Wandering China

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

China Day at Cannes Lions 2013 #RisingChina #Advertising #ChineseMind

11,000 creatives from around the world converge at Cannes Lions in France mid-June this year. On the agenda in the seven-day program? A day devoted to understanding the $53b Chinese market of wish and need fulfillment.

For more, check out the China Day program.

CHINA DAY

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The advertising sector is one of the fastest growing industries in China; as evidenced in the last few years, which now sees advertising spend in China ranked at number two in the world at $53 billion.

In the last few years we have also seen China flex its muscles in terms of creativity, winning numerous Lions at Cannes including a Press Lions Grand Prix in 2011 and an Outdoor Lions Grand Prix in 2012.

The potential of the market is huge, and the need to understand the market is significant. Cannes Lions, in association with the China Advertising Association, is bringing China Day to the Festival in 2013, which will see some of China’s leading thinkers, thought leaders and experts in creativity, the internet, cultural understanding, and marketing together to present a series of forums on what is really happening in this vast country, with the objective of giving an understanding of how to be part of this exciting opportunity and how to better understand how to engage with the market.Cannes Lion website, 2013

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Filed under: Advertising, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, France, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

Can China’s leaders revive the economy and reform it at the same time? [Economist] #RisingChina #EconomicReform

To keep feeding the stuff of legend: both economic reform and revival needed to keep China on course for its current set of plans?

Stimulus does not need to be at odds with reform. Cutting taxes or increasing social spending would both stimulate the economy and help rebalance it towards consumption and services

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Can China’s leaders revive the economy and reform it at the same time?
Hong Kong
Source – Economist print edition, published May 28, 2013

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EVERY economy, like every story, has two sides: supply and demand. The supply side of China’s economy is the stuff of legend: 767m workers, perhaps $20 trillion-worth of machinery, buildings and other kinds of capital, combined with rapidly advancing techniques and technologies, many of them assimilated from abroad. This combination of labour, capital and know-how dictates how much the economy can produce. But whether it actually does produce all it can depends on the other side of the economy—the demand side—which reflects the spending decisions of consumers and investors. The supply side sets the scene; the demand side provides the drama.

Sadly, demand is recovering more slowly than expected. Figures released this week showed somewhat disappointing growth in fixed-asset investment and industrial production last month, following a similarly underwhelming first quarter. Economists who were expecting growth of 8-8.5% this year are now projecting something closer to 7.5%.

But as the drama darkens, the scene may also be shifting. A meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, on May 6th outlined a long list of structural reforms designed to improve the supply side of the economy. Some of the reforms, such as extending the value-added tax to services, are already under way. Others, such as liberalising capital flows, will reach fruition only gradually. The reforms are also in keeping with pronouncements by former leaders like Wen Jiabao, who liked to talk the reform-talk. But the new agenda “goes far beyond Wen-era platitudes in its boldness and specificity,” argues Andrew Batson of GaveKal Dragonomics, a consultancy in Beijing. The “walk-to-talk” ratio is improving, he believes.

Please click here to read the full article at the Economist.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Economist, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Trade

China’s Shuanghui to buy US pork producer for $4.7bn [BBC] #RisingChina #FoodSupply

Henan-based Shuanghui Group 双汇集团 in the works to buy the world’s biggest producer of pork to feed the world’s biggest consumer of the meat.

Also –
China’s Shanghai river pig toll nears 6,000 (BBC, March 13, 2013)

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China’s Shuanghui to buy US pork producer for $4.7bn
Source – BBC, published May 30, 2013

China’s Shuanghui International plans to buy US pork producer Smithfield Foods for $4.7bn (£3.1bn) to meet the country’s rising demand for meat.

Shuanghui, which is China’s biggest pork producer, is offering to pay for the company in cash.

The deal, if approved, will be the largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese rival.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Bird Flu, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, Food, Health, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, 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.

