Wandering China

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

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

The Ten Grave Problems Facing China [The China Story]

From the Australian Centre for China in the World.

Back in 1956, confronted with the task of making a new China, Mao in the speech  ‘On the Ten Great Relationships’ 论十大关系 outlined the challenges that faced the CCP’s transformation of China.

Fast forward to 2012, the once-in-a-decade leadership transition sees Deng Yewen, senior editor of the Party mouthpiece Study Times frame a wide spanning ‘The Ten Grave Problems’ as an urgent agenda that demands the attention of the incoming leaders.

This piece by the centre also provides some history into Chinese intelligentsia and their vying to provide intellectual and strategic advice to the contenders for power. Suggestive that the party is not filled with automatons or reinforcing of the idea that the Chinese collective has always been a dynamic process?

China’s Hu and Wen blasted by party paper editor (China Daily Mail, September 4, 2012) provides an interesting perspective on faction and solidarity challenges right at the top.

– – –

The Ten Grave Problems Facing China
by Geremie R Barmé
Source – The China Story by the Australian Centre for China in the World, published September 8, 2012

In April 1956, Mao Zedong gave a speech to the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party titled ‘On the Ten Great Relationships’ 论十大关系. It was a decisive period for New China. The initial surge of nationalisation that saw the country’s industry and agriculture come under state control was building into a tidal wave of radical socialism that would dominate the country for the next two decades. In the build up to this next stage of dirigisme Mao thought it essential to articulate the problems facing the fledgling People’s Republic. He listed ten issues that underlined social, economic, regional and national policy; he was in reality outlining the challenges that faced the Communist Party’s experiment in transforming China.

A popular observation about political uncertainty in Chinese holds that ‘when evil prognosticators appear in all quarters it is a sign of the end of days’ 末世征兆,妖孽四起. Elsewhere we have noted the dire warnings issued by left-leaning critics of China’s Communist Party such as the Children of Yan’an and the latter-day red fundamentalists of the Utopia group. In recent days, an editor with the journal Study Times 学习时报 has published a lengthy article in which he outlines ‘The Ten Grave Problems Facing China’.

During the once-in-a-decade ‘transition year’ of 2012-2013 which will see a change of party-state leadership, Communist Party propagandists have set the tone and require media outlets to celebrate clamorously the ‘ten golden years’ of rule under President/Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao (for an example of these hosannas, see People’s Daily, ‘The Reasons for China’s “Glorious Decade” ’, in our China Story Yearbook 2012: Red Rising, Red Eclipse, ‘From Victory to Victory’). It is a time of extreme tension and high stakes, one in which China faces major political decisions that may well determine its direction not only for the next few years, but, as many feel, for long into the future. At this juncture a more lowly Party member than the late Chairman has offered his version of the problems facing the restive and fractured nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Green China, History, Human Rights, Inflation, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Migration (Internal), military, Modernisation, Nationalism, Natural Disasters, Peaceful Development, Politics, Pollution, Population, Poverty, Property, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ferrari crash link to China leader exposed [The Age]

富二代 Fu Er Dai and dirty laundry: Ling Gu, son of Ling Jihua, Hu’s political fixer is revealed (almost six months after the fatal crash) to be behind the wheel.

Alleged driving rampage in £500,000 Ferrari costs father political fallout from the Hu Jintao camp. Further, how Ling Gu got to own such a pricey set of wheels when both his parents worked government jobs has come under scrutiny as well. Tragedy of the accident aside, what is telling is the timing when the powers that be decided the great reveal – just weeks before the  18th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in October 2012 and a little further down, its once-in-a-decade leadership transition around March 2013.

Professor Miao Di, at the Communication University of China, said those in power were not helping themselves by covering up scandals that could be exposed by netizens and mainstream media. ”But it seems the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t thought of any better ideas,” he said.

For more on Ling Jihua from a Hong Kong perspective, go here.

And over to the UK’s Independent with a rather crowd-pulling title – [23 year old] Son of Chinese politician died after engaging in ‘sex games’ with two women while driving at high speed in his Ferrari

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Ferrari crash link to China leader exposed
By John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published September 4, 2012

The wreckage of a Ferrari which exploded into flames after a crash in Beijing that allegedly killed Ling Jihua, the son of Hu Jintao’s political fixer, and two semi-naked women. Photo: Supplied to the Age

A SORDID tragedy involving a 20-something playboy, two scantily-clad women and a two-seater Ferrari has once again exposed the Communist Party’s challenges in hiding its dirty laundry in the information age.

The black Ferrari 458 Spider, reportedly bought for close to $1 million, was travelling so fast along Beijing’s North Fourth Ring Road that it split in two when it smashed into the Baofusi Bridge about 4am on Sunday, March 18.

A photograph of the tangled, smouldering engine block – resting far from the main car body – was published in the Beijing Evening News and immediately spread across the internet. The paper reported the driver was killed and two female passengers seriously injured. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Social, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, , , ,

China, the Ka-Ching dynasty [Australia Broadcasting Corporation]

China, the Ka-Ching dynasty: A recommended watch (runs for 26 minutes) as investigative journalist Stephen McDonnell profiles China’s rich. In my view it’s a good thing seasoned journos like McDonnell are there to be the Australian public’s eyes on China. This video went viral in China, and for an interesting reason because of an early focus on the Fu Er Dai 富二代 phenomenon (see article here).

China Correspondent Stephen McDonell gains remarkable access to some of China’s heavy hitters and goes inside their world to examine the epic breadth of their business plans and the breath-taking scale of their luxurious lifestyles. Source – ABC, Feb 2012

Key takeaways?

1. The narrative that Chinese bosses made it big through corrupt means after market reforms in the 1980s persists

2. Top way to make money is real estate, the mad rush for urbanisation is a surging source of fuel for the wealthy elite. And remember, China only recently got to 50% urbanisation after three decades of double digit growth. The entire domestic market is not small at all.

3. The numbers, according to Rupert Hoogewerth of the Hurun Report rich list

960,000 British pound millionaires,
10% growth rate over past five years,
average age 41,
making plans for 10 year old child to eventually head to university in the US, UK or Australia
lives in Shanghai

600 USD billionaires, 
average age 51, children out of university,
lives in Beijing

4. When asked, are these Chinese the ones to rule the world?

Hoogeworth’s interesting response – that exemplars like Bill Gates, well into the 60s, and Warren Buffets of the world are 80. The typical Chinese entrepreneur is their 40s or 50, and they have another thirty years to go.

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, People, Population, Social, The Chinese Identity, , , , , ,

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