Wandering China

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

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.

– – –

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shanghaied Home Buyers Turn Protesters as Shattered Dreams Vex Government [Bloomberg]

From the chats I’ve had with the Chinese when I visited, I know first-hand that housing in the developed coastal cities is unaffordable to most. Housing prices in places such as Hangzhou and Shanghai are so high it is more affordable to rent over a lifetime, considering middle income earners struggle to even hit  USD$1000 (about 5000 yuan) monthly. I have a friend who lectures at a university making 2000 yuan a month. The only way to enter the property market is to bite the bullet. So there is some level of risk.

Two key takeaways from this report:

1. China’s property reforms to stop its housing bubble really need to kick in while managing repeating incidents like this. Especially since the 30% deposit regulation which was meant to minimise speculators means a lot of cash has to be coughed up, at least for genuine buyers.

2. The urban Chinese youth in the middle class bracket are getting less likely to take things they do not agree with, lying down. At the least, they’re not afraid to air their views. Without the conditioning of the Cultural Revolution, and more worldly-wise, the ruling party needs to figure out how to keep them on their side.

– – –

Shanghaied Home Buyers Turn Protesters as Shattered Dreams Vex Government
Fan Wenxin and Shai Oster
Source – Bloomberg, published November 30, 2011 

Danny Deng and his bride-to-be dreamed of their lives together as they walked through the showroom for a Shanghai housing project almost three months ago. Pooling his own and his parents’ savings, a loan from his boss and a 1.1 million yuan ($172,000) mortgage, he bought an apartment and secured his fiancee’s hand.

On Nov. 19, Deng faced off a ring of security guards three rows deep wearing camouflage and carrying shields as he joined more than 100 homeowners rallying in front of the development’s sales office. His transformation from newlywed to street protester came after China Vanke Co. (000002) slashed prices for future buyers at the Qinglinjing complex, erasing about 20 percent of the value of his three-bedroom unit overnight.

“If I’d paid for it all myself, the price cut wouldn’t bother me as much, but there’s a lifetime of my parent’s blood and sweat in it,” said Deng, a 30-year-old electrical systems salesman. “Developers’ profits are outrageous. The price they set when the housing market kept going up was far more than the real value.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Inflation, Lifestyle, Migrant Workers, Modernisation, Politics, Population, Property, Reform, Social

Mooncake tax sparks uproar in China: reports [AFP/Google]

So, the mooncake, both a symbol for defiance against Mongol invaders and staple in Chinese celebratory food culture is about to get taxed. Apparently, the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau (I did not see an indication of this from visiting their website, however) are making employees pay a personal income tax on moon cakes offered by their employers during the Mid-Autumn Festival,  the second most important on China’s lunar calendar after the Chinese New Year – the result? Public dissastifaction of course mediated by China’s twitter and facebook hybrid Weibo – which found that 96 percent of users opposed the tax on the sweetmeat, and many Chinese said they would prefer not to receive them at all.

The moon cakes, which are Chinese bakery products traditionally eaten during the festival, are considered a non-cash employee benefit that are normally included with personal income, and consequently the tax might be imposed if total income exceeds the minimum personal income tax threshold…’ See – Moon cake tax proposal stirs debate (Global Times, August 29, 2011)

– – –

Mooncake tax sparks uproar in China: reports
AFP
Source – Google News, published August 29, 2011 

BEIJING — A decision by Beijing authorities to impose tax on mooncakes, a delicacy given as gifts for the Mid-Autumn Festival, has sparked an outcry in the Chinese capital, reports said Monday.

The cakes — heavy pastries containing sweet lotus seed paste — will from this year be considered a non-cash benefit and subject to income tax, the Global Times said, citing the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau.

A poll conducted by the microblogging service Weibo found that 96 percent of users opposed the tax on the sweetmeat, and many Chinese said they would prefer not to receive them at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Google News, Government & Policy, Inflation, Lifestyle, Media, Population, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China and America: Rising Dragon, Bleeding Eagle [American Thinker]

A diagrammatic comparison between the ‘bleeding eagle’ and ‘rising dragon’. Such visualizations are becoming commonplace. Indeed, America’s decline seem to be in the forefront of mass media and citizen journalism, but I beg to differ. America still possesses still the largest talent and most diversified pool to get problems fixed, and to think ahead. Whilst China is growing yes, but it is also leaking some of its best once they are exposed to the West’s ‘still-more-appealing’ alternative paradigms of thinking about individuality and statehood.

– – –

China and America: Rising Dragon, Bleeding Eagle
By Anurag Maheshwari
Source – American Thinker, published May 22, 2011

China’s return as a superpower concomitant with rapid American decline is evoking a variety of sentiments around the world. While Latin America, Africa, and Greater Middle-East are largely welcoming this shift in power with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and an aging and dissipated Europe is watching it with bemused anxiety, in America it is causing an epic dilemma.

This dilemma is rooted in the impending demise of America’s reign as the world’s leading economy for last 120 years, the titanic scale and speed of China’s ascendancy, and the vistas and vulnerabilities of Sino-American security and economic intercourse. The international repercussions of this evolving strategic equilibrium are yet to fully unravel until China attains the highest plateau of its power.

