Wandering China

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

China officials slam themselves – on TV [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Self-Cleansing

China: reflexive days ahead?

Also, see Sweating and on the verge of tears: Chinese officials carry out self-criticism on TV

by Zhang Hong (South China Morning Post)

Source - SCMP, September 28, 2013

Source – SCMP, September 28, 2013

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China officials slam themselves – on TV
Criticism session part of CCP’s self-cleansing campaign: Observers
Source – Straits Times, published September 28, 2013

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IT WAS a made-for-television criticism and self-criticism show.

In an unprecedented move, China’s state broadcaster CCTV showed top officials of Hebei province criticising “impatient” superiors even as they admitted to overspending on things like official cars and lavish dinners.

Observers noted that the programme televised on Wednesday is a first, and shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intensifying its “self-cleansing” campaign.

They also said other provinces might follow Hebei’s lead, and that the people would dismiss such “self-criticism” sessions as a mere show, unless errant officials were also taken to task.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times online.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Hunting tigers: In cracking down on corrupt officials, Xi Jinping must not forget fundamental reforms [Economist] #RisingChina #Reform #Corruption

Another tiger bites the dust? Jiang Jiemin 蒋洁敏 (here for biography) removed as head state asset regulator.

China sacks head of state asset regulator Jiang Jiemin amid graft probe (SCMP, September 3, 2013)

China Probes State-Assets Head as Anti-Graft Push Widens (Bloomberg, September 2, 2013)

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Hunting tigers- In cracking down on corrupt officials, Xi Jinping must not forget fundamental reforms
Source – Economist, published Sep 7th 2013 | From the print edition

20130908-103610.jpg
photo source -AP

A DRIVE against corruption? Or a political purge? Or a bit of both? Outside China, not many people noticed the dismissal of Jiang Jiemin, the minister overseeing China’s powerful state-owned enterprises (SOEs). His charge—“serious violations of discipline”—is party-speak for corruption. Officials at CNPC, a state-run oil giant which Mr Jiang used to run, have also been charged. But in Beijing it fits a pattern. It follows on from the trial of Bo Xilai, the princeling who ran the huge region of Chongqing and was a notable rival of Xi Jinping, China’s president. Mr Xi now seems to be gunning for an even bigger beast: Zhou Yongkang, Mr Jiang’s mentor, an ally of Mr Bo’s, and until last year the head of internal security whom Mr Bo once hoped to replace (see article).

Mr Xi vows to fight corrupt officials large and small—“tigers” and “flies” as he puts it. He has certainly made as much or more noise about graft as his predecessors. If Mr Zhou is pursued for corruption, it will break an unwritten rule that the standing committee should not go after its own members, past or present. And there are good reasons for Mr Xi to stamp out corruption. He knows that ill-gotten wealth is, to many ordinary people, the chief mark against the party. It also undermines the state’s economic power.

But this corruption drive is also open to another interpretation. To begin with, the tigers being rounded up are Mr Xi’s enemies. Mr Bo had hoped to use Chongqing as the springboard to the Politburo’s standing committee. The verdict on Mr Bo, expected any day, is a foregone conclusion. His sentence will be decided at the highest levels of the Communist Party, and it can only be harsh. Party politics, as seen by its players, is an all-or-nothing game, and the stakes are even higher when family prestige and fortunes are at stake.

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

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The Economist

Death Row Interviews [BBC, 2012] #RisingChina #DeathRow

This program ran across two important periods in defining how  China sees the point of no return. 

With an updated outlook in 2011, it shed 13 crimes from its list of the unpardonable.  This series would have captured this transition with a source of personal narratives that would otherwise never would never see light of day. In some ways this program demonstrated a willingness of the state to give some latitude toward intense self-examination. No longer running, Interviews Before Execution first aired in 2006 and covered 226 interviews with death row inmates until 2012.

Also, see

Why China Executes So Many People (The Atalantic, May 11, 2013)
The Bureau Investigates – The dead talking (March 13, 2012)
NBC’s Behind the Wall: Chinese TV show ‘Interviews before Execution’ stirs controversy (March 13, 2012)

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Death Row Interviews
Source – BBC on Youtube, Published on 16 May 2013

Every Saturday night in China, millions gather around their televisions to watch Interviews Before Execution, an extraordinary talk show which interviews prisoners on death row.

