Wandering China

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

CPC member responsible area 4000m above sea level [Photo] #RisingChina

CPC member responsible area 4000m above sea level @ Snow Jade Dragon Mountain in Yunnan.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Influence, Photo Story, Politics, The Chinese Identity, Uncategorized

Iron Man 3 illustrates a Chinese puzzle Hollywood is hoping to solve [Guardian] #RisingChina #Hollywood #Ironman3

Hollywood finds it tricky to produce their own cultural capital while willingly winning Chinese consensus.

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Iron Man 3 illustrates a Chinese puzzle Hollywood is hoping to solve
US-Chinese co-productions don’t appear to be hitting the spot, as Chinese film-makers are catering for domestic audiences with growing success
Source – Guardian Film Blog, published April 24, 2013

There’s all sorts of meta-cinematic devilry going on in one of the strangest blockbusters of the decade – Iron Man 3. In one scene Ben Kingsley’s nemesis, the Mandarin, halts for a lecture on the authenticity, or otherwise, of the “Chinese” fortune cookie – right before laying waste to Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Hollywood: “Another cheap American knock-off.” You can’t help but wonder whether this particular tirade is Iron Man 3 writers Shane Black and Drew Pearce comment on the process of trying to adapt the film for Chinese audiences, and the bigger, east-facing game the whole of Hollywood is playing.

With an eye, like everyone else, on a fistful of yuan, Iron Man franchise-holders Disney and Marvel partnered with Shanghai-based media agency DMG, who also helped produce Looper last year, for the third film. But the suggestion last summer that Tony Stark might be making a radical turn towards China never quite transpired. The Mandarin was tactfully steered away from the yellow-peril caricature of the comics, becoming a prototypical icon of terrorism instead. Some scenes were filmed in Beijing in December; Fifth Generation veteran Wang Xueqi appears in an early party scene, and more of this material – including a cameo for starlet Fan Bingbing – will appear in a special Chinese cut.

And that’s it. Another cheap American knockoff. It’s essentially the same piece of blockbuster chinoiserie that we’re seeing more and more these days as the studios make eyes at China: like The Karate Kid remake’s relocation to Beijing (still with an American protagonist), the Asian-scented water approach of GI Joe: Retaliation, or James Bond’s luminescent Shanghai skyscraper fight in Skyfall.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Entertainment, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Rhodes East: Why is the Schwarzman Scholarship in China? [New Yorker] #RisingChina #SchwarzmanScholarship #CrossPollination

200 scholars annually to bridge a great divide in bilateral relations:

For more, see

China’s Internet Users to Schwarzman Scholarship: Meh (Tea Leaf Nation blog, April 24, 2013)

The Limits of Stephen Schwarzman’s Scholarship Diplomacy (The Atlantic, April 26, 2013)

Private equity titan eyes China for a rival to Rhodes Scholarship (The Conversation, April 24, 2013)

Related on WanderingChina
S$370m scholarship aims to cool Beijing-West tensions [TODAYonline] April 22, 2013

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Rhodes East: Why is the Schwarzman Scholarship in China
By Evan Osnos
Source – New Yorker, published April 26, 2013

“Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life.” So said Cecil Rhodes, the diamond miner and an ardent believer in British colonialism, who, in 1902, established the Oxford scholarship that bears his name, so that some of the world’s best young minds could come as near as they might hope to being English.

This week, Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, invoked Rhodes’s gift as the inspiration behind a large new scholarship for study not in America but in China. He is hoping that familiarity with the world’s rising superpower will blunt growing American anxiety about changes in status. “Anger can lead to trade problems, and ultimately to military confrontation,” he told me. “We had to find a way to stop or ameliorate that situation.” The scholarship will draw two hundred students a year to a one-year English-language master’s program at a dedicated new college inside Tsinghua University. Twenty per cent of the winners will be from China, forty-five per cent from America, and the remainder from elsewhere. Schwarzman is giving a hundred million of a personal fortune estimated at $6.5 billion, and raising another two hundred million largely from blue-chip companies with big investments in China, to create an endowment that the Times calls “one of the largest single gifts to education in the world and one of the largest philanthropic gifts ever in China.”

In the China-watching world, the announcement created a stir, and a few questions: Will this inspire more giving from Chinese tycoons? When will the program expand to include African applicants? How much of China can one learn in one year?

