Wandering China

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

Taxi drivers end strike in eastern Chinese city [AsiaOne/Reuters]

The democratisation of China or a reminder that the Chinese have never been happy to accept unjust conditions for too long. One only has to look back at the rise and topple of a multitude of dynasties over hundreds of emperors. Recent actions such as the Honda China strike revealed deep labour discontent at low wages amidst rising living costs. And they seem to be winning. Foxconn has been made to raise wages by up to 66-70% (depending on who you read) which is indicative of a notable shift of power back to the people. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to research at the Transition Institute, there have been 60 taxi strikes in Chinese cities in recent years.

For local coverage, check out China Daily – Striking cab drivers back to work in Hangzhou, August 5, 2011

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Taxi drivers end strike in eastern Chinese city
Reuters
Source – AsiaOne, published August 4, 2011

Photo: Reuters

SHANGHAI – Taxi drivers in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou have returned to work after three days of protests demanding higher wages, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.

A series of similar protests by taxi drivers have hit other cities across the nation, highlighting mounting frustration among migrant workers who make up a growing share of the country’s workforce.

The drivers in Hangzhou, who have gathered at several points throughout the picturesque city for the past three days, had begun taking passengers on Thursday morning after the government pledged to hold a public hearing and adjust fares, Xinhua reported. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Automotive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Honda Strike in Foshan 2010, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Politics, Population, Reform, Reuters, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport

Chinese businessman spends $1million on mother’s funeral [AsiaOne]

An insight into China’s domestic growth and the Chinese mind for filial piety. 600 musicians with 600 monks on top of 16 gold-plated cannons; juxtaposed with this statement –

The dramatic transformation in recent decades has created dozens of dollar billionaires in China, but also left millions more languishing at the bottom of the pile in a country still marked by grinding poverty among the rural masses.

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Chinese businessman spends $1million on mother’s funeral
AsiaOne
Source – AsiaOne, published Mar 07, 2011

Photo – AFP

CHINA – A Chinese businessman threw a lavish funeral for his mother that cost close to S$1 million.

The funeral procession included a fleet of eight stretched Lincoln limousines and other luxury cars for transporting family members.

There was also a large marching band of more than 600 musicians, and a row of 16 gold-painted cannons which fired a salute as the coffin passed.

Reports said that 600 monks carried out the funeral rites, and monks had to be recruited from neighbouring provinces because there were not enough monks in the province where the funeral was held. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Lifestyle, People, Population, Social

China says Dalai Lama has to reincarnate [AsiaOne/Reuters]

An attention-grabbing headline from Reuters found in AsiaOne – China says Dalai Lama has to reincarnate?

I am not sure it sets readers in the right headspace especially since the issue of China and Tibet has moved beyond just neighbouring tension to become a oft-used international relations / human rights weapon and to a lesser extent, popular culture phenomenon.

Nevertheless, the big question in China’s mind must be – which way forward to maintain stability if the Dalai Lama elects to break tradition by finding his successor by hand-picking or democratic elections. Tricky business as the outcome can lead China appointing their own successor resulting in there being two Dalai Lamas – one recognised by officialdom and the others by the exiles. More division? I doubt China wants that. However, as with things Tibet and Japan where the feelings and hurt run deep, what the rest see as common sense is unlikely to be the order of the day.

“Tibetan Buddhism has a history of more than 1,000 years, and the reincarnation institutions of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama have been carried on for several hundred years…” Padma Choling

For more on Padma Choling, go here (NewsWeek, 2010)

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China says Dalai Lama has to reincarnate
Reuters
Source – AsiaOne, published Mar 07, 2011

 

Photo - AFP

It is unclear how the 76-year-old Dalai Lama, who lives in India and is revered by many Tibetans, plans to pick his successor. He has said that the succession process could break with tradition – either by being hand-picked by him or through democratic elections.

But Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, said that the Dalai Lama had no right to abolish the institution of reincarnation, underscoring China’s hardline stance on one of the most sensitive issues for the restless and remote region. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Culture, Greater China, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Nationalism, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reuters, Social, Soft Power, Tibet

China schoolgirl aspires to be ‘corrupt official’:state media [AsiaOne/AFP]

Has the ugliness and material realism of life beginning to manifest in the Chinese young? One child may not be entirely representative, but it is a sign that the seeds are sown.

Many chatroom users praised the child for her “realistic” outlook on life, while others expressed cynicism over rampant corruption in China.

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China schoolgirl aspires to be ‘corrupt official’:state media
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published September 04, 2009

BEIJING – A six-year-old girl has become a media darling in China on her first day of school by expressing her aspiration to become a “corrupt official” when she grows up, state media said Friday.

The young student stated her aspirations in a televised interview that was posted on a southern China website, leading bloggers to describe her comments as “a reflection of social reality,” the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

“When I grow up I want to be an official,” said the girl, whose face was blurred to protect her identity. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Corruption, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Lifestyle, Social

16 dead, 25 injured in 2 China road accidents [AsiaOne/AFP]

190 dead a day due to road accidents is no small amount.

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16 dead, 25 injured in 2 China road accidents
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published December 27, 2010

BEIJING – At least 16 people were killed – including nine schoolchildren – and 25 injured in two car accidents in China on Monday, one of which involved over 100 vehicles, state press reported.

