Wandering China

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

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

ahhoodroad-jan2017-200dpi

Tucked away in a secondary road in Balestier is the former Sun Yat Sen Villa. Just over a hundred years ago, it was the Southeast Asian (Nanyang) headquarters for Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities with the Tong Meng Hui secret society.

The funds and support he raised here with the Tong Meng Hui had a role to play in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty – marking the end of millennia of dynastic rule in China with the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. The Republic of China was established, Asia’s first. It had a western style parliamentary system although that didn’t last long.

Few Singaporeans, nor northern mainland Chinese know about the existence of this place which in our minds, a glaring blindspot.

First, it makes for a worthwhile visit to understand that Singapore’s relationship with China goes back a longer way than Deng-Lee relations, or the post-LEE post-Terrex new normal. Second, that Singapore had a hand in the birth of modern China. Sun Yat Sen visited Singapore nine times between 1900 and 1911. The villa was gazetted as a national monument in October 1994 and is now known as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Altitude: 200feet / 60m

#NeverForget Singapore’s #SeaState
Shot with the DJI Mavic Pro

Filed under: History, International Relations, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Uncategorized, , , ,

China officials slam themselves – on TV [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Self-Cleansing

China: reflexive days ahead?

Also, see Sweating and on the verge of tears: Chinese officials carry out self-criticism on TV

by Zhang Hong (South China Morning Post)

Source - SCMP, September 28, 2013

Source – SCMP, September 28, 2013

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China officials slam themselves – on TV
Criticism session part of CCP’s self-cleansing campaign: Observers
Source – Straits Times, published September 28, 2013

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IT WAS a made-for-television criticism and self-criticism show.

In an unprecedented move, China’s state broadcaster CCTV showed top officials of Hebei province criticising “impatient” superiors even as they admitted to overspending on things like official cars and lavish dinners.

Observers noted that the programme televised on Wednesday is a first, and shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intensifying its “self-cleansing” campaign.

They also said other provinces might follow Hebei’s lead, and that the people would dismiss such “self-criticism” sessions as a mere show, unless errant officials were also taken to task.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times online.
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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Pilot Free-Trade Zone ready to launch [Global Times] #RisingChina #EconomicReform

Economic reform with the prize set on the international marketplace: One giant leap toward rising China 2.0 with pilot free-trade zone established in Shanghai.

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Pilot FTZ ready to launch
By Louise Ho in Shanghai
Source – Global Times, published September 29, 2013

A motorbike rider passes the No. 3 gate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai on Friday. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

A motorbike rider passes the No. 3 gate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai on Friday. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

The highly anticipated China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) will be officially launched Sunday. The first on the Chinese mainland, the FTZ is seen as an important step in China’s economic reform and the internationalization of the yuan.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, Friday issued detailed plans for the FTZ, which aims to deepen financial innovation and build a business environment that is on a par with international standards.

The 28.78-square-kilometer FTZ will cover the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Zone, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone in Shanghai.

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

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Finance, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade

China in Space: How long a reach? [Economist] #RisingChina #Space

China: from emancipation of the mind to rocking it up in space. There’s the bright side. Sputnik had a hand in triggering the rise of the internet. What will this round of the space race yield?

Click here  to head to the 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013 online.

For more, see: BBC – China to launch 60sqm space station by 2023

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Source – BBC, 2013

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How long a reach?
The International Astronautical Congress is meeting in Beijing. But what, exactly, does China want from outer space?
Source – Economist, published Sep 28th 2013 |Originally from the Print Edition

Image source -Dave Simmonds

THE Soviet Union in 1961. The United States in 1962. China in 2003. It took a long time for a taikonaut to join the list of cosmonauts and astronauts who have gone into orbit around Earth and (in a few cases) ventured beyond that, to the Moon. But China has now arrived as a space power, and one mark of this has been the International Astronautical Federation’s decision to hold its 64th congress in Beijing.

The congress, which is attended by representatives of all the world’s space agencies, from America and Russia to Nigeria and Syria, is a place where eager boffins can discuss everything from the latest in rocket design and the effects of microgravity on the thyroid to how best an asteroid might be mined and how to weld metal for fuel tanks.

All useful stuff, of course. But space travel has never been just about the science. It is also an arm of diplomacy, and so the congress serves too as a place where officials can exchange gossip and announce their plans.