Before Schwarzman announced it at the Great Hall of the People, I sat down with him in Beijing. Here is an edited transcript.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Finance, History, Influence, International Relations, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

5% of foreign reserves – ‘Australia to buy Chinese government debt’ [Financial Times] #RisingChina #Australia #ForeignReserves

Australia broadens relations with its top export destination by investing 5% of foreign reserves in Chinese government bonds.

Earlier this month, Australia became only the third country to establish a direct currency trading link with China, after the US and Japan. The RBA and the People’s Bank of China also set up a currency swap facility in March 2012. The RBA had around A$38.2bn ($39bn) in foreign reserves at the end of March. Financial Times, April 24, 2013

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Australia to buy Chinese government debt
By Josh Noble in Hong Kong
Source – Financial Times, published April 24, 2013

Source - Haver Analytics

Source – Haver Analytics

The Australian central bank plans to invest about 5 per cent of its foreign reserves in Chinese government bonds, in the latest move to build closer economic ties between the two countries.

“This decision to invest in China is an important one. It reflects the broader economic relationship between China and Australia and our increasing financial ties”, Philip Lowe, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, said in a speech on Wednesday in Shanghai. “It provides greater diversification of our investments and will help with our understanding of the Chinese financial markets.”

Earlier this month, Australia became only the third country to establish a direct currency trading link with China, after the US and Japan. The RBA and the People’s Bank of China also set up a currency swap facility in March 2012. The RBA had around A$38.2bn ($39bn) in foreign reserves at the end of March.

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Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Economics, Finance, Financial Times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

Growing breed of Chinese moguls Down Under [Straits Times] #RisingChina #OverseasChinese #Australia

Chinese moguls keeping a toe down under.

‘Australia has more links to China’s tycoons than any other country except the United States, according to the compiler of the Hurun list.’

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Growing breed of Chinese moguls Down Under
Based in China, they have big investments in Australia and some have political clout as well
By Jonathan Pearlman, In Sydney
Source – Straits Times, published April 28, 2013

Xu Rongmao. --  PHOTO: by APPLE DAILY

Xu Rongmao. —
PHOTO: by APPLE DAILY

When a rare chance arose to buy a World Heritage-listed resort island in the Great Barrier Reef last year, Australian-Chinese media mogul William Han decided to invest in paradise.

“Aussie Bill”, as he is known, outbid 200 others for the 584ha Lindeman Island off the coast of Queensland from Club Med, shelling out A$12 million (S$15.3 million) for it. He now plans to spend another A$500 million at least to turn it into a high-end resort for Asian holidaymakers.

Mr Han is one of a growing breed of Chinese-Australian moguls, several of whom are on China’s top 1,000 rich list compiled by the Hurun Report magazine.

Shanghai-based property mogul Xu Rongmao was ranked No. 12 last year with an estimated worth of US$4.7 billion (S$5.8 billion). An Australian citizen, he has invested in properties in Sydney and Darwin and educated both his children in Australia.

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Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Channel News Asia, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Economics, Finance, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Australian, The Chinese Identity

Tiger Talk: North Korea – war or peace? 一虎一席谈: 朝鲜半岛 战争还是和平 [Phoenix Television 凤凰网 / Youtube] #RisingChina #NorthKorea #TVCurrentAffairs

A dynamic current affairs programe on Phoenix TV features panelists with competing views of analysis  in discourse over the threat of North Korea on April 27, 2013.

In Mandarin with Chinese subtitles. Running time: 48 minutes.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Culture, Hard Power, Influence, International Relations, Media, military, New Leadership, North Korea, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Youtube

A life by the wall [China Daily] #RisingChina #GreatWall #CrossPollination

Epic journey through decades that inspires – for myself, trekking along the Great Wall in an ‘interface’ with history is high up the agenda; but to even contemplate running the distance, wow. Kneecaps and joints of steel!

For more on William Lindesay’s work, go here or here.

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A life by the wall
By Mark Graham
Source – China Daily, published April 28, 2013

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William Lindesay walks on the grassland of Mongolia in search of a previously unknown section of the Great Wall. James Lindesay / for China Daily

Not even a Chinese knows the Great Wall of China as well as this British adventurer and writer. Mark Graham talks to the man who has spent much of his life exploring the whole length of mankind’s most ambitious building project.

When, as a schoolboy, William Lindesay announced grand plans to explore the Great Wall, nobody took him too seriously. But Lindesay achieved his goal – and much more – by running the length of it, spending four years of his life on the iconic structure and becoming one of the world’s foremost experts on its rich history.