The nine children died when the vehicle in which they were travelling plunged off a road in central Hunan province early Monday, Xinhua news agency said.

One person was missing in the accident in Hengnan county, while 10 others were injured, the report said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Automotive, Domestic Growth, Environment, People, Population, Social

Beijing may implement car taxes S’pore-style [Reuters/AsiaOne]

When I was in China, I saw a news program that analyzed China’s predicament of having 2,000 new cars on the road each day. There are 4.7 million cars there now. According to this article, there will be 7 million by 2012. Clear skies might come in even shorter supply now.

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Beijing may implement car taxes S’pore-style
Reuters
Source – AsiaOne, published December 10, 2010

BEIJING – Drivers in China’s capital Beijing may have to pay to drive their cars in the near future, as part of measures the government will introduce to fight ever-worsening traffic gridlock in the city, local media said on Thursday.

Beijing’s policy incentives helped propel China pass the United States as the world’s biggest auto market in 2009, but the worsening air quality and traffic have now become a hazard in major Chinese cities.

By 2012, Beijing alone will have 7 million vehicles on the road, rising sharply form 4.7 million now, the National Business Daily said, citing statistics provided by the municipal transportation authorities. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Automotive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Green China, People, Population, Transport

Chinese skipper home from Japan as Beijing demands apology [AsiaOne/AFP]

“[Japan’s] conservative opposition was quick to lash out at what it saw as a loss of face for Japan, which has this year been overtaken by traditional rival China as the world’s number two economy.”

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Chinese skipper home from Japan as Beijing demands apology
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published September 25, 2010

BEIJING – The Chinese trawlerman whose arrest sparked a major row arrived home on Saturday after being released by Japanese prosecutors as Beijing called for compensation and an apology for the “unlawful” detention.

In a far from conciliatory statement, China’s foreign ministry insisted the disputed islands at the centre of the diplomatic standoff were Beijing’s “inherent territory”, according to a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

“(The arrest) seriously infringed upon China’s territorial sovereignty and violated the human rights of Chinese citizens,” the statement said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Diaoyu Fishing Boat Incident 2010, History, Influence, International Relations, japan, military, Nationalism, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power

Buffett, Gates say no pressure on China philanthropy tour [AsiaOne/Reuters]

With the second largest number of billionaires in the world, China’s lot has certainly improved; and it seems like time to give back.

“The present generation of successful entrepreneurs has an opportunity to set an example for future generations in China,”said Warren and Gates, whose Giving Pledge has attracted 40 members who promise to give at least half of their wealth during their lifetime or upon their death.

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Buffett, Gates say no pressure on China philanthropy tour
Reuters
Source – AsiaOne, published September 14, 2010

BEIJING – Two of the world’s richest men and most generous donors, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, said on Tuesday they would not be putting pressure on China’s dozens of billionaires during a visit to the country to promote giving.

Microsoft founder Gates and investor Buffett said they would not be pushing mega-wealthy families to sign up to their Giving Pledge campaign because China had to develop its own culture of philanthropy.

“Some people have wondered if we’re coming to China to pressure people to give. Not at all,” Buffett and Gates said in a joint letter, in response to questions from China’s official Xinhua news agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Influence, Media, Philanthropy, Public Diplomacy, Reuters, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Stefanie Sun appointed S’pore’s tourism ambassador for China [AsiaOne]

Stefanie Sun appointed S’pore’s tourism ambassador for China
Source – AsiaOne, published September 09, 2010

Local singer to headline a series of marketing campaigns and TV commercials over the next two years. Photo – AsiaOne

LOCAL songbird Stefanie Sun will play a key role in Singapore’s efforts to tap the Chinese visitor market, with her appointment as the new tourism ambassador for Greater China on Tuesday.

Over the next two years, Ms Sun will make special appearances at Singapore Tourism Board (STB) events in China and headline a series of marketing campaigns and television commercials.

In her tenure, the 32-year-old said she will highlight three distinctive itineraries – Singapore as a business-friendly city; a destination offering unique nature and cultural experiences; as well as a lifestyle city for family and friends. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Culture, Economics, Greater China, International Relations, People, Singapore, Social

China seeks culture agreement [with Taiwan] [Straits Times/AFP]

War with military hardware as painted by the dominant media? Unlikely.

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China seeks culture agreement [with Taiwan]
AFP
Source – Straits Times, published September 6, 2010

Cai Wu (centre), the highest-ranking mainland official to visit the island in 12 years, said details of the plan have not been finalised but suggested building on a sweeping trade pact the two sides forged earlier this year. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI – CHINA’S visiting culture minister said on Sunday the mainland was seeking a culture agreement with Taiwan, in a fresh sign of the warming ties between the two former rivals.

Cai Wu, the highest-ranking mainland official to visit the island in 12 years, said details of the plan have not been finalised but suggested building on a sweeping trade pact the two sides forged earlier this year.

‘For instance, I’m wondering if it is possible to sign an agreement patterning after the ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement)… it is still under discussion,’ Mr Cai said during a press conference while touring Taipei’s National Palace Museum. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Influence, International Relations, military, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Strategy, Taiwan

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