To put it in context, consider how rapidly the balance of power between China and America has altered over the last 20 years. At the end of 1991 when Soviet Union had formally dissolved, United States stood as the sole colossus on global stage. Its economy was then 6 times that of China. In 2010, China’s continental economy was 70% that of US, and by 2016 — in 5 years — China (including Hong Kong and Macau) will rush past United States to become the leading economic power. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: American Thinker, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Confucius, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Ethnicity, Finance, Greater China, Human Rights, Inflation, Influence, International Relations, Media, National Medium- and Long- term Talent Development Plan, Nationalism, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

China’s Ghost Cities [SBS/Youtube]

Domestic growth or domestic waste alluding to a paradigm sift in the Chinese mind? This is probably uncharacteristically ‘not’ frugal. Have they taken the ‘capitalist road’ too far? Professor Zhou Xiao Sheng, prominent Chinese sociologist sends a reminder in the video – ‘If it leads to polarisation, then reform has failed…’ An honest question has to be asked here. With an increasing social divide fueled by an overheated economy, we have a paradoxical situation. The upswing due to the property bubble now cannot afford to burst, yet millions are left in squatter-like conditions whilst 64 million empty apartments stay unaffordable to those who need it most.

 ‘Vast cities are being built across China at a rate of ten a year, but they remain almost uninhabited ghost towns. It’s estimated there are 64 million empty apartments.’ (SBS Dateline, April 11, 2011)

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Inflation, Lifestyle, Politics, Reform, SBS, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Youtube

Premier sets 7% growth target [China Daily]

Judging from my experience at the Shanghai World Expo last year, it is not a surprise that sustainable growth is a key driver for the 12th 5-Year Plan (2011-2015). The war cry is no longer about just ‘recklessly’ getting rich first. Also, the quotes below (orange infographic to the right) offer a poignant glimpse into the heart of Premier Wen Jiabao.

– – –

Premier sets 7% growth target
By Hu Yuanyuan China Daily
Source – China Daily, published February 28, 2011

Environment ‘must not be sacrificed for rapid development’

Premier Wen Jiabao chats with netizens at xinhua.net.cn on Sunday. It is the third consecutive year that the premier has conducted an online talk prior to the annual sessions of the top legislature and advisory body, scheduled for early March. Pang Xinglei / Xinhua

BEIJING – An annual growth target of 7 percent over the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) has been set to ensure sustainable development, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday.

“We must not any longer sacrifice the environment for the sake of rapid growth and reckless roll-outs, as that would result in unsustainable growth featuring industrial overcapacity and intensive resource consumption,” Wen said during an online chat with Internet users.

The target was lower than the 7.5 percent set for the previous five years, when the country’s economy actually grew at an annual rate of around 10 percent from 2006 to 2010.

China’s GDP growth reached 10.3 percent last year. Most economists expect growth to be around 9 percent this year, and slightly less in 2012.

Increased efforts will be made to improve people’s living standards, and the government will adopt new performance evaluations for local governments to hasten economic restructuring.

The criterion for assessing their performance is “whether the public are happy or not … but not by how many high-rise buildings and projects he had been involved in,” Wen said.

He also promised to strengthen efforts to contain increases in prices of food and other commodities, which have stoked inflation. Maintaining price stability has always been a priority as “rapid price rises have affected people’s lives and even social stability”, he said, adding adequate grain supplies and abundant foreign exchange reserves would help curb inflation. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Inflation, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Media, National Medium- and Long- term Talent Development Plan, Nationalism, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

China growth signals looming rate rise [The Age/Reuters]

China growth signals looming rate rise
Reuters
Source – The Age, published January 20, 2011 – 1:06PM

China finished 2010 with a bang, its growth soaring past expectations while inflation slowed less than expected, numbers that could prod the government to ratchet up its easy-does-it approach to policy tightening.

Food costs, the main driver of Chinese inflation, have picked up in recent weeks, showing that Beijing has its work cut out to keep a lid on price pressures.

But other important December data, from factory output to investment, painted a picture of stable expansion, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy was free from overheating, despite the surprise jump in growth. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Inflation, National Medium- and Long- term Talent Development Plan, People, Politics, Population, Social, The Age

China vows to tighten monetary policy in 2011 [The Age]

Cracks within the wall – The everyday Chinese already can hardly afford to put a roof over their heads with property prices exploding to astronomic levels despite regulations. To compound that – The nation’s consumer price index rose 4.4 percent year-on-year in October, well above the government’s full-year target of three percent, with the prices of 18 types of vegetable increasing more than 60 percent.

– – –

China vows to tighten monetary policy in 2011
Fran Wang
Source – The Age, published December 3, 2010

China pledged Friday to tighten monetary policy next year — a sign that new interest rate hikes are imminent, analysts say, as the world’s second-largest economy steps up its battle against inflation.

The ruling Communist party’s politburo decided to shift its stance from “relatively loose” to “prudent” at a meeting chaired by President Hu Jintao, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The politburo said it should “implement an active fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, to increase the focus, flexibility and effectiveness of macro-economic adjustments,” the report said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Environment, Inflation, Influence, People, Politics, Population, The Age

China’s inflation rate hits a two-year high [BBC]

China’s inflation rate hits a two-year high
Source – BBC, published Nov 11, 2010

Rises in food prices are helping to push inflation higher. Photo – BBC

China’s inflation rate has hit a two-year high, largely thanks to rises in food prices, despite the government’s efforts to dampen price rises.

October inflation hit a higher-than-expected 4.4%, up from September’s 3.6%, the Bureau of Statistics said.

It added that the government needed to do more to control price rises.

Beijing has introduced a number of measures, including raising interest rates and curbing bank lending, to cool rapid economic growth and price rises. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Inflation, International Relations, Population, Social

Follow me on Twitter

Archives

Calendar

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,575 other followers

East/West headlines of Rising China

East/West headlines of Rising China

About Wandering China

Click to find out more about this project

Support //WC

Support Wandering China now - buy a Tee Shirt!

Be a champ - Support Wandering China - buy a Tee Shirt!

The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
web stats

Flag Counter

free counters
Online Marketing
Add blog to our directory.