Wandering China

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

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

The hutong protector Hua Xinmin [Global Times] #RisingChina #QualityOfLife

Global Times on saving Hutong communities as a microcosm of wider quality of life issues when it comes to home ownership.

Credited by some locals for “saving” two hutong communities in the city, Hua said that much of the knowledge used today to help hutong owners fight government-sanctioned development projects looking to rid of old neighborhoods, was learned from experience, when she attempted to prevent her original family home from being demolished in 2005.

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The hutong protector
By Zhang Yiqian
Source – Global Times, published August 30, 2013

Bulldozers blazed through Xidan, Xicheng district in Beijing, digging into the walls of traditional hutong or old courtyard homes, causing their bricks to fall down like rain. It was a shocking sight that had then touched a nerve close to home – hers – though she would not fully realize that for another seven years.

The year was 1997, and the housing preservation advisor born of French and Chinese parents had just returned to China from abroad, where the pale-skinned and blue-eyed Hua had been living in Paris since the age of 22. Surprised at the changing scenes of the city she grew up in, dismayed at the number of demolitions occurring across town, her will to protect Beijing’s old neighborhoods was inspired from all the rubble around her.

“Old homes are the soul of every city, the architecture and culture representative of the city,” she told the Global Times on Wednesday. “If you lose your home, how much longer can you bare (living)?”

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.
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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Singapore Strike: The Full Story [Wall Street Journal] #Singapore #RisingChina

The Chinese bus-driver strike is Singapore’s first real strike in decades.

Push has become pull. Along with China’s rise and more self-assured place in the world, more Chinese are turning to a sojourn from the mainland for a better economic future.  This recent surge in numbers has solidified the overseas Chinese presence overseas, now accounting for easily over fifty million.

Above, Singapore’s historical strike data from 1946 to 2009. In this chart, man-days lost refer to the total number of working days lost annually due to industrial action. It is calculated by multiplying the duration of industrial actions (in days) with the number of workers that were affected. Source - Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

Above, Singapore’s historical strike data from 1946 to 2009. In this chart, man-days lost refer to the total number of working days lost annually due to industrial action. It is calculated by multiplying the duration of industrial actions (in days) with the number of workers that were affected. Source – Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

The contrast with China’s >100,000 mass incidents yearly shows a stark difference in approach.

The Chinese tolerate a certain level of dissent, Wukan is a good example.

In this case, I believe the drivers simply felt they ran out of viable options and decided to go for broke, and go straight to the decision makers just like they would back home.

– – –

Singapore Strike: The Full Story
By WSJ Staff Reporter Chun Han Wong

This story of a strike by Chinese bus drivers in Singapore offers a close-up look at a major issue facing the Southeast Asian city-state today: The growing number of migrant workers who underpin Singapore’s economy and the social tensions that their presence can generate. 

What happened over two days in late November 2012 rattled the foundations of Singapore’s economic success – its business-friendly governance and industrial harmony – and prompted a robust response from the government.

The strike, a rarity in Singapore, resonated across Asia, where other countries are grappling with a growing dependence on foreign labor, too. And it provided a window into ordinary lives seldom-seen: the migrants who fan out from China in search of a fatter paycheck abroad.

How to balance the need for new workers from overseas with the preservation of established ways, presents a major dilemma that policymakers and citizens will wrestle with for years to come.

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

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Greater China, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Wall Street Journal

China finding superpower path no cakewalk [CNN GPS] #RisingChina #Superpower

It is doubtable Chinese strategists are overly concerned in being drafted in to compete in this imagined superpower arena – largely a battle of capturing the imagination of the majority of mindshare as to who rules the hegemonic roost.

Deng spoke of this in his address to the UN almost thirty years ago. He had a dim view of the intents of superpowers. Sensing it is more a distraction than destination the Chinese have made plain their strategies to consolidate and spread equitable development, right down to sticking to its independent foreign policy of peace (since 2003) for the next five to ten years. At least the Chinese have a working and efficient plan in place. They make it plain to see meaning it is all up for public scrutiny. In rural villages, they are summarized and inscribed onto street notice walls.