A better way to learn Chinese? [BBC] #RisingChina #LearningChinese

To find consensus through a common language is great, but unmatched by the narrative when two are able to speak the other’s native tongue to comprehend the ideologies behind each other’s world view.

That there is much attention in mastering Chinese is inspiring for the future. The Chinese are still sparing no expense to master English. A return in favor by the global village will be a positive reply.

Apart from committed socialization, perhaps watching Mandarin MTVs (they usually come with lyrics and feature commonly used words and expressions) could be added to the learning repertoire. Have a mental singalong and play mix and match with the lyrics while the visuals provide a useful imprint.

Move up to TV shows next. With reading of Chinese characters upgraded, the semantic toolbox gets pre loaded with familiar symbols.

Just recall scenes from the MTVs for more advanced idioms for instance.

In any case, to treat it as an academic subject is a whole different ball game altogether. The BBC talks about the constructivism underlying Chinese characters and meaning.

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A better way to learn Chinese?
By Philip Ball
Source – BBC, published March 18, 2013

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There’s been a rising dissatisfaction with current language teaching methods in China, but scientists think they may have an answer.

There’s no way round it: learning Chinese is tough. As far as reading goes, what most dismays native speakers of alphabetic languages is that Chinese characters offer so few clues. With virtually no Spanish, I can figure out in the right context that baño means bath, but that word in Chinese (洗澡) seems to offer no clues about pronunciation, let alone meaning.

There seems no alternative, then, but to slavishly learn the 3,500 or so characters that account for at least 99% of use in written Chinese. This is hard even for native Chinese speakers, usually demanding endless rote copying in school. And even then, it is far more common than is often admitted for Chinese people to forget even quite routine characters, such as 钥匙 (key). As a result, there’s been a rising dissatisfaction with current language teaching methods in China in recent years.

Is there a better way? Physicist Jinshan Wu of Beijing Normal University, a specialist in the new mathematical science of network theory, and colleagues have investigated the structural relationships between Chinese characters to develop a learning strategy that exploits these connections.

Please click here to read the full article at the BBC.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Research, Science, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K.

New licensing scheme for news websites that reach 50,000 people a month [Straits Times] #Singapore #IntelligentNation2015

So with all the high speed cables promising high-speed connectivity due international envy, gate keeping was optimistically kept low key in public headspace.

This happening then, was a matter of when.

It may affect only those with a set amount of visitors, but it also means a broader range of hotbeds for public opinion have to toe some kind of line. Even those out in the fringes. Especially and traditionally more so for those in the power centre.

Singapore’s clockwork orange narrative thus extends to the digital frontier as it sets new standards in agenda setting reach. The image of a relatively harmonious and compliant workforce continues into the knowledge economy, now rubber stamped and enforceable by policy.

It seems increasingly to look like this – an overarching climate that says the tree is growing rapidly to adapt to global changes already, don’t try to shake it, too much. Public opinion online is more and more privilege to be taken with trepidation.

This, perhaps is the big reveal for their Intelligent Nation 2015 masterplan. Or a sudden jam brake. One of its big goals? 90% of the population on broadband. However, this happens at a time of its first strike alongside two public demonstrations, both a first in living memory. Last time it happened during its adolescent years as a nation the government struck down hard. As a young adult now, if you excuse the analogy, it will find it extremely hard to shake off the memories of those formative years.

Leave no stone unturned, and this might be a message that resonates with the Chinese.

Further reading – [PDF] REALISING THE iN2015 VISION – iDA, 2009

And

iN2015 Masterplan – An Intelligent Nation, A Global City

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New licensing scheme for news websites that reach 50,000 people a month
By Tessa Wong
Source – Straits Times, published May 28, 2013

From June 1, websites that regularly report Singapore news and have significant reach will require individual licences to operate.

Currently, most websites are covered automatically under a class licence scheme. But the Media Development Authority (MDA) will require websites to be individually licensed once they meet two criteria.

These are: if they report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore’s news and current affairs over a period of two months, and have at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a period of two months. The individual licenses have to be renewed every year.

