Wandering China

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

Once China catches up – what then? [Straits Times] #RisingChina

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew on China’s economic prowess, cultural handicaps and the balance of power in the Pacific.

‘I believe that during the next 30 years, the Chinese will have no desire to enter into a conflict with the US. They know they will continue to grow stronger, but they are also aware of how far behind they are technologically. They require continued access to American schools so their students can learn how to reinvent themselves.’ Lee Kuan Yew, 2013

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Once China catches up – what then?
By Lee Kuan Yew
Source – Straits Times, Published Sep 27, 2013

Pedestrians walk past commercial buildings in Shanghai. In 2020, China’s per capita GDP is projected to reach US$10,000, one-fifth that projected for the US. And China’s population will remain four times that of the US. — PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BARRING any major disruption, the speed at which China is growing in terms of total gross domestic product will enable it to catch up with the US by 2020. China will then go on to surpass America.

During the 1978-2011 period, China’s high average rate of growth – about 10 per cent annually – was the result of Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 trip to Singapore and his subsequent decision to implement economic reforms and open the economy to international investment. During that period, the US economy’s annual growth rate was 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

Despite the financial debt crisis in Europe and the turmoil in US markets over the past few years, China’s economy has continued to register strong growth. According to the World Bank, China’s US$8.22 trillion (S$10.3 trillion) economy is now the second largest in the world, compared with the US$15.68 trillion US economy. China is the world’s largest exporter and its second-largest importer. The recent global economic crisis has allowed China to close its economic gap with the world’s top developed nations.

In 2012, China’s per capita GDP was US$9,233, compared with US$49,965 in the US. In 2020, China’s per capita GDP is projected to reach US$10,000, one-fifth that projected for the US. China’s population in 2012 was 1.4 billion, America’s 316.5 million. In 2020, China’s population will remain four times that of the US. China’s economic growth rate will continue to increase at a much higher rate because the base upon which its economy will grow is enormous in comparison.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times online.
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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, U.S.

East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu [bsix12.com] #RisingChina #Representation

Germany meets China from the eyes of one born in China and living in Germany since the age of 14.

Read an interview dated November 13, 2007 with Yang Liu here.

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East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu
Submitted by Rainer Falle
Source – bsix12.com published – [not dated]

The artist and visual designer Yang Liu was born in China and lives in Germany since she was 14. By growing up in two very different places with very different traditions she was able to experience the differences between the two cultures first-hand.

Drawing from her own experience Yang Liu created minimalistic visualizations using simple symbols and shapes to convey just how different the two cultures are. The blue side represents Germany (or western culture) and the red side China (or eastern culture):

Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent
Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent

Attitude towards punctuality
Attitude towards punctuality

At a party
At a party

Please click here to read the rest of the article and inforgraphics at bsix12.com online.

Filed under: Advertising, Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Education, Environment, Ethnicity, Germany, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Population, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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

A Rising China Needs a New National Story [Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #NationalNarrative

A Rising China Needs a New National Story: The WSJ prescribing a need for China to ‘define itself with a more constructive national story’. In doing so, they identify China’s a potent motivator for its continued rise thus far – a dominant hegemonic us and them narrative that resonates across all strata of Chinese, within and outside China.

Still, it is time for China and the more vociferous propagandists in Beijing to move beyond declarations about China’s “one hundred years of national humiliation.” That period has come to an end. The world has changed, China and the West have changed, and a new narrative is necessary for China to achieve its declared aim of equality and a “new type of great power relationship.”

For more, check out Professor Schell in an assessment of China’s long-term plans back in 2006. [running time about 1.5 hrs]

Orville Schell: China Thinks Long-term from The Long Now Foundation on FORA.tv

Also, see the Hidden Harmonies response to the article here.

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A Rising China Needs a New National Story
To move forward, the country must move on from its emphasis on a century of ‘national humiliation’
By Orville SCHELL and John DELURY
Source – Wall Street Journal, published July 12, 2013

Source - Malcolm Greensmith Collection/The Image Works The capture of a Chinese Imperial Dragon Standard at the Battle of Chusan during the First Opium War. Painting by Malcolm Greensmith.

Source – Malcolm Greensmith Collection/The Image Works
The capture of a Chinese Imperial Dragon Standard at the Battle of Chusan during the First Opium War. Painting by Malcolm Greensmith.

Every July, amid festivities and fireworks, the U.S. and France mark their birth as nations. Accustomed as we are in the West to histories that begin with triumph—the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the storming of the Bastille—it may seem strange that China, the fast-rising dynamo of the East, marks the beginning of its journey to modern nationhood in a very different way: with the shock of unexpected defeat and the loss of national greatness.

Many Chinese date the start of their modern history to Aug. 11, 1842, when the Qing Dynasty, by signing the Treaty of Nanjing, capitulated to Great Britain in order to end the disastrous First Opium War (1839-42). It was from this and many other subsequent defeats that China’s political elites—including the most progressive 20th-century reformers and revolutionaries—wove an entire national narrative of foreign exploitation and victimization. Even today, this fabric of ideas continues to hold powerful sway over China’s relations with the rest of the world.

The artifacts of China’s formative moment can be seen at the Temple of the Tranquil Seas, which sits on a narrow slice of land in the northwest part of Nanjing on the banks of the Yangtze River. It was here, in the oppressive heat of August 1842, that Chinese negotiators were forced to sit with their British counterparts and hammer out the crushing terms of the treaty. The negotiating chamber in the old temple has now been restored to something resembling its original state. A nearby exhibition covers the painful history of “China’s unequal treaties,” which imposed territorial concessions and onerous indemnities that remained in force until the 1940s.

