Wandering China

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

For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones [New York Times]

Maybe the narrative that fewer remember the silver medallists sticks…

A desire for equity, catching up, or a desire for something else?

The question remains however – what about the the other Asians who are not as motivated? What sort of careless blanket agenda is this article setting?

No one will be surprised if Asian students, who make up 14 percent of the city’s public school students, once again win most of the seats, and if black and Hispanic students win few. Last school year, of the 14,415 students enrolled in the eight specialized high schools that require a test for admissions, 8,549 were Asian.

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For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones
By Kyle Spencer
Source – New York Times, published October 26, 2012

Ting Shi, at his parents’ laundromat, spent years studying for the admissions test to Stuyvesant High School, where he was accepted. Photo source – New York Times, 2012

Ting Shi said his first two years in the United States were wretched. He slept in a bunk bed in the same room with his grandparents and a cousin in Chinatown, while his parents lived on East 89th Street, near a laundromat where they endured 12-hour shifts. He saw them only on Sundays.

Even after they found an apartment together, his father often talked about taking the family back to China. So, following the advice of friends and relatives from Fuzhou, where he is from, Ting spent more than two years poring over dog-eared test prep books, attending summer and after-school classes, even going over math formulas on the walk home from school.

The afternoon his acceptance letter to Stuyvesant High School arrived in the mail, he and his parents gathered at the laundromat, the smell of detergent and the whirl of the washing machines filling the air. “Everyone was excited,” Ting recalled.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, New York Times, Overseas Chinese, People, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.,

Greetings

Greetings friends, I am currently tied down with work for the doctoral dissertation, an important fork in the road in my research on Chinese public diplomacy. I will need to switch to intermittent mode with Wandering China for the next two weeks. Might be slightly more active on Twitter though!

In the meantime, be well! Stay in touch.

Filed under: Bob's Opinion

#China Bashing Bears Fruit: Apple Moves Bring Manufacturing Home [Huffington Post]

Navarro and Autry: ‘You just can’t stay in a deal where only one side is required to follow rules or behave in a civilized manner. It is time for Washington to take off the gloves and fight for American jobs like the 700,000 other ones Apple has left in China.’

In open support of the encirclement and containment of China, alluded when Syria, Iran, and North Korea are propped up in the conversation. This to me, interestingly suggests that the logic of domestic protectionism over global production networks is good business for a global marketplace of cyclical consumption and planned obsolescence.

– – –

China Bashing Bears Fruit: Apple Moves Bring Manufacturing Home
by Greg Autry
Source – Huffington Post, published July 7, 2012

Navarro and Autry in a global call to action against China: looking back when Apple was made in the US.

Navarro and Autry in a global call to action against China: looking back when Apple was made in the US.

2012-12-07-MacUSA-thumb
I’m going to take a little (very little) victory lap here. Several times in this space, I’ve suggested that Apple needs to move manufacturing back home. Each time I’ve gotten comments like “that’s not going to happen” or “they will just move to Vietnam or the next cheapest labor market.” However, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Thursday that he is going to manufacture a line of Macintosh computers in the U.S. Firstly, good work Tim, and thanks for finally listening to the vocal minority of us who have been complaining about this situation for years.

I still have my first Macintosh, with its anemic 128k of RAM. When that plucky little beige beastie greeted the public it was assembled at a state-of-the-art plant in Fremont, Calif. Yes, that California, the one with the high taxes, tough labor laws and the environmental crazies. To be fair, Apple moved Mac production out of the state within a couple of years and out of the country not long after. Apple production was done in various places including Cork, Ireland, before finally settling in China about a decade ago.

Now, the specifics of the Apple plan were light and the statement that the capital investment will be a mere $100 million suggests this first foray back into American manufacturing won’t be a big deal for a firm that keeps about 1,000 times that in the bank. However, that is a fine start. Frankly, re-shoring can’t happen over night, because America’s manufacturing infrastructure and workforce will need years to recover. When I interviewed executives at Foxconn City a couple years ago, they told me they didn’t think most of what they built in Shenzhen could be built in the U.S. at all. The fact is, that many segments of the electronic product assembly supply chain and production engineers experienced with the latest hardware are hard to find in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Media, Migrant Workers, Politics, Population, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

How 21st-Century China Sees Public Diplomacy As a Path to Soft Power #China #PublicDiplomacy [Global Asia]

Global Asia journal: On how China wishes to be seen as a world power in the 21st-century, in its own terms.

Despite its long history of diplomacy, thinking about how it wanted to be perceived by foreign publics was never much of a concern in a past where it felt it had almost unipolar regional dominance. Today where the political landscape sees the re-rise of a multipolar world with significant power projection tucked in all corners, Zhou Qingnan makes clear the role of the ability of public diplomacy in keeping China’s transnational leveraging cards, good for use in the global marketplace of ideas and goods.