Under the new framework, these sites must also put up a performance bond of $50,000, similar to that required for niche TV broadcasters.

Announcing the ruling on Tuesday, the MDA said the move would place such sites on a “more consistent regulatory framework” with traditional news platforms like newspapers and television stations, which are individually licensed.

The licence makes clear that online news sites are expected to remove content that is in breach of MDA standards within 24 hours, once notified to do so.

This material could cover content that is against the public interest, public security, or national harmony.

When the MDA deems that a site has met the criteria for individual licensing, it will issue a formal notification and work with the site to move it to the new framework.

Ten sites currently fit the media regulator’s criteria, of which seven are run by Singapore Press Holdings.

The 10 are: straitstimes.com, asiaone.com, businesstimes.com.sg, omy.sg, stomp.com.sg, tnp.sg, zaobao.com as well as the sites for Today newspaper, ChannelNewsAsia and Yahoo News.

Filed under: Charm Offensive, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Time to rebuild China-US trust [Straits Times] #SinoAmerica #RisingChina

A time to set a new example for the status quo?

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Time to rebuild China-US trust
Editorial
Source – Straits Times, published May 27, 2013

SUSPICION has overtaken trust in Sino-American ties in recent months for the summit between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 to assume greater than usual significance. The two leaders will have a face-to-face chance to clear the air over such frictions as North Korean nuclear arms, East and South China Sea island disputes, cyber-hacking and trade issues.

It is good that they are meeting a few months earlier than planned. Before intervening distractions arise, it would be helpful if the two leaders are able to deepen their personal rapport in the relaxed ambience of the Californian venue. It is important to set the right tone for cooperation as regional if not global stability rides very much on how these powers, the world’s two largest economies, conduct their relations.

Beyond immediate trouble-shooting, Mr Xi and Mr Obama can and should help their countries’ ties mature. The two sides have dozens of mechanisms for communication and cooperation at various levels, including the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. They certainly should, as Mr Xi suggests, make the most of these, but there is nothing like a summit to reset the way the leaders view and deal with each other.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Asia will resist U.S. efforts to contain China, says Singapore diplomat [Washington Times] #RisingChina #SinoAmerican #Contaiment

Note – article comes from the Washington Times October 2012…

It remains to be seen how Ashok Kumar Mirpuri is faring in the context of a much clearer Asian pivot already in place stirring up potential pincer proxy conflicts in the East and South China Sea.

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Asia will resist U.S. efforts to contain China, says Singapore diplomat
By Ashish Kumar Sen
Source – The Washington Times Sunday, October 14, 2012

Asian nations will resist any U.S. attempts to block the rise of China, as Washington pursues a new strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Singapore’s former ambassador in Washington.

“I think if the United States re-engages Asia to contain China it won’t work because countries in Asia won’t sign on to containment,” Chan Heng Chee said in a phone interview from Singapore.

“We don’t want another Cold War. The United States should not ask Asian countries to choose. You may not like the results if you ask countries to choose.”

Please click here to read the full article at the Washington Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Culture, East China Sea, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Soft Power, South China Sea, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Parents of teen vandal apologize after online rage [China Daily] #RisingChina #文明

Lessons along the road to 文明…

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Parents of teen vandal apologize after online rage
By Jin Haixing
Source – China Daily, published May 27, 2013

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Graffiti on the defaced Egyptian artifact says “Ding Jinhao was here”. Provided to China Daily.

The parents of a teen vandal from Jiangsu province have apologized to the public for the graffiti their son scratched on a stone sculpture in an ancient temple in Egypt, which triggered an online uproar as Internet users dubbed it a “loss of face” for all Chinese people.

A micro blogger found the Chinese characters carved on a cameo at the Luxor Temple, one of Egypt’s most renowned archaeological sites, in early May. The characters say “Ding Jinhao was here”.

The micro blog, posted on Friday night, triggered heated discussion online as the act of vandalism was condemned as being disrespectful to cultural relics.