In the weeks, days or even minutes before they are executed, presenter Ding Yu goes into prisons and talks to those condemned to die. Combining clips from the TV show, never-before-seen footage of China’s death row and interviews with a local judge who openly questions the future of the death penalty in China, This World reveals a part of China that is generally hidden from from view.

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

What to Make of Xi Jinping’s Maoist Turn [WSJ] #RisingChina #NewLeadership

Thoughts from the WSJ on Xi’s apparent Maoist turn.

…these Party editorials are intended for cadres, not citizens. The idea is for officials to sit up, take notice of their shortcomings and start working differently. Citizens aren’t being coerced or prepared for disappointment; it’s cadres who are being told to change.

20130622-085035.jpg

– To believe that a set of instructions would serve its dominant hegemonic purpose with full fidelity is a huge overstep. The range of publicly available party literature can be staggering, just rock up to any of the Xinhua bookstores. This was taken in Chongqing earlier in 2013.

Additionally, mass line in the English language does not carry the semantic gravitas of 群众路线. For more on the 群众路线 mass line , see 人民日报评论部:群众路线是“执政生命线” People’s Daily, June 18, 2013

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What to Make of Xi Jinping’s Maoist Turn
By Russell Leigh Moses
Source – Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report, published June 21, 2013

20130622-083525.jpg

by Tim O’brien

Is Xi Jinping lurching towards a Maoist revival?

With a number of Mao-like pronouncements emanating from Beijing in recent months, some observers of Chinese politics think he might be.

The most recent example is an editorial published earlier this week in the authoritative People’s Daily (in Chinese), which argues that the “mass line is the ruling lifeline” for the Communist Party.

In the days since, that phrase has proliferated through state media, with the official Xinhua news agency announcing on Thursday that the Communist Party had published, not one, but two new books on interpretations of “mass line” by everyone from Friederich Engels to Jiang Zemin.

The concept of a mass line harkens directly back to the Maoist era. It denotes the need for officials to get close to the masses, and to know their needs and demands intimately. References to “taking the mass line” have reappeared only sporadically in the years since reform took hold, as revolutionary visions were largely supplanted by slogans emphasizing China’s need for scientific development.

Xi himself took this new campaign high-profile in a videoconference meeting Tuesday (in Chinese), outlining the need for a crusade to educate Party members about the evils of the “Four Winds,” namely “formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and waste.” He argued that cadres “should focus on self-purification, self-improvement, self-innovation, self-awareness”—or, as he put it in a folksy way, “”watching from the mirror, grooming oneself, taking a bath and seeking remedies.”

Please click here to read the full article at the Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Maoism, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Xi Jinping

China’s Xi harks back to Mao in party ‘cleanup’ [AP] #RisingChina #Corruption

The exemplary clean up is inevitable with every leadership change – how far down the root it goes is the question that remains unanswered – will there be no sacred cows this time?

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China’s Xi harks back to Mao in party ‘cleanup’
by GILLIAN WONG
Source: Associated Press Mobile, published June 20, 2013

In this June 18, 2013 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's President Xi Jinping addresses a conference on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) campaign aimed at boosting ties between CPC members and the public, in Beijing. China’s leadership wants to show a cynical public that it’s modernizing and serious about graft, but it appears to be favoring a top-down ideological campaign - with study sessions, self-criticism and propaganda - over imposing real checks on power. That worries many observers, not only because they doubt it will work, but because the tactic appears to be ripped out of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s playbook. Photo - AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Jiansheng

In this June 18, 2013 photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, China’s President Xi Jinping addresses a conference on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) campaign aimed at boosting ties between CPC members and the public, in Beijing. China’s leadership wants to show a cynical public that it’s modernizing and serious about graft, but it appears to be favoring a top-down ideological campaign – with study sessions, self-criticism and propaganda – over imposing real checks on power. That worries many observers, not only because they doubt it will work, but because the tactic appears to be ripped out of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s playbook. Photo – AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Jiansheng

BEIJING (AP) – China’s new leader Xi Jinping is commanding wayward Communist Party cadres to purify themselves of corruption, and he’s summed it up in a pithy slogan as Mao Zedong might have done: Look in the mirror, take a bath.

China’s leadership wants to show a cynical public that it’s modernizing and serious about graft, but it appears to be favoring a top-down ideological campaign – with study sessions, self-criticism and propaganda – over imposing real checks on power. That worries many observers, not only because they doubt it will work, but because the tactic appears to be ripped out of the playbook of Mao, the founder of Communist China.

“Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the Communist Party’s survival or extinction,” Xi said in a message via teleconference Tuesday to top party cadres gathered in groups in their provinces and cities nationwide.

Please click here to read the full article at AP Mobile.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, AP, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

China’s former railways minister stands trial for corruption [Xinhua] #RisingChina #Corruption #Transport

Doing what has to be done to demonstrate that no ivory tower exists in the management of Rising China’s  arteries, at least for now at the ministerial level. Liu Zhijun 劉志軍, despite being head of China’s second most powerful ministry capable of some level of unilateral decision making (arguably, after the military )

Interesting his fact-file is still available on the Chinese government official portal.

For more, please see:

– Former railways minister seeks leniency on corruption charges (South China Morning Post, June 10, 2013)

– Chinese former minister Liu Zhijun’s trial on corruption charges begins (Guardian, June 10, 2013)

And a blast from the past – two years ago

– China’s railway minister under investigation over “disciplinary violation” (Xinhua, Feb 12, 2011)

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China’s former railways minister stands trial for corruption
Source – Xinhua, published June 9, 2013

Video grab shows China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse o

Video grab shows China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Source - Xinhua, by Gong Lei)

Video grab shows China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Source – Xinhua, by Gong Lei)

BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) — China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun stood trial in a court in Beijing on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

According to the indictment by the Second Branch of the Beijing People’s Procuratorate, Liu took advantage of his position and helped 11 people win promotions and project contracts, and accepted 64.6 million yuan (10.53 million U.S. dollars) in bribes from them between 1986 to 2011.

During his tenure as the railways minister, Liu is suspected of helping Ding Yuxin and her relatives to win cargo transportation and railway construction contracts. He also helped them in the acquisition of shares in a bullet train wheel set company and with enterprise financing, by breaking regulations and applying favoritism, which allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits, according to the indictment.

Please click here to read the full article at Xinhua. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, Transport, xinhua

Why China’s Current Anti-Corruption Campaign is Different [Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #Corruption #NewLeadership

By hook or by crook, this systemic dent has always impeded China’s full potential.

It has been one of its major Achilles heels since antiquity. That said and I argue again, it is not corruption that troubles, but the means of facilitating one’s ascent in contemporary Chinese society. One need to be a an increasingly big spender to afford an entourage. The entourage too has mouths to feed and the mouths are real. Desires are at a all fine high with advertising texts robbing Chinese skylines of their natural harmony with the environment – today feeding consumerism is the name of the game.

The one seeking ascendancy is no longer feeding an entourage of farmers from the village. The downstream effect that you have to be generous too their family to gain utmost trust is an expensive one in today’s terms.

A study of the major Chinese narratives and works of literature, right down to contemporary state sponsored Chinese-made TV today reveals much. It is an inherently deep Chinese lament. In the past when the Chinese echelons got corrupt and softened, foreign powers sat on their throne as recent as living memory.

Wang Qishan – man for the job to prevent this negative slide?

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Why China’s Current Anti-Corruption Campaign is Different
By Russell Leigh Moses
Dean of Academics and Faculty at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies
Source – Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report, published May 30, 2013

After witnessing previous campaigns against corruption fizzle out, or turn into an excuse for political backstabbing, the Chinese public might well be skeptical about President Xi Jinping’s latest attempt to rectify the Communist Party.

This present campaign, however, is beginning to look very different from the usual side-stepping that is done largely to impress the public.

And if reform-minded party cadres throw their support Mr. Xi’s way, it could turn into a broader effort to make the party more accountable.

Please click here to read the full article at the Wall Street Journal.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Corruption, Domestic Growth, Education, Finance, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Wall Street Journal

China Update: Corruption crackdown, slower growth and Singapore [An Abundant World] #RisingChina #Corruption

China bull James White on the prospect of transiting into a mixed model – Singapore style.

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China Update: Corruption crackdown, slower growth and Singapore
By James White
Source – An Abundant World, published May 30, 2013

Back at the start of the year I wrote a bullish synopsis of the outlook for China in 2013 and 2014. It seemed to me that growth would accelerate in 2013 from the lows of August 2012 to towards 9%. It also seemed, to me, that inflation would be very subdued and allow growth to be robust for a 24 month period before any move to aggressive tightening was made. Three or four months later I remain confident about subdued prices and the outlook for 2014. But clearly the outlook for the current year has weakened dramatically. The question is why?

