Wandering China

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

Questioning attitude pivotal: giving Chinese think tanks valuable answers [China Daily Europe]

China Daily: A glimpse into the thinkers and acquirers of the complex vein of Chinese data.

More on the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (now 31 research units strong, run directly by the State Council and established in 1977) here.

Recently, Fan Jida, an associate professor at CAG, surveyed 210 officials at director-general level to identify the top 10 key economic issues facing the 18th National Congress of the CPC. More than 70 percent pointed to the real estate sector, while 69 percent said food safety should be improved. Small and medium-sized enterprises drew the least attention – just 11 percent.

“China has about 50,000 officials at this level and we surveyed 210 for one questionnaire. Who else could invite so many top leaders to give their views at the same time?” said Fan. In this way, Fan and his fellow researchers are able to gauge which topics are the most important.

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Questioning attitude gives think tanks valuable answers
By Hu Yongqi
Source – China Daily, published September 20, 2012

Institutions play a vital role in getting data, reports Hu Yongqi.

In the main building of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in downtown Beijing, Xu Jin and his colleagues were preparing to move to a new office. Everything was packed, except for a mountain of questionnaire papers and publications.

“The cities and the rural areas are different, and the interior is different from the coastal areas. So we have to go to these places to investigate the characteristics of the local workforce. It’s the only way to acquire precise data.”
Xu Jin, deputy director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics
Source – China Daily, 2012

In the past two months, researchers have collected 4,000 copies of a questionnaire about the workforce in Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu. The papers were safely locked up in a meeting room, along with some other publications, to ensure they weren’t lost in the move that had brought chaos to the offices. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Danwei, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Research, Resources, Science, Social, Strategy, , , , ,

China police use micro-blogs ‘to connect with public’ [BBC]

With 450 million Internet users, that demographic was always going to be a force to be reckoned with. The Internet has proven a worthy ally to those wanting a voice under the blanket authority of the past, and the police probably figured, ‘If we can’t beat them, we should join them’. It will be interesting to see if they succeed in this public relations exercise to look like they are on the same page as the citizens they are meant to protect.

A similar report from the Bangkok Post here. (Bangkok Post, January 04, 2011)

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China police use micro-blogs ‘to connect with public’
Source – BBC, published January 04, 2011

Hundreds of police across China have set up micro-blogging accounts in an effort to improve relations with the tech-savvy public, state media report.

The force is seeking to “ease tensions usually caused by improper handling of complaints”, Xinhua said.

Twitter, which enables users to post 140-character messages, is banned in China but similar Chinese sites have attracted millions of users. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Danwei, Domestic Growth, Environment, Influence, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, People, Population, Social

Hu Shi thanks the imperialists [Danwei]

A peek back in time in China circa 1929, as the primary advocate for the literary revolution of the era Hu Shi shares – the three glaring faults in China. ‘First, look at how its people treat children; Second, look at how they treat women; Third, look at how they spend their free time’ Fast forward to today, China treats their children supremely well (with the exception of shady factories producing tainted milk), the women have almost equal footing (not there yet, but gaining fast), and they spend their free time touring the world spending their newfound wealth. Has China shown amazing recovery from that period of humiliation?

Above all, this articles shows the beauty that can result from breaking down the barriers of East and West, there was, is, and still is much to be learnt from each other. This is something pockets of Chinese have known for a long time. Why not the best of both worlds? Do we really need a common enemy to facilitate that? I hope not.

– – –

Hu Shi thanks the imperialists
translated by Julian Smisek
Source – Danwei, published July 19, 2010

Chinese tradition is fairly enthusiastic about filial piety, having much to say on how to be a good child. Rather less is said about being a good parent. In this short essay, Hu Shi (1891-1962) asks readers to consider how poorly Chinese children are treated.

On caring for children

by Hu Shi / translated by Julian Smisek

The other day, a friend told me something rather profound: “to see how civilized a country is, you just have to examine three things: First, look at how its people treat children; Second, look at how they treat women; Third, look at how they spend their free time.”

These three standards are straightforward. It’s disappointing that China fails at all three. No matter which of the three we choose, we find that our country is the most barbaric. How do we treat children? How do we treat women? How do we spend our free time? The country is filled with fools boasting about our intellectual and ideological development, yet not one of them has reflected on these three issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Culture, Danwei, Domestic Growth, Education, Health, History, Social, The Chinese Identity

The ‘Danwei’

This never crossed my mind, rather the notion never has, because I’ve never worked in a Chinese environment. Now this piques my interest, the idea of an all-encompassing, take care of you to the max ‘job’, except that here, it’s a lot more than a job. Love this article. Great read!

Lifestyle in China – Danwei or My Way?
19th July 2007
Radio86 – All About China

Anthropologists define culture using basic factors: language, food and behavior. But in China these three criteria certainly confuse foreigners. First, the complex Chinese language presents a formidable barrier to cross-cultural communication. Second, the vast array of Chinese foodstuff–Chinese eat everything, literally from head to toe–startles Western eyes and palates. But third and most significantly, basic Chinese behavioral patterns conflict with Western norms. The most blatant difference revolves around the Chinese predilection for group dynamics within the work environment.

Westerners, particularly Americans, remain notoriously proud of their status as independent, private individuals voluntarily performing inside a system. Employees make autonomous decisions on the job, cherish their freedom and even demand personal accolades and/or bonuses when work is done well. The Chinese, in contrast, prefer to allow the employer to passively control them, even in private matters regarding their personal lives.

In 2004, when I arrived in China, my Chinese work unit, or danwei, enveloped me completely, just as Jonah was swallowed into the whale’s mouth. The Chinese regard employment as much more than a job, a paycheck and a few weeks’ vacation every year. Rather, it is a small interconnected world. A danwei often takes care of every worker’s needs, from offering maternity hospitals to arranging cremation services. China Oil, my danwei, offered me not only a teaching job, but also a free bicycle, a free apartment, free medical insurance and free entertainment ranging from opera nights to riding ponies in the nearby mountains. They had previously constructed a miniature city for the workers, complete with apartment houses, shops, restaurants, a luxury hotel, theaters, gyms and tennis courts, an Olympic pool, several parks and a fully equipped hospital.

“We are fortunate to serve in this danwei,” said Mr. Yang, a colleague. “They provide everything. I never leave the base to go anywhere because it is so convenient.”…

Click here for full article.

Filed under: Danwei

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