Wandering China

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

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

_60975482_tiangong_624x500

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

Beijing’s Haidian district Rooftop Villa floors residents [Straits Times] #RisingChina #RooftopVilla

Faux mountain on an apartment block: Another reminder why China needs a sterner hand to govern, perhaps.

For more see also:

Beijing professor builds illegal mountain villa on rooftop of apartment block (CNN, August 13, 2013)

plus

Illegal Rooftop Villa in Beijing Reveals China’s Culture of Impunity (Time, August 14, 2013)

‘It was an abode worthy of a James Bond villain, but was ultimately bested by a foe slightly less charismatic than the British secret agent — Chinese planning regulations. The faux-rock villa complete with trees, patios and karaoke studio situated on a Beijing apartment-building roof will soon be torn down after a demolition order was issued by the city’s urban-management department. Zhang Biqing, who built the illegal 800-sq-m structure from plastic and resin, told the BBC on Tuesday that he would comply. However, critics allege that far from being merely an eccentric folly, the case demonstrates an ingrained culture of legal impunity for China’s wealthy elite.’

Source - CNN, 2013

Source – CNN, 2013

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Rooftop villa floors residences
By Ho Ai Li
Source – Straits Times, published August 18, 2013

20130818-082514.jpg

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Social, Straits Times, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Breast feeding seats on public buses in Zhengzhou [Xinhua/New Paper Singapore] #RisingChina #Motherhood

Better days ahead…

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Source – The New Paper Singapore, published August 17, 2013

20130817-095848.jpg

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Health, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Modernisation, Photo Story, The Chinese Identity

China uses pickle index to track migrant flows [Straits Times/AFP] #RisingChina #InternalMigrantFlows

榨菜 (Zha Cai) literally means pressed vegetables. The now ubiquitous pickle that hails from Sichuan is not only a popular dish amongst migrant workers in China – it’s quite the staple with many Chinese worldwide too.

Also, see

‘Pickle index’ measures changing tide of Chinese migrant workers (South China Morning Post, August 14, 2013)

Sceptical of often unreliable provincial statistical data, China’s chief economic engineers have turned to a large, radish-like mustard tuber to measure the country’s urbanisation rate.

Consumption patterns of the preserved vegetable, a staple dish of migrant workers, helped researchers track labourers’ movement within China, an unnamed staffer of the planning department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told the Economic Observer.

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China uses pickle index to track migrant flows.
AFP
Source – Straits Times print edition, published Aug 14, 2013

20130815-071012.jpg

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Food, Government & Policy, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Modernisation, People, Population, Poverty, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Chinese ship takes shorter Arctic Route [Straits Times] #RisingChina #ArcticRoute

To complement its string of pearls: China eyes  the Bering Strait and Russian coastline to solidify access to the European market worth US$550 billion in two-way trade last year.

Made navigable by shrinking Arctic ice, this route potentially shaves 12-15 days off the journey through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

Also, please see the prelude China Granted Access to Arctic Club as Resource Race Heats Up [Business Week] earlier in 2013 and

Chinese cargo ship sets sail for Arctic short-cut [Financial Times, August 11, 2013]

The Yong Sheng, a 19,000-tonne vessel operated by state-owned Cosco Group, set sail on August 8 from Dalian, a port in northeastern China, bound for Rotterdam. According to an announcement on Cosco’s website, the journey via the Bering Strait could shave as much as 15 days off the traditional route through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea.

Chinese ship plys new Arctic trade route [Sydney Morning Herald, August 11, 2013]

For more info on COSCO and its fleet of ships (including the Yong Sheng), please click here.

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Chinese ship takes shorter Arctic Route
by the AFP
Source – Straits Times, published August 11, 2013

Source - Straits Times, 2013

Source – Straits Times, 2013

Filed under: Arctic, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, String of Pearls, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, Transport

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.

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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

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela [FP] #SurveillanceSociety #RisingChina

X-Keyscore: facilitating a global surveillance society largely unhindered by the tyranny of distance and time.

For more, see how big brother gets complacent: X-Keyscore: The NSA Tool So Secret It’s Advertised on Job Boards

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Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela
Posted By Elias Groll
Source – Foreign Policy, published Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Source - FP

Source – Guardian

Here’s something the National Security Agency probably isn’t happy to find in Edward Snowden’s latest revelation about its activities: The surprising locations of the servers that make up the program X-KEYSCORE, which, according to one leaked agency presentation, has the ability to vacuum up nearly every move a user makes on the Internet.

Those locations reportedly include China, Ecuador, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela. In short, the NSA has managed to either place or gain access to servers in a collection of countries that are deeply hostile to the United States. Put another way, computer technicians in every one of those countries are probably combing through their systems right now to figure out ways to boot out the NSA.

The image at the top of this post comes from Wednesday’s Guardian story on X-KEYSCORE, which includes a set of slides described as internal NSA training material. The slide in question says that the program includes roughly 150 sites around the world and spans some 700 servers. The Guardian‘s coverage does not make entirely clear how the program works, but the report seems to outline a system that perches on top of communications infrastructure and sucks up streams of data that the X-KEYSCORE system then sifts into a searchable format. According to theGuardian, the volume of collected information is so large that content is stored on the system for three to five days before being deleted, and metadata stays on the system for 30 days. The picture that emerges is of NSA analysts running searches against a continuous data stream.

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

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

The Fastest Changing Place On Earth (BBC) #RisingChina #Urbanisation

The BBC with a ground up close up of what it means to ride China’s irresistible wave of land reform.The China model has a lot of mouths and expectations to feed. Much of its interior still requires some work – turning 500 million more rural folk into city folk is a great task at hand.

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This World tells the story of White Horse Village, a tiny farming community deep in rural China. A decade ago, it became part of the biggest urbanisation project in human history, as the Chinese government decided to take half a billion farmers and turn them into city-dwelling consumers.

It is a project with a speed and scale unimaginable anywhere else on Earth. In just ten years, the Chinese Government plan to build thousands of new cities, a new road network to rival that of the USA and 300 of the world’s biggest dams.

Carrie Gracie follows the lives of three local people during this upheaval, filmed over the past six years.

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, Youtube

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