Wandering China

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

Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage [BBC] #RisingChina #Economy

China announces restructuring phase to world and economic leaders.

The foundation for an economic rebound is still fragile with many uncertainties ahead,” Li Keqiang

Already on the cards…

The government has been undertaking key structural reforms, such as liberalising interest rates, allowing its currency to strengthen, and taking steps to reduce its dependency on exports.

Recent economic data showed a sharp rise in growth of exports and imports, as well as improvement in manufacturing figures. BBC

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Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage
Source – BBC, published 11 September 2013

Recent manufacturing data has soothed some fears of a “hard landing” for China’s economy

China’s economy is going through a “crucial” stage of restructuring, says the country’s Premier, Li Keqiang.

At the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Dalian, Mr Li pledged to improve relations with foreign firms.

He stressed that multinationals would get “equal treatment” with state-owned enterprises.

He added that China was well-placed to hit a growth target of 7.5% this year, despite a “complex” economic climate.

Please click here to read the entire article at the BBC online.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade

The Fastest Changing Place On Earth (BBC) #RisingChina #Urbanisation

The BBC with a ground up close up of what it means to ride China’s irresistible wave of land reform.The China model has a lot of mouths and expectations to feed. Much of its interior still requires some work – turning 500 million more rural folk into city folk is a great task at hand.

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This World tells the story of White Horse Village, a tiny farming community deep in rural China. A decade ago, it became part of the biggest urbanisation project in human history, as the Chinese government decided to take half a billion farmers and turn them into city-dwelling consumers.

It is a project with a speed and scale unimaginable anywhere else on Earth. In just ten years, the Chinese Government plan to build thousands of new cities, a new road network to rival that of the USA and 300 of the world’s biggest dams.

Carrie Gracie follows the lives of three local people during this upheaval, filmed over the past six years.

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, Youtube

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

Can China’s middle class spend the world out of recession? [BBC] #RisingChina #WorldsBiggestMiddleClass

Again, the fact that China’s urban population has only just surpassed its rural equivalent is an important consideration. Zooming in – In a way, it also depends on what this generation of young parents imbue their young with to keep up the next leg of China’s revival. The current generation X and Y retain the lineage of the family-centric worldview of consolidation and growth. When they spend its often with family at the forefront of major decisions.

A pal of mine foots a huge bill raising his daughter in Chengdu. With his wife they make a decent living but raising a child in the urban centers becomes possible only by extended family effort. On top of that, the scarcity of experienced healthcare staff make a grim overview to what should otherwise be a great time to raise a child along with China’s step up. The price of everything has gone up, impacting all demographics.

Along with the optimism, perhaps certain teething problems can be addressed and sorted out with this crop. The root of what others often misunderstand is to the Chinese, a simple act of reciprocating to benefactors and family. It will be hard to go away. The form may change, but the function remains.

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Can China’s middle class spend the world out of recession?
By John Sudworth
Source – BBC News,
Zhengzhou, China,
published 19 June 2013

Meet the Zhangs, one of China’s new middle-class families who some economists believe are going to spend their way to a revival of the global economy.

Zhang Dongyang runs his own construction company in Zhengzhou, one of China’s fastest growing cities.

His wife, Zhang Min, is a hospital administrator, and together they earn about $40,000 (£25,000) a year.

20130621-100332.jpg

My parents didn’t even have enough to eat, and enough to eat, and weren’t that keen on children’s education. We can afford almost anything we want” Zhang Min, Hospital administrator

They own their own apartment, mortgage free, drive a Japanese-made Lexus car and will, they say, soon start taking not one, but two holidays a year.

Their six-year-old son, Zhang Zhiye, attends a private school.

“Yes I do feel middle class,” Mr Zhang tells me, adding that it’s now become acceptable to admit it.

“People who are more capable rise to the top. This is natural. It is the survival of the fittest.”

Please clIck here to read the full article at the BBC website.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Green China, Health, History, Ideology, Inflation, Influence, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Poverty, Property, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Here flies the dragon: Chinese airlines flex their muscles [the Age] #RisingChina #Aviation

Fruits on reform to enhance connectivity checklist. Planes, working on it. Trains, ticked. Automobiles, working on it.

There is still a long road ahead for rising China to sort it its mass transit issues because quite simplify, its volume for ‘mass’ is one for larger than most countries can only dream off.

The bonus with air travel is the extended amount of positive influence that can be massaged into a short or long haul flight…

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Here flies the dragon: Chinese airlines flex their muscles
Matt O’Sullivan and Peter Cai
Source – The Age, published June 17, 2013

20130618-084905.jpg
Ready for takeoff: Passengers watch a China Southern Airlines plane take off at Shanghai’s Hongqiao International Airport last year. Photo: Reuters

Singapore Airline’s second-in-charge, Mak Swee Wah, summed up what looms on the horizon from China.

“Chinese airlines’ ambition is a reflection of the country’s ambition,” he said during a visit to Australia two weeks ago. “It is taken as a given that they will be growing aggressively.”

There is no doubt China’s airlines are beginning to flex their muscles.

In the case of China Southern, its tentative interest in a strategic stake in Qantas is reflective of a wider foray overseas by Chinese enterprises.

Please click here to read the full article at The Age.