Please go here to read the entire article at the Wall Street Journal online.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Education, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

China’s online population rises to 591 million [AP] #RisingChina #DigitalDivide

Going out to the masses via the wire agencies: China continues to bridge its digital divide.

For more, see China Internet Network Information Center.

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China’s online population rises to 519 million
Source – Associated Press, published July 17, 2013

BEIJING (AP) – China’s population of Internet users has grown to 591 million, driven by a 20 percent rise over the past year in the number of people who surf the Web from smartphones and other wireless devices, an industry group reported Wednesday.

The end-of-June figures from the China Internet Network Information Center represent a 10 percent rise in total Internet use over a year earlier. The number of wireless users rose to 464 million.

The communist government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or obscene. The rise of Web use has driven the growth of new Chinese industries from online shopping and microblogs to online video.

Please click here to read the entire article at the AP site.

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Filed under: AP, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Internet, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Parents learn a costly lesson on homes [China Daily] #RisingChina #Education

The commodification of education meets the Chinese mind.

A 28-sq-m one-bedroom apartment recently sold for 2.35 million yuan – an incredible 83,000 yuan per sq m – in the downtown district of Jing’an. The buyers bought their apartment simply so their child would be eligible to attend a well-respected school, the Shanghai Morning Post reported in June.

To keep up to date on China’s education reforms, please check out the China Daily special here.

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Parents learn a costly lesson on homes
By Wang Ying
Source – China Daily, published July 2, 2013

The battle for a better education goes beyond schools, as Wang Ying reports in Shanghai

University lecturer Jiang Ying is a typical Chinese parent. She has high expectations for her daughter and adheres firmly to the following logic: To be successful in competitive Chinese society, you have to graduate from a prestigious university.

Before that, you must attend a respected middle school, which means, in most cases, you will need quality education at primary school.

Although her daughter is only 3, Jiang has become embroiled in a battle to win admission to a well-respected primary school in southwest Shanghai’s Xuhui district.

“We’ve lived in Minhang district for years. We have a nice apartment and are familiar with everything there, but I have given up a convenient lifestyle for the sake of my child,” said Jiang.
Under China’s nine-year compulsory education system – six years of primary schooling followed by three at middle school – parents are not allowed to choose the public school their children attend. Instead, they can be enrolled only at the school nearest their home.

Please click here to read the entire article at China Daily.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Confucius, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Lifestyle, Peaceful Development, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, 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

Opening gaokao to non-locals a good first step [Global Times] #RisingChina #GlobalVillage #Education #Gaokao

Early days, as China’s floating sea of migrant workers accounts for 17% its total.

I recall fondly a conversation with a mother of two kids who has run the gauntlet from north to south of China, gaining employment in agriculture everywhere she went. It opened my mind. China internally, had so very much to offer each other. She even ventured as far as Myanmar, but that is for another story.

There are 56 official anchors to the central collective.

But with the digital age opening the floodgates to global village of perspectives, the game changer was China’s own calculated risk to use the Internet to its socio-economic advantage. Yet, very often they are wrongly misinterpreted as a homogenous bunch sucked into one overarching and dominant ‘dream’ narrative by foreign media. There are at maximum potential a working class the world can never match in numbers. Volume. It has been China’s strategy all along.

By settling this roving skilled population, and making them happy -The leaders have on their side a unique form of leverage no one else in the world has. Skilled artisans roving the nation via its expanding transport network, means they can fix things fast. So now they are training for this.

An education at large, liberates the mind. It can only be good they can stay with their parents as a result. At that young age, from 0-7 most parents should attest to how important those years are to socialized and be naturally identified as a parent at a young age.

Nevertheless, the 4,500 involved accounts for just 0.0005% of examinees. Still, a glimmer of an indicator of equitable growth to come.

Of course, the other startling figure in this article is the sheer number of examinees in each year’s gaokao – 9.12 million. It strongly challenges the mind to be graded on the same rubric as almost ten million others. In Singapore, I competed against -a cohort of 30,000 odd. The game plan to compete against a stack so high must be a daunting hurdle…

As many as 9.12 million students from across the country attended this year’s gaokao. It was particularly noteworthy for 4,500 students who were able to sit the exam in the city where they live but don’t hold a local household registration, or hukou. Previously, they would have had to return to their hometowns to take the exam. The policy of opening the gaokao to non-local residents has been implemented in more than 20 provinces and municipalities this year. Shu Meng, Global Times

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Opening gaokao to non-locals a good first step
By Shu Meng
Source – Global Times, published June 8, 2013

Roadblocks were set up and traffic control measures were adopted around many schools in China yesterday, for the first day of the National College Entrance Examination, or gaokao, this year.

The gaokao is, perhaps, the most important moment for most students due to the importance of the results, which will determine the university they attend and even their future fate.

As many as 9.12 million students from across the country attended this year’s gaokao. It was particularly noteworthy for 4,500 students who were able to sit the exam in the city where they live but don’t hold a local household registration, or hukou. Previously, they would have had to return to their hometowns to take the exam. The policy of opening the gaokao to non-local residents has been implemented in more than 20 provinces and municipalities this year.

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

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, Ideology, Uncategorized

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

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

20130527-070649.jpg

(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

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