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How 21st-Century China Sees Public Diplomacy As a Path to Soft Power
By Zhou Qingan & Mo Jinwei
Source – Global Asia Journal, published September 2012

China’s stunning economic growth in the last 30 years has not resulted in positive public feelings abroad for the country as misunderstandings over many issues, including territorial disputes, have generated negative sentiment, write Qingan Zhou & Jinwei Mo. But the Chinese have in recent years experimented with discreet public diplomacy strategies to help point the way toward a more effective use of soft power as a way to build up the country’s image. The 2008 Summer Olympics hosted by Beijing were a showcase of these efforts.

Although China’s approach to soft power is still evolving, government officials and academics are using it as a way to integrate international communications, public diplomacy and cultural exchanges. China’s academic community realizes that with the country now the second largest economy in the world, it faces growing challenges in terms of its image and power despite rapid economic growth, rising per capita incomes and deepening involvement in public diplomacy over the past 30 years. It is particularly striking that from 2010 to 2012, uncertainty over China’s image and intentions emerged in the Asia-Pacific region and some African countries, due to disputes over adjacent seas and misunderstandings over foreign investment, respectively.

Chinese scholars have been studying Joseph Nye’s influential concept of soft power for some time as it touches on values, communication techniques and the confidence of one’s civilization. Therefore, China has gradually realized that public diplomacy acts as a way to achieve soft power. This has placed public diplomacy at the center of Chinese foreign relations by the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Panda Diplomacy, Peaceful Development, Politics, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Uncategorized,

China backs Egypt mediation #China [Global Times]

Global Times: The Chinese are concerned about the Gaza Strip. With new helmsmen, how will China see its independent foreign policy of peace and non-intervention unfold?

– – –

China backs Egypt mediation
by Hao Zhou
Source – Global Times, published November 22, 2012

Israeli police gather after a blast ripped through a bus near the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. At least 21 people were injured, in what an official said was “a terrorist attack.” Text – Global Times, Photo: AFP, 2012

China supports mediation efforts made by Egypt and other Arab nations as well as the League of Arab States (LAS) to ease the current tensions in Gaza, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

“China is paying great attention to the situation in the Gaza Strip,” Hua told reporters.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr over the phone about the situation there, expressing China’s support for Egypt and other Arab states as well as the LAS, she said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disaster, Egypt, Foreign aid, global times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peacekeeping, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , ,

President Xi’s Singapore Lessons #China [Project Syndicate]

Nobel laureate Michael Spence on a crucial point of China’s development – and how long after Deng Xiaoping’s and Lee Kuan Yew’s friendship that helped sparked the opening of China, Singapore’s lesson of one-party rule remains poignant.

As a one-party system with a somewhat similar ethnic complexion it continues to maintain popular legitimacy despite a high media literacy rate by design. Despite recent challenges, it still largely calls the shots on policy while transitioning to first world status with a knowledge economy that shifted from too, manufacturing.

Like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in their first few decades of modern growth, China has been ruled by a single party. Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) remains dominant, though that appears to be changing. The others evolved into multi-party democracies during the middle-income transition. China, too, has now reached this critical last leg of the long march to advanced-country status in terms of economic structure and income levels.

That said, it is most probable it is a case study of the many others they would consult in taking care to cross the river in highly turbulent times. Singapore is not definitive, but a series of stones the Chinese will feel around for before updating or reconfiguring their own socialist system to fit those needs.

From financial crises to violent revolution, what reason would China have to look that way for inspiration? Only for lessons on how not to do it I believe.

China has 1.3 billion mouths to feed. Singapore has 5.3 million. The official reported population density of about 7,257sq km from Singstats in 2011 this official stat does not consider the fact that Singapore has zoned out a 40% nature green sponge if you will, for water catchment, so true habitable space = 60% of 715sqkm).

Both cannot afford to make mistakes in their use of large scale systems.

That is where the lesson will be drawn. How it seldom makes mistakes, and when it does – it knows how to handle it in both foreign while giving domestic and alternative press some leeway for discourse.

– – –


President Xi’s Singapore Lessons
by Michael Spence
Source – Project Syndicate, published November 19, 2012

NEW YORK – China is at a crucial point today, as it was in 1978, when the market reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping opened its economy to the world – and as it was again in the early 1990’s, when Deng’s famous “southern tour” reaffirmed the country’s development path.

Throughout this time, examples and lessons from other countries have been important. Deng was reportedly substantially influenced by an early visit to Singapore, where accelerated growth and prosperity had come decades earlier. Understanding other developing countries’ successes and shortcomings has been – and remains – an important part of China’s approach to formulating its growth strategy.