And that was just what Ma Xingrui, the head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and thus, in effect, the congress’s host, did. He confirmed that an unmanned lunar mission, Chang’e 3, will be launched in the first half of December. This means, if all goes well, that before the year is out a Chinese rover will roam the surface of the Moon. It will collect and analyse samples of lunar regolith (the crushed rock on the Moon’s surface that passes for soil there). It will make some ultraviolet observations of stars. And it will serve to remind the world that China intends—or at least says it intends—to send people to the Moon sometime soon as well.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Economist.

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Filed under: Aviation, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economist, Government & Policy, History, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, space, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity

China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Apple #Gold

Apple taps into Chinese mind – mixing their perception of gold with cyclical obsolescence of the mobile phone.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores. Leonid Bershidsky, 2013

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China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold
By Leonid Bershidsky
Source – Bloomberg, published Sep 25, 2013

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

I have two words for those who still think Apple’s marketing genius died with Steve Jobs: China and gold.

In preparing the debut of its two new iPhone models, the 5s and 5c, Apple made the crucial decision to include China in the product launch, and to offer a gold-colored high-end phone. Voila, a sales record: 9 million iPhones sold in the opening weekend, up from 5 million for the original iPhone 5.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores.

Gold is a well-used marketing tool in the world of mobile devices. “Dumb” phone manufacturers have used the hue, especially in Asian markets and Russia, ever since color handsets came into existence in the early 2000s. Nokia made fun of the gold iPhone 5s, tweeting from its UK corporate account, “Real gangsters don’t use gold phones.” The Finnish company itself, however, has produced a number of gold-colored models, including one that used genuine 18K gold plate.

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

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Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Influence, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Wang Leehom | Full Address [Oxford Union/Youtube] #RisingChina #Music #WangLeeHom

Bridging a great divide : American-born Chinese all-round entertainer Wang Leehom 王力宏 at the Oxford Union on  Chinese soft power deficit in pop culture, identity and the East/West cross-pollinaton that is nowhere near potential.

Also – Check out Wang Lee-Hom’s homage to his ethnic heritage  with a cover of  龙的传人 (Descendants of the Dragon).

– – –

Wang Leehom | Full Address
Source – Youtube, published April 21, 2013
Download the mixtape here – : http://www.wangleehom.com/OxfordMixtape

Drawing on the lessons of his experience growing up in the US and then migrating East, Wang Leehom talks about Chinese pop music and the ability of music and pop culture to strengthen the relationship between the East and West.

Filmed on Sunday 21st April 2013

ABOUT WANG LEEHOM: The first Chinese pop star and actor to be invited speak at the Oxford Union, Wang Leehom is the perfect ambassador for Chinese pop music and commentator on the emergence of “World Pop,” not only because he has sold millions of albums and consistently been one of the hottest names in Chinese music since his debut in 1995, but also because of the unique journey he has taken from his childhood home of Rochester, New York, to concert stages and movie sets around the world.

Formally trained at Williams College and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Leehom has written and recorded songs in a large variety of styles, including pop, rap, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, and is also known for his pioneering infusion of traditional Chinese elements and instrumentation into contemporary music. In addition to his successful solo concert tours, the latest of which will bring him to The O2 in London on April 15, Leehom’s diverse musical talents have seen him perform onstage with everyone from Usher to Kenny G to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with which he appeared as as a guest conductor and violin soloist.

Additionally, Leehom is an acclaimed actor who has starred in the Golden Lion Award-winning “Lust, Caution” from Ang Lee, “Little Big Soldier” opposite Jackie Chan and the self-written and directed “Love in Disguise”. He is also well known for his philanthropic work and environmental advocacy, which were cited as reasons he was the only Chinese recording artist selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With over 33 million followers, Leehom is among the most followed personalities on Weibo (a Chinese analogue to Twitter). Source – Oxford Union, 2013

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ethnicity, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Music, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Youtube

How Mao created China’s capitalist revolution [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Reform #Mao

Reform made of sterner stuff… crossing China’s ideological chasm from the old to new.

One of the most interesting and paradoxical explanations originates with Mao, the very person who had such a destructive effect on China in the last decades of his life. By razing the edifice of old China as relentlessly as he did, Mao may have actually cleared the way for Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s subsequent reforms, thereby playing a role in China’s rebirth that Mao could never have imagined while alive.

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How Mao created China’s capitalist revolution
By razing China’s old value system, he cleared the way for Deng’s reforms
By Orville Schell And John Delury for the Washington Post.
Source – printed in Straits Times, published Jul 27, 2013

20130728-081831.jpg
A statue of Mao Zedong in Shenyang, Liaoning province. No leader in 20th-century China was more totalistic and unrelenting in attacking traditional culture than Mao. By force-marching Chinese society away from its old ways, he presented Deng with a vast construction site on which the demolition of old structures and strictures had been mostly completed, ready for reform and opening up. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IN HIS opening remarks at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, an annual meeting between high- ranking United States and Chinese officials, Vice-President Joseph Biden spoke about his first visit to China in 1976, the year that Chairman Mao Zedong died.

