest economy and  providing more legitimacy as a blossoming leader in international relations –

‘The study estimated that China — which is fighting severe pollution and its dubious distinction as the top producer of carbon emissions blamed for climate change — now produces nearly half of the world’s wind and solar modules.’

For more on the Pew Charitable Trusts, go here. The report proper can be found here – Global Clean Energy Investment Reached Record $243 Billion in 2010.

– – –

China 1st, Australia 12th in clean energy
Shaun Tandon
AFP
Source – The Age, published March 29, 2011

China leads the world in green energy, Germany has outpaced the US as the number two player, while Italy is fourth and Australia is 12th, a study said.

The survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found strong growth on a global scale for solar, wind and other renewable energy, although one major exception was Britain, which saw a sharp decline after a new government took charge.

“What we believe it all comes down to, frankly, is policy,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Influence, International Relations, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

University graduate sues education department over white blood cell count discrimination [China Labour Bulletin]

To some extent, this sheds light on the equity dynamic in China; not so much of a one-way street anymore. Citizens can, and have help, to respond to what they deem as discrimination. To learn more, surf onto the ‘Understanding and Challenging Employment Discrimination against People Living with HBV in China‘ report at the Yirenping (益仁平) website.

To add to the case in point, – ‘People with HIV/AIDS have also been refused employment but at least two victims of discrimination have now successfully filed lawsuits against their prospective employer.’

– – –

University graduate sues education department over white blood cell count discrimination
Source – China Labour Bulletin, published March 17, 2011

A court in Yiwu, Zhejiang, has agreed to hear China’s first ever lawsuit against an employer for refusing to hire a prospective employee on the grounds of their white blood cell count, the Legal Daily reported 14 March.

The lawsuit, filed by a Ningbo University graduate, accuses the Yiwu municipal education and labour departments of denying him a job as a high school mathematics teacher because his medical examination indicated an abnormally high white blood cell count.

It is unclear precisely why the Yiwu education department would consider a high white blood cell count to be grounds for refusing employment but as other anti-discrimination lawsuits have shown, the medical knowledge of many employers is limited, and usually informed by rumour and false advertising rather than fact. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: China Labour Bulletin, Culture, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, People, Population, Social

Aid From China Builds an Ally in East Timor [New York Times]

This is a little dated, as China’s friendly stance toward the South-East Asian region and Africa to maintain a network of overseas resources have been well know for a while. Elbowing out Western (in particular US) influence has been the name of the game. But attention is being paid to it in Australia recently as East Timor starts to arm itself with Chinese help… ‘China’s emerging presence in a country whose dominant players at the moment are Portugal and Australia has caused speculation among local analysts and in the regional press.’

– – –
Aid From China Builds an Ally in East Timor
DILI, East Timor — It looks like a pleasant place to conduct affairs of state: a broad, palm-fringed compound by the side of the sea with reflecting pools, a rock garden and fluttering flags.

It is the future Foreign Ministry of East Timor, as depicted on a large billboard at the gate of a construction site, and it is a gift from the Chinese government.

Together with a new presidential palace that is also being built by the Chinese, it will be one of the most impressive buildings in this low-rise capital. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Economics, Environment, Foreign aid, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, New York Times, Soft Power, Strategy, U.S.

Micro blogs now No 3 online source of info [China Daily]

Microblogs are changing the media landscape of China with 70% of topics dealing with improper behaviour by government officials. Surveillance gone the other way round. “…since it’s almost impossible to filter information on micro blogs, the topics are more sensitive and interesting…” Zhang Shuting, professor at the Communication University of China 中 国 传 媒 大 学 校 园 .

– – –

Micro blogs now No 3 online source of info
By Cheng Yingqi
Source – China Daily, published March 26, 2011

 

Women display posters in a promotional campaign for a micro blog in Fuzhou, in East China’s Fujian province, in November 2010. Zheng Shuai / for China Daily

BEIJING – Micro blogs, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, have become the third-largest information source of public opinion on the Internet in China, a media research report said.

