Wandering China

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

The significance of China’s high-speed train crash [Straits Times]

Singapore: Straits Times correspondent Tracy Quek, and I recall sharing her sentiments both times I managed to use the high-speed rail – ‘On my first ride, I marvelled at the sleek, white carriages, the spotless interiors, the warmth of the service staff, and above all, the smoothness and comfort of the journey…. This is the way to travel! This is the face of progress! The United States (where I have been working since mid-2009) should get its act together and build its own high-speed rail network, I remember telling myself as I snapped a picture of the monitor in the cabin showing the train’s speed hitting 300km/h.’

In this instance, she reveals that little has changed over China’s handing of disasters such as this, with news that officials had ordered the damaged train carriages buried, and that China’s Railway Ministry has been less than forthright about what caused the crash, offering only vague responses to reporters seeking details.

– – –

The significance of China’s high-speed train crash
Tracy Quek, US Correspondent
Source – Straits Times, published July 26, 2011

For the past month, I have been a regular commuter on China’s high speed trains, zipping up and down the country between major cities including Nanjing, Wuxi and Shanghai.

On my first ride, I marvelled at the sleek, white carriages, the spotless interiors, the warmth of the service staff, and above all, the smoothness and comfort of the journey.

This is the way to travel! This is the face of progress! The United States (where I have been working since mid-2009) should get its act together and build its own high-speed rail network, I remember telling myself as I snapped a picture of the monitor in the cabin showing the train’s speed hitting 300km/h. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Chinese Model, Civil Engineering, Domestic Growth, High Speed Rail, Media, Politics, Straits Times, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport

Wen Jiabao’s Stunning Admission at Train Crash Site [Wall Street Journal]

The Wall Street Journal reports an ‘unusual’ admission of illness, something Chinese leaders rarely do. Now could this be a measured move, or increasing humanisation the Chinese leadership’s legitimacy to lead.

‘When rumors surfaced this month that former president Jiang Zemin was gravely ill or possibly even dead, censors on China’s most popular microblogging site went so far as to block all searches containing the Chinese word for “river,”or jiang, in an effort to quash the discussion.’

Premier Wen in this instance shares that he has been bed-ridden for eleven days, which was why it took him five days to visit the crash site of the Wenzhou high-speed rail collision.

– – –

Wen Jiabao’s Stunning Admission at Train Crash Site
Josh Chin
Source – Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report, published July 28, 2011 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, center, visits at the site of the Saturday July 23, 2011 train crash, in Wenzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, Thursday, July 28, 2011. Photo: AP

This post has been changed since it was first posted. See below.

Why did it take Chinese premier Wen Jiabao five days to visit the site of Saturday’s deadly high-speed train collision near Wenzhou?

The answer, according to Mr. Wen: He was sick.

In a striking admission, the 69-year-old leader affectionately known as Grandpa Wen said Thursday that his arrival in Wenzhou had been delayed because he’d been laid up in bed for 11 days. “Over this time I’ve been ill,” Mr. Wen said at a news conference, though he didn’t say what the illness was. “The doctor only today reluctantly allowed me to travel.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disaster, High Speed Rail, Influence, Media, Nationalism, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport, Wall Street Journal

China’s Dirty Secrets by Stephen McDonell [Al Jazeera]

Al Jazeera investigates if China is sacrificing its environment and people to feed its growing economic power, priming efficiency over care for its people…
– – –
China’s Dirty Secrets
Stephen McDonell, Al Jazeera
Source – Youtube, published Feb 4, 2011
China’s juggernaut economy is the envy of the world, but at what cost to the country’s people and environment? 101 East investigates.

Filed under: Al Jazeera, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Lifestyle, Media, People, Politics, Pollution, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Race to the bottom: Chinese sub dives 5000 metres [AFP/The Age]

“If a craft like this improves China’s ability to collect oceanographic data, that’s going to improve its submarine capability and I suspect that will be seen as troubling by the United States in particular,” Mr Medcalf said, adding that China could use the data to better hide submarines that can launch nuclear weapons.