“It was already clear then,” he said last week, “that China stood on the cusp of remarkable change.”

That was 37 years ago, when China was still one of the poorest countries in the world – even after a century of experimentation with one formula after another for making the nation wealthy and powerful again.

It was by no means clear back then whether the incipient changes Mr Biden sensed would really take hold. Few imagined that by the early 21st century, China would be in a position to challenge the US economically, militarily and even in the contest for soft power.

So, after spending so many generations mired in a cycle of failed reform and revolution, how did China finally manage to chin itself up into its present period of prolonged economic dynamism?

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, Maoism, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

No firewall for Macao’s new campus [Global Times] #RisingChina #GreatFirewall

On top of a big move from the SAR into mainland, it seems the University of Macau will continue to be exempt from the Great Firewall.

For more, check out the University of Macau’s update on their construction progress here.

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No firewall for Macao’s new campus
By Liu Sha
Source – Global Times, published July 17, 2013

The campus of the University of Macau on the Chinese mainland will be exempt from the restrictions of the Great Firewall, the university’s media officer confirmed to the Global Times Wednesday.

The Internet services on the new campus will be provided by Macao companies, the media officer, surnamed Fok, told the Global Times in an email.

The university is moving its campus from the special administrative region to Hengqin Island, Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, and the new campus will be available in September with more than 10,000 students to be relocated.

“Anything students can access on the Macao campus will be accessible in the new one,” Fok said.

Please click here to access entire article at the Global Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, global times, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Intellectual Property, Media, Modernisation, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Chinese bus drivers in Singapore tossed aside after strike [China Labor Bulletin] #RisingChina #Singapore #OverseasChinese

It appears overseas Chinese workers are spared no quarter in a foreign land with a Chinese-majority complemented by a foreign workforce that takes up >20% of the island’s population –

There are at least one million foreign workers in Singapore, making up about one third of the total workforce. They are primarily employed in construction, transport, manufacturing and services, in other words the low-paid and dangerous jobs Singaporean citizens are reluctant to do.

Check out the 2011 CLB research report ‘Hired on Sufferance‘ here.

– – –

Chinese bus drivers in Singapore tossed aside after strike
Source – China Labour Bulleting, published 3 July, 2013

In November 2012, around 180 Chinese bus drivers employed by the state-controlled Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Corp (SMRT) staged a highly publicised strike over pay and living conditions.

The Singapore authorities adopted a zero tolerance approach to what it claimed was a disruption of essential services in the city and arrested five of the alleged strike organizers. They were later sentenced to up to six weeks in jail before being deported back to China. Another 29 drivers were deported without trial almost immediately after the strike.

China Labour Bulletin Director Han Dongfang talked to one of the 29 deported drivers, surnamed Jiang, soon after he returned to China. They discussed the reasons for the strike, the response of the Singaporean government to it and the harsh reality of being a Chinese migrant worker in a city that sees you merely as a resource to be exploited and discarded when no longer useful.

Please click here to read the entire article at the China Labor Bulletin.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Culture, Economics, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Law, Mapping Feelings, Overseas Chinese, Singapore, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Mexico, China draw up tourism joint pacts [China Daily] #RisingChina #Mexico #Tourism

The power of the family unit is a concept not foreign to these two countries. Tourism pact today, will it sync further to brotherhood posturing tomorrow? They may not have had good reason to be friendly in the past, however this gives the impression China extends the Beijing consensus that looks like a strategic counter pivot right at the southern doorstep of the US.

For more, see the China Daily China-Mexico section on Xi Jinping’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Also, from the NPR – China Is Building Ties With Mexico June 9, 2013

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Mexico, China draw up tourism joint pacts
Xinhua
Source – China Daily, published June 10, 2013

MEXICO CITY – The governments of Mexico and China are currently drawing up several joint agreements on tourism following the recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mexico, official sources said Sunday.

In a statement, Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) said the minister, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, would travel to China in July to continue the negotiations and achieve accords.

In the first quarter of 2013, Mexico received 19,363 Chinese tourists, up by 35.1 percent compared with the same period in 2012.

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

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Government & Policy, History, Influence, International Relations, Mexico, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Xi Jinping

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