It is not hard to see how problems can arise as one gets rich too quickly. I have met those who turned from sheep farmer to Land Cruiser own within the span of a few years. But lest we forget, they are the first generation of exposure to a new social compact. Perhaps the yardstick is better measured how the next line of inheritors of the Chinese legacy fare against their global peers. More and more Chinese leave the motherland to study foreign ways but tellingly, more often than not, Chinese students I meet here look forward or feel compelled to return home.

Overseas, hotspots across the straits and those in the East and South China Sea are down to legacy issues conventional international diplomacy may not be be able to fix. Their outcomes may be limited in shaping or influencing domestic public opinion in the media saturation especially those with access to the digital revolution.

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China finding superpower path no cakewalk
By Richard Wike, Special to CNN
Source – CNN GPS, published August 6, 2013

20130828-111252.jpg
Editor’s note: Richard Wike is associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Follow him on Twitter @RichardWike. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

It’s not easy being a superpower, and that’s something China is learning. A few years back, international headlines featured breathless accounts of China’s economic transformation and rave reviews of the Beijing Olympics. But today, news stories often portray a country battling over disputed territories overseas, while struggling at home with vexing issues such as pollution, corruption, and political dissent. China’s power is growing, but as it assumes a more prominent role on the world stage, its global reputation is beset by a host of challenges. Welcome to the travails of being one of the big boys on the block.

While China’s rise has been the subject of considerable debate among elites in recent years, ordinary citizens around the world have also taken note, and for many it’s a troubling development. Pew Research Center polling has shown that a growing number of people see China as the world’s leading economic power. Moreover, people not only see the economic balance of power shifting; many believe that in the long run, China will surpass the U.S. as the overall leading superpower. Across the 39 countries included in a spring 2013 Pew Research poll, a median of 47 percent say China has already replaced the U.S. as the leading superpower or will eventually do so. Just one third think China will never supplant the United States.

But, as the U.S. has often learned, power does not necessarily generate affection. More typically, it creates anxiety. In regions throughout the world, people worry about how a superpower will use its clout and how it will behave in the international arena. For instance, our polling has consistently found majorities in most countries saying the U.S. ignores their interests when making foreign policy decisions – this was true during the George W. Bush era and it remains largely true today.

Please click here to read the entire article at its CNN GPS.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, CNN, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, East China Sea, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Greater China, Hukou, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

More than minerals | Chinese trade with Africa keeps growing; fears of neocolonialism are overdone [Economist] #RisingChina #Africa

Other powers have had their chance to shine to help the cradle of civilisation stand up. Unfortunately some find it hard to divorce the  imposition of ideology from economics. China seems to be able to do this better and true to form of the lingering narrative of middleman – its focus remains on trade and investment. Also see – China’s independent foreign policy of peace.

Africans are far from being steamrollered. Their governments have shown a surprising assertiveness. The first person to be expelled from Africa’s youngest country, South Sudan, was a Chinese: Liu Yingcai, the local head of Petrodar, a Chinese-Malaysian oil company and the government’s biggest customer, in connection with an alleged $815m oil “theft”. Congo kicked out two rogue commodities traders in the Kivu region. Algerian courts have banned two Chinese firms from participating in a public tender, alleging corruption. Gabonese officials ditched an unfavourable resource deal. Kenyan and South African conservationists are asking China to stop the trade in ivory and rhino horn.

 – – – 

More than minerals | Chinese trade with Africa keeps growing; fears of neocolonialism are overdone
NAIROBI print edition
Source – The Economist, published Mar 23rd 2013

Source - Eyevine, in the Economist

Source – Eyevine, in the Economist

A GROUP of five tourists from Beijing passes low over Mount Kenya and into the Rift Valley in their private plane before landing on a dusty airstrip surrounded by the yellow trunks and mist-like branches of fever trees. They walk across a grassy opening where zebras and giraffes roam, snapping pictures while keeping an eye out for charging buffaloes. When they sit down at a table, they seem hungry but at ease. “Last year I went to the South Pole with some friends,” says one of two housewives, showing off iPhone pictures of a gaggle of penguins on permafrost.