 

Within a mere 20 months of appearing in the nation, micro blogs became the third-favorite online source of information, after news portals and online forums, according to the Internet Real-time Public Opinion Index Annual Report 2010.

The report was released on Thursday by the Communication University of China in Beijing. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: China Daily, Chinese Model, Culture, Education, Environment, Influence, Media, People, Population, Social, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China Bars Japanese Food From Region Near Plant [New York Times]

Like the United States, Russia, Australia, Singapore and South Korea, China has banned the import of specific Japanese products. The authority in question is the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (中华人民共和国国家质量监督检验检疫总局)

– – –

China Bars Japanese Food From Region Near Plant
By ANDREW JACOBS
Source – New York Times, published: March 25, 2011

BEIJING — China on Friday joined several other nations that have sought to limit potential radioactive contamination from Japan, by banning fish, vegetables and other food products from regions closest to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The measures were announced the same day Chinese officials said they had detected elevated radioactivity on a Japanese merchant vessel that had docked in southeast China. Farther up the coast, two Japanese tourists who arrived earlier in the week were said to have emitted “abnormally high” levels of radiation.

Officials did not specify the extent of contamination and said it posed no threat to the public, but the episodes highlighted China’s anxiety over the possible effects of Japan’s nuclear crisis. Last week, fears about spreading toxicity prompted a salt-buying panic among Chinese in the mistaken belief it might protect them from radiation poisoning. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Disaster, Economics, Environment, International Relations, japan, Natural Disasters, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Trade

China to ban smoking in public places [BBC]

A revised ‘Health Management Ordinance Implementing Regulations for Public Places’ has come into place; workplaces being an exception. I recall some manner of ban in place when I visited China last year, but enforcing it was seldom carried out. For more, Ministry of Health to ban smoking at indoor public areas (People’s Daily, March 23, 2011)

– – –

China to ban smoking in public places
By Martin Patience
Source – BBC News, Beijing, published March 24, 2011

Chairman Mao Tse-tung was an avid smoker. Photo – Getty Images

China is set to introduce a smoking ban in most public places.

According to the Health Ministry, the new regulation will come into effect on 1 May in public places including buses, restaurants and bars.

But an allowance has been made – smoking will still be permitted in workplaces. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Chinese Model, Culture, Education, Environment, Health, People, Politics, Population, Social

The reactor that saves itself: safe nuclear does exist and China leads the way with thorium [The Age]

‘The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s, but the US has long since dropped the ball. Further evidence of Barack Obama’s “Sputnik moment”, you could say.’

Sputnik moment – I love the analogy.

The evidence – China research surge to dominate thorium nuclear technology (Climate Action Programme, Feb 16, 2011)‘China is accused of developing threatening nuclear energy, however development towards thorium nuclear indicates the nation’s move to a more ethical stance on the controversial energy form.’

And here’s a link to China’s Academy of Sciences.

– – –

The reactor that saves itself: safe nuclear does exist and China leads the way with thorium
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph
Source – The Age, published March 23, 2011

A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium.

This passed unnoticed –except by a small of band of thorium enthusiasts – but it may mark the passage of strategic leadership in energy policy from an inert and status-quo West to a rising technological power willing to break the mould.

If China’s dash for thorium power succeeds, it will vastly alter the global energy landscape and may avert a calamitous conflict over resources as Asia’s industrial revolutions clash head-on with the West’s entrenched consumption. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Influence, Nationalism, Resources, Science, Soft Power, Technology, Telegraph UK, The Age

Follow me on Twitter

Archives

Calendar

March 2011
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Apr »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,228 other followers

East/West headlines of Rising China

East/West headlines of Rising China

About Wandering China

Click to find out more about this project

Support //WC

Support Wandering China now - buy a Tee Shirt!

Be a champ - Support Wandering China - buy a Tee Shirt!

The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
web stats

Flag Counter

free counters
Online Marketing
Add blog to our directory.