– – –

Race to the bottom: Chinese sub dives 5000 metres
AFP with Glenda Kwek
Source – The Age, published July 26, 2011

Jiaolong ... the sub that can dive to 7000 metres. Photo: China Daily

A Chinese submersible has conducted the country’s deepest manned dive ever as it seeks to exploit the vast resources of the ocean floor.

The Jiaolong undersea craft – named after a mythical sea dragon – reached 5038 metres below sea level in a test dive in “an international area” of the Pacific ocean, the official Xinhua news said, citing the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

Chinese technical capabilities have gathered pace in recent decades, exemplified by a fast-growing space program that in 2003 made China just the third nation to conduct manned space flight. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, military, Modernisation, Research, Resources, Strategy, Technology, Territorial Disputes, The Age, U.S.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan to visit Singapore [Channel News Asia]

Singapore was one of the key inspirations for China’s Shenzhen SEZs in the 80s and the on-running Suzhou (1994) and Tianjin projects (2007) are continuing symbolic acts of co-operation between China and Chinese-majority Singapore.

– – –

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan to visit Singapore
By Joanne Chan
Source – Channel News Asia, published July 25, 2011

SINGAPORE : Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan will lead a delegation of Ministers and senior officials to Singapore on a three-day visit starting Tuesday, at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Mr Teo and Mr Wang will co-chair the 13th Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Council, 4th Tianjin Eco-City Joint Steering Council and 8th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meetings on July 27.

A joint media statement issued by Singapore’s ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry and National Development said the Suzhou and Tianjin Eco-City meetings will review the progress of the respective projects and chart new directions for future development. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Channel News Asia, Charm Offensive, Civil Engineering, Domestic Growth, Economics, Greater China, Green China, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

Toddler pulled alive from China train crash wreckage [AP/The Age]

Unfortunate news. There had been talk earlier that corruption (Corruption Hits China’s High-Speed Railway, FT/CNBC March 24 2011) could put a grinding halt the high speed rail project with breakdowns as recent as this month – High Speed Rail breaks down again (China Daily, July 14, 2011).

58 trains have been suspended and the fault has been identified as lightning-triggered.  In Chinese fashion, the accountable will be hunted down and made an example of – Senior officials sacked after deadly train collision (China Daily, July 24, 2011).

Although this line from Hangzhou to Wenzhou which I have taken is another altogether, and older.

It looks like China’s ambitious high speed rail plans (see earlier posts – China’s rail expansion is on the fast track (Straits Times, November 8 2010)) hits a major multifaceted hurdle of engineering, corruption and people’s diplomacy. The official apology from the ministry – Ministry spokesman apologizes for deadly crash + China Daily’s updates [China Daily, July 25, 2011)

– – –

Toddler pulled alive from China train crash wreckage
AP
Source – The Age, published July 25, 2011

Off track … carriages were derailed in the accident. Photo: AP

A toddler was rescued about 21 hours after a crash involving two high-speed trains in eastern China killed at least 43 people and injured more than 200 others, state media reported.

The unconscious child was found early on Sunday evening while rescuers were clearing one of the train cars just as the cleanup efforts were almost completed. It cited an unnamed firefighter.

“When we found him, he could still move his hands,” Xinhua News Agency quoted the firefighter as saying. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, AP, Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Civil Engineering, Corruption, Crime, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, High Speed Rail, Infrastructure, Modernisation, Population, Social, The Age, Transport

Beware of State Power [Bangkok Post/Noam Chomsky web)

Chomsky weighs in on the China debate in 2007 –

Chomsky: China does not pose a military threat. In fact, of all the major powers, China has probably been the most restrained in building up its military forces. China poses a very serious threat because it cannot be intimidated [by the US].

