Wandering China

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

Bill Gates, Robin Li form health alliance [China Daily]

China: Bill Gates has been active in China meeting the wealthy to promote giving.

– Gates and Buffett due in China to meet the wealthy [AsiaOne/AFP] – August 25 2010

– Buffett, Gates say no pressure on China philanthropy tour [AsiaOne/Reuters] – September 14, 2010

Headlining photo story on the China Daily online today on an alliance between businessmen and philanthropists Bill Gates and Robin Li to form the “Alliance for Healthy China” and their first move? To attack smoking in arguably the world’s biggest smoking nation. According to a BBC report,Smoking could eventually kill a third of all young Chinese men if nothing is done to get them to drop the habit, according to the largest ever survey of tobacco use (though a landmark and largest survey of tobacco use with 1.25 million people surveyed)

– – –

Bill Gates, Robin Li form health alliance
Source – China Daily, published June 11, 2011

Source – Agencies

Bill Gates (R), Microsoft Corp co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Robin Li, founder and chief executive of Chinese search engine Baidu, put on shirts bearing the slogan: “Say No to Involuntary Smoking”, during a media conference in Beijing June 11, 2011. Gates and Li signed an agreement to form an alliance between their charitable foundations called the “Alliance for Healthy China”. [Photo/Agencies]


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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Blue, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Health, Influence, International Relations, Media, Philanthropy, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Wandering China pioneering log and China Blue.

“Close your eyes and it will come to you.”

This pioneering entry marks the beginning of Bob’s scratchpad on researching the imagination of China. Will greatly appreciate all comments, critiques and honest truths. So, here it is, the beginning of a trip over 18,000 words, dreams and schemes and difficult truths.

Attended a class on contemporary China at uni today, conducted by PhD student Alexander Lugg. The seminar involved an hour-long documentary by Independent Lens (I like the idea behind the name) called China Blue chronicling the journey of an 18 year-old Chinese girl from Sichuan province, which they described as Central China.

Geographically, and in today’s context of the People’s Republic of China, it is indeed Central-ish, but in the context of China proper, i.e. without the Tibet and Xinjiang Autonomous Regions, it’s really south-west China. Sichuan is described as a friend (who’s from Chengdu, the capital of the province) as the land of plenty, good food, good environment, and well, peace & love. But I digress. The protagonist in the doco had to leave Sichuan for Shenzhen (like 130 million other Chinese who’re involved in the world’s biggest human migration within a country or otherwise to date) , a predominantly Cantonese-speaking area in the South-east, which has been the catalyst (some argue) for China’s prosperity (both economically and intellectually) for some time now.

Here’s the blurp on the film –
“They live crowded together in cement factory dormitories where water has to be carried upstairs in buckets. Their meals and rent are deducted from their wages, which amount to less than a dollar a day. Most of the jeans they make in the factory are purchased by retailers in the U.S. and other countries. CHINA BLUE takes viewers inside a blue jeans factory in southern China, where teenage workers struggle to survive harsh working conditions. Providing perspectives from both the top and bottom levels of the factory’s hierarchy, the film looks at complex issues of globalization from the human level.”

What was particularly engaging about the film was this simple premise – the poor conditions are really the result of a greedy mind – capitalist-minded Western big corps wanting the highest margins for their products as possible, and forcing ridiculous whole-sale prices from the Chinese. And how do the Chinese make their products cheaper? Make their workers work harder, and pay them less and less. And of course, profit driven bosses have little choice. If they don’t beat the stick, they’ll simply lose business to other companies more willing to whip their employees and pay them even less.

More to come!

This will be a regular feature.

The Significant Figure of this blog entry is – – –
130 million
economic migrants moving around in China

Filed under: China Blue

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The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

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Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

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Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

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A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

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Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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