More than a quarter of a century has passed since Lindesay’s solo run along the Great Wall, an epic journey from the far west of China to the point where the structure meets the sea, and to mark the occasion, he has released a new book, The Great Wall Explained, with a series of stunning photographs and fascinating essays.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, Communications, Culture, Environment, Government & Policy, Great Wall, History, Influence, Infrastructure, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Senior PLA naval officer pledges ‘bigger and better’ aircraft carriers [SCMP] #RisingChina #BlueWaterStrategy

Destination: unavoidable – blue-water navy.

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Senior PLA naval officer pledges ‘bigger and better’ aircraft carriers
Senior PLA naval officer says it is hoped next vessel will be bigger than Liaoning, but denies reports carriers are being built in Shanghai
By Minnie Chan
Source – South China Morning Post, published Thursday, 25 April, 2013

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A senior naval officer says China will have more aircraft carriers and they will probably be bigger and more powerful than its first carrier, the Liaoning, which was commissioned in September.

“China will have more than one aircraft carrier,” Rear Admiral Song Xue , deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, told foreign military attaches at a ceremony to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the navy’s founding on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

“We hope the next aircraft carrier can be bigger, because then it would be able to carry more aircraft and be more powerful,” he added. Without giving details, he said that some foreign media reports about China building new aircraft carriers in Shanghai were not accurate, Xinhua reported.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Greater China, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, military, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦)

All the toys, but can China fight? [Western Australia Today] #RisingChina #HardPower #Corruption

An Australian perspective on Xi readying military for battle. The fight may be an ideological one, but the outward display of toys is a primal one: they matter at the negotiation table.

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All the toys, but can China fight?
China’s Xi Jinping has warned his corruption-riddled military to clean up its act and be ready for battle.
John Garnaut, Beijing
Source – Western Australia Today, published April 27, 2013

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Chinese naval soldiers wait in line. Photo: AFP

Every morning at 6am, more than two dozen of the world’s leading submarine watchers, aviation experts, government specialists, imagery analysts, cryptanalysts and linguists gather at the headquarters of the US Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. Their job is to probe the overnight intelligence reports to guide the activities and strategies of the six aircraft carrier groups, 180 ships and 1500 aircraft that constantly patrol the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The morning meetings are convened by the fleet’s top intelligence officer, Captain James Fanell, and are supposed to cover activities emanating anywhere ”from Hollywood to Bollywood”, as the head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, likes to put it. But the group never takes long before zeroing in on the country driving the military and diplomatic ”pivot” to Asia, which was announced by President Barack Obama in Canberra in November 2011 and which now has support from almost every maritime nation in east and south-east Asia.

”Every day it’s about China; it’s about a China who’s at the centre of virtually every activity and dispute in the maritime domain in the east Asian region,” said Fanell, reading from prepared remarks at a US Naval Institute conference in San Diego on January 31.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Hard Power, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, military, 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, U.S., Xi Jinping

China Seeks Soft Power Influence in U.S. Through CCTV [NPR] #RisingChina #SoftPower #CCTV

NPR on the Chinese Charm offensive: broadcast and transmission parity to get its side of the story out first, traditional media style remains a priority for the Chinese.

We see what the British have done; what CNN has done for years. We need to be part of that… China is a big power; the state broadcaster is a big company. We want to be part of that dynamic.” Jim Laurie, lead consultant for CCTV America when relating what Chinese executives told him.

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China Seeks Soft Power Influence in U.S. Through CCTV
By David Folkenflik
Source – NPR, published April 25, 2013

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Before joining CCTV America, Phillip T.K. Yin was an anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Television. Source – NPR

At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.

CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country’s ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.

Navigating Two Media Traditions

CCTV America Business News Anchor Phillip T.K. Yin was born and raised in the U.S. by parents who emigrated from mainland China. Yin used to work in investment and for CNBC and Bloomberg. He says he is mindful of the tension between the American tradition of an independent press and Chinese expectations that the media serve the state. And yet, he says, CCTV America has broadcast interviews involving allegations of major computer hacking incidents originating in China — hardly a flattering story.

“It’s changing very quickly,” Yin says. “I can tell you even from the time that we came onboard here to where we are today, we’ve changed a lot. We’re covering stories from sometimes very controversial angles.”

CCTV America has its home in a new building just two blocks from the White House, in the heart of Washington, and it’s carried by cable providers in New York, Washington and Los Angeles, among other big cities.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Entertainment, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, NPR, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

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