– – –

Beware of State Power
Noam Chomsky interviewed by George McLeod
Bangkok Post, April 1, 2007
Source – Noam Chomsky web

McLeod: Turning to China, you mentioned that China is becoming a major competitor to US power in Asia, and even that the US is “frightened by China”. How does China pose a threat to US interests in Asia?

Chomsky: China does not pose a military threat. In fact, of all the major powers, China has probably been the most restrained in building up its military forces. China poses a very serious threat because it cannot be intimidated [by the US].

Take for example Iran and Iraq. The US wants the world to boycott Iran in pursuit of US policies. Europe sort of shakes its fist, but Europe pretty much backs off. So when the US warns countries not to invest in Iran, European investors – banks and so on – tend to pull out, not entirely, they find some ways to get around it, but they do pretty much pull out. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foreign aid, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

100 km of frustration on Beijing-Tibet Highway [China Daily]

100 km of frustration on Beijing-Tibet Highway
Source – China Daily, published July 20, 2011

A traffic jam caused by road works stretches nearly 100 km on a section of the Beijing-Tibet Highway in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on July 19, 2011. Photo - Xinhua

Two drivers trapped by a traffic jam have to eat instant noodles for their supper, on July 19, 2011. A traffic jam caused by road works since July 10 stretches nearly 100 km on a section of the Beijing-Tibet Highway in Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Photo - Xinhua

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, China Daily, Chinese Model, Civil Engineering, Communications, Communist Party 90th Anniversary, Domestic Growth, Infrastructure, Population, Social, Tibet, Transport

Two former officials convicted of bribery executed [Xinhua/China Daily]

With the CCP’s 52 code of ethics (中国共产党党员领导干部廉洁从政若干准则) in place since Feb 23, 2010, and Premier Wen Jiabao’s warning that corruption and inflation could have an “adverse impact” on the stability of power in China (See Inflation, corruption could hurt China: Wen [The Age/AFP]) it is perhaps no surprise that two former deputy mayors for China’s eastern cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, Xu Maiyong and Jiang Renjie, were executed for embezzling and accepting bribes worth almost 300m yuan ($46m; £29m).

Also, check out China executes corrupt Hangzhou and Suzhou officials (BBC, July 19, 2011) and China executes 2 former vice mayors for bribery (AP in Forbes, 19 July, 2011)

– – –

Two former officials convicted of bribery executed
Xinhua
Source – China Daily, published July 19, 2011

BEIJING – Two former vice mayors of east China’s cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, Xu Maiyong and Jiang Renjie, were executed Tuesday morning for bribery, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) said.

The SPC approved the executions after reviewing both cases, Sun Jungong, a spokesman for the SPC, said during a press conference held in Beijing on Tuesday.

Xu used his official power to interfere with project contracts and to help companies and people obtain land, promotions and tax breaks while acting as chief of the Xihu District government, Party secretary of the district and mayor of Zhejiang Province’s city of Hangzhou, Sun said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, China Daily, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, People, Politics, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, xinhua

China tempted as Facebook prepares to float [The Age]

A rumour at this point – China wants to buy a big piece of Facebook (Business Insider, June 30, 2011) to verify the source this article got its information from. And here’s an opinion-piece Why would China want to buy a piece of Facebook (Readwriteweb, July 6, 2011).
– – –

China tempted as Facebook prepares to float
Nathan Olivarez-giles
Source – The Age, published July 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES: The Chinese government is looking into buying a stake in Facebook, ahead of the social network’s widely expected initial public stock offering in 2012.

The possible investment, which was reported by the website Business Insider, would land the communist government a ”huge chunk” of shares in the Palo Alto, California-based company.

Citing an unnamed source ”at a fund that buys stock from former Facebook employees”, the website said China wants an investment ”large enough ‘to matter”’. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, Chinese Model, Communications, Economics, Finance, Influence, Media, Social, The Age

Follow me on Twitter

Archives

Calendar

July 2011
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

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.