Ding Jinhao’s parents, who live in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, apologized for his behavior on Saturday and asked for forgiveness from the public after angry Internet users discovered and revealed the identity of the young man, aged 14, a middle school student in Nanjing.

Please click here to read the full article from China Daily.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, Chinese Model, Culture, Education, Egypt, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Special Report: Why China’s film makers love to hate Japan [Reuters] #RisingChina #ScarTissue

Sino-Japanese relations are riddled with scabs aplenty, and flesh wounds run viscous and deep.

Chest thumping over Japan’s real and imagined threats are not new, they have run deep since proto-nationalism in the late 1800s.

They have paid a huge cost for failing to stand up to Japan, many times in living memory for many. They will not want a repeat of losing and then having to foot the victor’s repair bill, stripping itself of means to rebuild.

Of wider note then was Chinese resistance against foreign domination that culminated in the Battle of Peking. The guns ablazing Eight-Nation Alliance made China pay them $335 million (over $4 billion in current dollars) plus interest over a period of 39 years in 1901. It is hard to find breakdowns and how much goes to, who online. However, I found them in a visit to Sun Yat Sen’s former HQ in Singapore.

The world has to be realistic. There is no reason to believe the Chinese are preparing to be defeated on this one. Give and take on smaller issues yes, but when it comes to territorial disputes, I think no chance will be given. Its maritime force is not battle tested, and will itch for battle test-worthiness.

As for the central message behind the article below, it is noteworthy how China conducts its domestic charm offensive, through making cultural capital one of its to eight priorities for this phase of rise.

Perhaps it is unsurprising the us and them perceptual tendency is being amplified by broadcast media. Only this time it isn’t one-message fits all push propaganda like the Mao era. This is now a plethora of choice with 1.3b individuals with a developing sense of identity.

The state is going all out to build an effective dominant ideology stemming intertextually through a massive media ecology on a scale the world has never seen. And through that, the modernist Chinese identity is adapting contemporary values as China’s rise and place in the world shapes its view of itself, and how it sees itself in the world. One only has to visit China and just spend a day channel surfing, to see for oneself.

The tensions and the propaganda go far beyond the current spat. Underneath it all lies a struggle for power and influence in Asia between China and Japan – and political struggles within China itself. Many China watchers believe Beijing’s leaders nurture anti-Japanese hatred to bolster their own legitimacy, which is coming under question among citizens livid over problems ranging from official corruption to rampant environmental pollution. David Lague and Jane Lanhee Lee

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Special Report: Why China’s film makers love to hate Japan
By David Lague and Jane Lanhee Lee
Source – Reuters, published Hengdian, China | Sat May 25, 2013

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(Reuters) – Shi Zhongpeng dies for a living. For 3,000 yuan ($488) a month, the sturdily built stuntman is killed over and over playing Japanese soldiers in war movies and TV series churned out by Chinese film studios.

Despite his lack of dramatic range, the 23-year-old’s roles have made him a minor celebrity in China. Once, Shi says, he perished 31 times in a single day of battle. On the set of the television drama “Warning Smoke Everywhere,” which has just finished shooting here at the sprawling Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang Province, he suffers a typically grisly fate.

“I play a shameful Japanese soldier in a way that when people watch, they feel he deserves to die,” Shi says. “I get bombed in the end.”

For Chinese audiences, the extras mown down in a screen war that never ends are a powerful reminder of Japan’s brutal 14-year occupation, the climax of more than a century of humiliation at the hands of foreign powers.

Japanese foreign-policy scholars say more than 200 anti-Japanese films were made last year.

Please click here to read the full report at Reuters.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, japan, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Reuters, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China Economy by the Numbers (April 2013 Charts) [China Daily] #RisingChina #Charts

A useful time-saving resource to get updated on official Chinese numbers.

I suppose, in a way, this is the China Dream demonstrated in numbers.

Source – China Daily, published May 2013

a1

Source

Retail sales are up 12.8%

Source

Exports did well again, rising 14.7%

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade

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