Obviously, I don’t fall into the China bear camp. There’s still substantial growth to come in China. But undoubtedly, activity is not as robust as I suspected it would be.

The answer for me is the corruption crackdown and it’s fallout.

Please click here to read the full article at An Abundant World.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Trade

Why China Executes So Many People [The Atalantic] #RisingChina #Ideology #CapitalPunishment

The title might provoke as it fails to provide a wider sense of reference to execution rates per capita to qualify ‘so many people’. Portraying China with such negative headline bias is not the smartest trick in the book.

China has six times more people at least. Social stability perhaps does not carry much semantic weight until one has visited and stepped foot into China. Managing people on such a scale requires a firmer hand in some areas, with a lighter touch on other areas.

Yet, it simply shows the song remains the same.

Through antiquity, the elite class functioned above the law – reform here will remain difficult, but policies are set in the right direction. The challenge remains in eliminating the culture of downstream beneficiaries to support one’s own ascension in modern Chinese society.

And just like the old days the everyday people have to wait their turn outside petition areas or outside the gates of official walls if they want to express their claims the old way – many times they do this with critical mass and with notable effect. Of course, social media is the new public opinion outlet today.

However its approach of getting to the root is time-tested, and goes some way to explain the numbers. This usually means eliminating a whole chain as far as possible.

In 2011, China  made efforts to amend the number of capital crimes from 68-55.

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Why China Executes So Many People
by Zi Heng Lim
Source – The Atlantic, published May 10,2013

Suspects listen to their verdicts at a court in Kunming, Yunnan province, November 6, 2012. Photo source (Reuters)

Suspects listen to their verdicts at a court in Kunming, Yunnan province, November 6, 2012. Photo source (Reuters)

Zhang Jing has only seen her husband four times in the past four years. This Thursday, it will have been be exactly two years since they last met.

And she may never see him again.

That’s because Zhang’s husband, Xia Junfeng, a former street vendor in the northeastern city of Shenyang, was sentenced to death in 2011 for stabbing to death two chengguan, who are much-maligned city management inspectors responsible for enforcing law and order.

The sentence is now under final review by the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing. If approved, Xia will not be able to appeal and will be executed.

Please click here to read the full article at the Atlantic Mobile.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Population, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Atlantic, The Chinese Identity

Rat Meat Sold as Lamb Highlights Fear in China [New York Times] #RisingChina #FoodSafety

Evidence not all Chinese are positioned to participate in China’s rise as part of a collective leap.

Food safety and environmental protection face the same problem that although regulatory capacity has expanded, there’s been no fundamental change for the better… The fact that the police have become involved shows how serious the problems still are.” Mao Shoulong, professor of public policy at Renmin University in Beijing

To read the actual Ministry of Public Security report please go here (In Chinese)
公安机关集中打击肉制品犯罪保卫餐桌安全

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Rat Meat Sold as Lamb Highlights Fear in China
By Chris Buckley
Source – New York Times, published May 3, 2013

HONG KONG — Even for China’s scandal-numbed diners, inured to endless outrages about food hazards, news that the lamb simmering in the pot may actually be rat tested new depths of disgust.

In an announcement intended to show that the government is serious about improving food safety, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday that the police had caught a gang of traders in eastern China who bought rat, fox and mink flesh and sold it as mutton. But that and other cases of meat smuggling, faking and adulteration featured in Chinese newspapers and Web sites on Friday were unlikely to instill confidence in consumers already queasy over many reports about meat, fruit and vegetables laden with disease, toxins, banned dyes and preservatives.

Sixty-three people were arrested and accused of “buying fox, mink and rat and other meat products that had not undergone inspection,” which they doused in gelatin, red pigment and nitrates, and sold as mutton in Shanghai and adjacent Jiangsu Province for about $1.6 million, according to the ministry’s statement. The report, posted on the Internet, did not explain how exactly the traders acquired the rats and other creatures.

“How many rats does it take to put together a sheep?” said one typically baffled and angry user of Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblog service that often acts as a forum for public venting. “Is it cheaper to raise rats than sheep?”

Please click here to read the full article at its source.

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bird Flu, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Health, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Poverty, Reform, Resources, The Chinese Identity

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