Source - Africa Research Institute, IMF

Source – Africa Research Institute, IMF

Chinese are coming to Africa in ever greater numbers and finding it a comfortable place to visit, work in and trade. An estimated 1m are now resident in Africa, up from a few thousand a decade ago, and more keep arriving. Chinese are the fourth-most-numerous visitors to South Africa. Among them will be China’s new president, Xi Jinping, who is also going to Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo on his first foreign outing as leader.

The origin of China’s fascination with Africa is easy to see. Between the Sahara and the Kalahari deserts lie many of the raw materials desired by its industries. China recently overtook America as the world’s largest net importer of oil. Almost 80% of Chinese imports from Africa are mineral products. China is Africa’s top business partner, with trade exceeding $166 billion. But it is not all minerals. Exports to Africa are a mixed bag (see chart). Machinery makes up 29%.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Economist. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, BRIC, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Economist, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Migrant Workers, Modernisation, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Population, Poverty, Precious Metals, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, The Economist, Trade

Death Row Interviews [BBC, 2012] #RisingChina #DeathRow

This program ran across two important periods in defining how  China sees the point of no return. 

With an updated outlook in 2011, it shed 13 crimes from its list of the unpardonable.  This series would have captured this transition with a source of personal narratives that would otherwise never would never see light of day. In some ways this program demonstrated a willingness of the state to give some latitude toward intense self-examination. No longer running, Interviews Before Execution first aired in 2006 and covered 226 interviews with death row inmates until 2012.

Also, see

Why China Executes So Many People (The Atalantic, May 11, 2013)
The Bureau Investigates – The dead talking (March 13, 2012)
NBC’s Behind the Wall: Chinese TV show ‘Interviews before Execution’ stirs controversy (March 13, 2012)

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Death Row Interviews
Source – BBC on Youtube, Published on 16 May 2013

Every Saturday night in China, millions gather around their televisions to watch Interviews Before Execution, an extraordinary talk show which interviews prisoners on death row.

In the weeks, days or even minutes before they are executed, presenter Ding Yu goes into prisons and talks to those condemned to die. Combining clips from the TV show, never-before-seen footage of China’s death row and interviews with a local judge who openly questions the future of the death penalty in China, This World reveals a part of China that is generally hidden from from view.

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content [Global Times] #RisingChina #SocialMedia

Happening inside the Great Firewall right now if one cares to look –  is China’s great convergence of minds deliberating a consensus forward on a scale never seen before.

– – –

Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content
By Xuyang Jingjing
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013

With over 500 million registered users and over 46 million daily active users, Sina Weibo is the largest and most influential social media platform in China. It has also become known as a fostering ground for discussions with a more liberal slant.

But what is not allowed to be discussed on Weibo perhaps says just as much as what can be. There are a number of projects that aim to uncover content blocked on Weibo. Most of the people behind such efforts are China watchers based overseas or foreigners living in China. While they may have different approaches and backgrounds, their efforts are successful in bringing this vanished content back to light.

One such project, Freeweibo.com, won the 2013 Bobs, or Best of the Blogs awards, for best innovation in June. The Bobs awards, started by Deutsche Welle in 2004, are given out in 34 categories in 14 languages, and aim to honor the open exchange of ideas of free expression.

Hu Yong, a professor at Peking University and a new media observer, served as a juror at the awards. He commented that Freeweibo preserves digital memories and makes disappeared content visible again, according to the official website of the Bobs.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times. Read the rest of this entry »

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

U.S. Seen Losing to China as World Leader [Pew Global Attitudes Project / Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #Perception

Brand China making headway outside its borders.

China will replace America as the leading superpower, according to an international global attitudes survey released on Thursday, even though just half of the nations polled view China favourably.

These are among the major findings of the Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project, which conducted surveys in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. It is the first study to gauge public responses to China to such a large scale.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Education, Greater China, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Wall Street Journal

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.

– – –

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

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.

– – –

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

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