Like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in their first few decades of modern growth, China has been ruled by a single party. Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) remains dominant, though that appears to be changing. The others evolved into multi-party democracies during the middle-income transition. China, too, has now reached this critical last leg of the long march to advanced-country status in terms of economic structure and income levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Great Wall, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Project Syndicate, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Xi Jinping, , , , , , , , , , ,

Xi Jinping urges to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics #China [Xinhua/China Daily]

State media sowing the seeds of the guiding ideology that will have Xi’s name on it. The long and short of it? No giant leap, but a continuation of winning a new victory for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

He told the Party members to keep in mind that the Party’s overall approach is to promote economic development tuned together with political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, and that its general task is to improve the people’s livelihoods, make the country more prosperous and achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation. (Xinhua, November 19, 2012)

– – –

Xi Jinping urges to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics
Xinhua
Source – China Daily, published November 19, 2012

BEIJING – Members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee gathered on Saturday to study and exchange opinions on the spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress which concluded on November 14.

The meeting was presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

In his speech at the meeting, Xi called for efforts to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, as it is the theme of the report to the 18th CPC National Congress, which was delivered by Hu Jintao on November 8. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, xinhua, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jaguar Land Rover building factory in China [Guardian]

Guardian: JLR and Chery ramping up for China’s middle class boom? The Guardian’s industrial editor provides details as the famed UK off-road powerhouse now join European counterparts Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz with full-blown local production capability direct in the world’s biggest auto market.

Quite a few of my mainland Chinese peers who now live in Australia love the Land Rover aesthetic. Most do not push (yet) their stately steel horses to the brink, preferring to drive them inland and keeping them spotty clean but I digress.

“China is now our biggest market,” Ralf Speth, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover at press briefing announcing their 10.9b yuan eastern China plant in their 65th year of operations. The plant will also see an R&D component.

– – –

Jaguar Land Rover building factory in China
Car firm to start manufacturing vehicles in world’s largest automotive market from 2014 after agreeing £1.1bn-joint venture
by Dan Milmo, Guardian Industrial Editor
Source – Guardian, published November 18, 2012

Source – Guardian, 2012.
Jaguar Land Rover posted a 58% increase in Chinese sales in the second quarter, boosted by demand for the recently launched Range Rover Evoque, above. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Jaguar Land Rover has signalled the importance of China to its growth prospects by starting the construction of a factory outside Shanghai.

JLR and its Chinese partner, Chery, formally laid the foundation stone for a plant in Changshu, near Shanghai, as part of a 10.9bn yuan (£1.1bn) investment that will include a new research centre and an engine production facility. The firm’s owners, Tata, also own a JLR assembly plant in India but the Chinese venture is the company’s first full-blown sortie into overseas manufacturing, reflecting stellar growth in the car firm’s third largest market.

The business posted a 58% increase in Chinese sales in the second quarter, boosted by demand for the recently launched Range Rover Evoque model. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Technology, The Guardian, Trade, Transport, U.K., , , , , , , ,

The new generals in charge of China’s guns #China [BBC]

BBC makes a point that China’s new CMC leaders have a wholly different world view and set of life experiences. How would they express those difference on the world stage?

A noteworthy reminder too, that its armed forces swear allegiance to the party, and not the country. This means it cannot act unilaterally, and must remain one of the priorities of the new leadership. This covenant between party and military was set in place early on by Deng – it seems to remain intact today.

The bit about the black box has been somewhat cleared after Hu Jintao, at least on the surface, stated stepping down as CMC chairman during the 18th NPC.

– – –

The new generals in charge of China’s guns
BBC
Source – BBC, published November 14, 2012

Photo source – AFP, 2012

As China’s ruling Communist Party prepares to hand power to a new generation of leaders, the BBC Beijing Bureau explains why changes at the top of the armed forces are also being closely watched.

China is ushering in a new generation of political leaders this week, as Communist Party leader Hu Jintao hands over power to successor Xi Jinping.

At the same time, a new group will take over the armed forces.

Amid a wave of retirements, at least seven new members will join China’s 11-member Central Military Commission (CMC), which oversees its armed forces – including the world’s largest standing army. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, military, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, , , , , , , , , , ,

Central Committee elected #China #Leadership[Global Times]

The way forward has been set. Scientific development joins the hallways of contemporary Chinese statecraft.

For the full list of the 205 members of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) elected at the 18th CPC National Congress on Wednesday, please go here.

“In the past, the authorities focused on so-called political, economic, cultural and social development, now they have realized the importance of sustainable development, which is related not only to people’s well-being now, but future generations,” Zhang Yaocan, professor of political science with Central China Normal University.

– – –

Central Committee elected
by Wu Gang
Source – Global Times, November 15, 2012

Delegates raise their hands to show approval for a work report at the closing ceremony of the 18th Party congress held at the Great Hall of the People Wednesday. Photo: IC, 2012

The Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has enshrined the “Scientific Outlook on Development,” a political guideline that puts people first and calls for balanced and sustainable development, the 18th CPC National Congress announced as the week-long event concluded on Wednesday.

Some 2,270 Party delegates cast votes Wednesday, electing the new CPC Central Committee and the new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Nearly 50 percent of the new Central Committee are newcomers, indicating that the CPC, with 91 years of history and more than 82 million members, has again completed its leadership transition. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Confucius, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Natural Disasters, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Yuan, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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