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Filed under: Australia, Automotive, Aviation, BBC, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

China solar panel duties imposed by EU [BBC] #RisingChina #Solar #TradeWar

A free market on whose terms – is this really a fruitful solution or does it simply carve out more finely the edges to the us and them narrative.

This kills off a Chinese pet project in one flex of foreign and economic policy, one the Chinese state has been happy to fund and use as the spear tip in their economic incursions abroad.

They thought wrong about what the world wanted.

In their minds, value and efficiency were probably paramount, thinning margins no barrier to demands from markets in the West. Famously, only one dollar goes out if every Levi’s jeans made goes to the worker, and little more to the factory.

The authors of the free market are not prepared to truly shake its center and make it competitive globally. it seems demarcation by regionalism is the new cool in the semantic range of what free means. Of course it pleases business as it restores margins designed to feed an expected and established standard of living.

The Chinese now know there is divergence in consensus across the notion of global village, despite economic interdependence as a big player in global production networks – – – what free market means to them is little more than subtext to hypocrisy now. Despite bailing out Europe more than once and financing growth by sheer Chinese demand in so many areas, this is their reply.

In one act of posturing, the West gains an upper hand as it nips away at the supply carts of the Chinese green technology vanguard.

One thing is for sure as to what the Chinese will not do. Especially in this day and age.

They will react.

But, it is easy to hide intent behind words. Some taunting outside the walls of the foe’s gates will probably suffice now.

For more, see…

The US and the EU are clearly redefining their economic strategy, trying to defend their energy companies from Chinese competition. But some European partners seem uncertain what to do.

Germany won’t accept losing significant trade with China, and even Washington’s closest European ally, Britain, is worried about the consequences of these possible measures against China.

The EU Commission doesn’t seem to be really interested in the first two aims of renewable sources, environmental protection and energy diversification, but just willing to boycott Chinese production through an alliance with US. All these point to an old question: Is the “free market” really free?

Sino-EU solar trade war is lose-lose choice By Andrea Fais
Global Times OP-ED , June 4, 2013

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China solar panel duties imposed by EU
Andrew Walker
Source – BBC, published 4 June 2013

Analysis

BBC World Service Economics correspondent
How likely is a trade war? China is certainly angry about the tariffs and there is a lot of trade at stake – 21bn euros worth in 2011, according to the European Commission. But anti-dumping actions are an everyday feature of the global trade landscape. There has been an average of more than 200 a year. They are perfectly legal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, provided they follow the WTO’s procedures. Indeed China is a fairly big user of anti-dumping actions itself. The European Commission’s plan to start the anti-dumping duty tariff relatively low, and then increase it later, looks like a negotiating tactic. If the Chinese firms were prepared to undertake to charge a sufficiently higher price, the Commission could accept that. The duties are provisional at this stage and they could be removed if the EU countries decide to do so in December. That is a possibility. So the heat is on now, but there are still opportunities to extinguish the trade fires.

Andrew Walker

20130605-043350.jpg
The anti-dumping case is the biggest undertaken by the European Commission

The European Commission has announced it is imposing temporary anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports.

It comes despite opposition from Germany and other European Union members, and amid fears it could spark a trade war.

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

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Green China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Law, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

20130529-045431.jpg

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.

China ‘reveals army structure’ in defence white paper [BBC] #RisingChina #HardPower

Access the white paper here – The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces by the Information Office of the State Council (April 16, 2013)

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China ‘reveals army structure’ in defence white paper
Source – BBC, published April 16, 2013

China's increased military spend has worried many of its neighbours. Source - Reuters

China’s increased military spend has worried many of its neighbours. Source – Reuters

China has revealed the structure of its military units, in what state-run media describe as a first.

The army has a total of 850,000 officers, while the navy and air force have a strength of 235,000 and 398,000, China said in its defence white paper.

The paper also criticised the US’s expanded military presence in the Asia Pacific, saying it had exacerbated regional tensions.

China’s defence budget rose by 11.2% in 2012, exceeding $100bn (£65bn).

The defence white paper, which state media describe as China’s 8th since 1998, emphasised China’s “unshakable national commitment… to take the road of peaceful development”.

Please click here to read the article at its source.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

China turns against official extravagance #BBC #China #Prohibition

BBC: China taking steps to turn against wilful and opulent use of public money.

“It is very normal to have a banquet with over 10 courses. Some have 15 to 20. I’ve seen one where there were so many dishes they had to be stacked three-high.” Shanghai’s Hotel Industry Association Huang Tiemin
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China turns against official extravagance
By John Sudworth
Source – BBC, published February 6, 2013

Source - BBC: Such was the extent of officials' spending on luxuries that the clampdown is said to have depressed share prices in high-end liquors.

Source – BBC: Such was the extent of officials’ spending on luxuries that the clampdown is said to have depressed share prices in high-end liquors.

Shanghai’s Hotel Industry Association is, you would think, naturally a conservative kind of organisation.

It represents more than 50 five-star hotels, which cater for the city’s rich and powerful elite.

The association’s president, Huang Tiemin, is himself a top hotelier and a card-carrying member of the Communist Party.

Please click here to read rest of the article at its source.
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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, BBC, Charm Offensive, ChinaUS Focus, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economist, Government & Policy, Influence, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

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