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, , , ,

Survey: Singapore’s response to China’s rise: Online Media and the formation of public opinion

It has been a while – – –

Greetings readers *especially if you are from/based-in Singapore – if you have a few moments to spare, I appreciate your input for an online survey. Your inputs are deeply appreciated as it will provide important data for this twenty-first century update of modern Singapore’s response to China’s rise.

>>> Please click here to proceed to the survey hosted on surveymonkey.com

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Research Objective in a nutshell: To study the impact of online media / web 2.0 on how people in Singapore form opinions about China’s rise.

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This survey should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. There are 38 questions in total, the majority of which are either multiple choice or based on a rating scale. Inputs will be collected and analyzed after the questionnaire closes on [June 15, 2014]. Responses are collected anonymously and will used solely for research purposes.

Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/policy/privacy-policy/ for more on privacy policy.

Filed under: Communications, Education, International Relations, Media, Politics, Singapore, , , , , , ,

China is getting better at influencing media outside China [Quartz] #RisingChina #Media

Flooding headspace to gain consensus.

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China is getting better at influencing media outside China
by Lily Kuo
Source – Quartz, published October 22, 2013

China doesn’t just exert heavy control over state media; its influence over media outlets outside China is expanding, according to a new report by Freedom House.

For the past three years, the government has been investing millions of dollars in a global soft-power push. State newspaper China Daily publishes inserts of its English edition in major Western papers from the Washington Post to the New York Times. China’s Central Television, or CCTV, has hired dozens of experienced reporters from the US for its Washington bureau and rivals other foreign operations like Al-Jazeera America.

According to the report, China is also doing things like offering free editorial content to Latin American, African and Asian news organizations that can’t afford to send correspondents to China. It’s also subtly exerting influence over Chinese-language media in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Chinese diaspora communities.

China has donated aid money, for example, to state-run media in Africa and Latin America and flown their journalists to China for training. Left-leaning countries like Bolivia and Venezuela have also bought communications satellites (pdf, p. 20) from China. In Southeast Asia, governments with close diplomatic ties to Beijing, like Vietnam and Cambodia, appear to be pressuring their media to let up on criticism of China.

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

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

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

Once China catches up – what then? [Straits Times] #RisingChina

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew on China’s economic prowess, cultural handicaps and the balance of power in the Pacific.

‘I believe that during the next 30 years, the Chinese will have no desire to enter into a conflict with the US. They know they will continue to grow stronger, but they are also aware of how far behind they are technologically. They require continued access to American schools so their students can learn how to reinvent themselves.’ Lee Kuan Yew, 2013

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Once China catches up – what then?
By Lee Kuan Yew
Source – Straits Times, Published Sep 27, 2013

Pedestrians walk past commercial buildings in Shanghai. In 2020, China’s per capita GDP is projected to reach US$10,000, one-fifth that projected for the US. And China’s population will remain four times that of the US. — PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BARRING any major disruption, the speed at which China is growing in terms of total gross domestic product will enable it to catch up with the US by 2020. China will then go on to surpass America.

During the 1978-2011 period, China’s high average rate of growth – about 10 per cent annually – was the result of Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 trip to Singapore and his subsequent decision to implement economic reforms and open the economy to international investment. During that period, the US economy’s annual growth rate was 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

Despite the financial debt crisis in Europe and the turmoil in US markets over the past few years, China’s economy has continued to register strong growth. According to the World Bank, China’s US$8.22 trillion (S$10.3 trillion) economy is now the second largest in the world, compared with the US$15.68 trillion US economy. China is the world’s largest exporter and its second-largest importer. The recent global economic crisis has allowed China to close its economic gap with the world’s top developed nations.

In 2012, China’s per capita GDP was US$9,233, compared with US$49,965 in the US. In 2020, China’s per capita GDP is projected to reach US$10,000, one-fifth that projected for the US. China’s population in 2012 was 1.4 billion, America’s 316.5 million. In 2020, China’s population will remain four times that of the US. China’s economic growth rate will continue to increase at a much higher rate because the base upon which its economy will grow is enormous in comparison.

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

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, U.S.

East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu [bsix12.com] #RisingChina #Representation

Germany meets China from the eyes of one born in China and living in Germany since the age of 14.

Read an interview dated November 13, 2007 with Yang Liu here.

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East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu
Submitted by Rainer Falle
Source – bsix12.com published – [not dated]

The artist and visual designer Yang Liu was born in China and lives in Germany since she was 14. By growing up in two very different places with very different traditions she was able to experience the differences between the two cultures first-hand.

Drawing from her own experience Yang Liu created minimalistic visualizations using simple symbols and shapes to convey just how different the two cultures are. The blue side represents Germany (or western culture) and the red side China (or eastern culture):

Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent
Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent

Attitude towards punctuality
Attitude towards punctuality

At a party
At a party

Please click here to read the rest of the article and inforgraphics at bsix12.com online.

Filed under: Advertising, Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Education, Environment, Ethnicity, Germany, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Population, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Leader who struck a chord with China [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Singapore

– Lee Kuan Yew is Singapore’s world-class asset at understanding the Chinese mind.

He had once suggested to a Chinese leader in having English as the dominant language. Would China do the same? The answer was no surprise, it was no. It was unrealistic for Lee then made it clear it was a serious handicap. Imagine competing against Chinese competition when fluency in English no longer remains a key advantage.

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Leader who struck a chord with China
Lee Kuan Yew could get China’s attention, but it will be tough for tiny Singapore to find comparable successors to fill his big shoes
By John Wong, For The Straits Times
Source – Straits Times September 18, 2013

20130919-082752.jpg
Mr Lee (on podium, right) with Chinese Premier Li Peng at a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People during his nine-day visit to China in September 1988, when he also met Chinese President Yang Shangkun, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Zhao Ziyang and paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. — PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

CHINA has published many books about former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. One written by Chang Zheng in 1996 bears this interesting title, Lee Kuan Yew: A Great Man In A Small Country (Xiao Guo Wei Ren). In politics and international power relations, does “size” matter at all?

Deng Xiaoping, a “five- footer”, had struck Mr Lee as “a giant among men” when they first met in 1978. Mr Lee has since openly stated that Deng was the most impressive leader he had ever met.

Viewed from a different angle, Singapore is a tiny city-state while China is a huge continental- sized country. The two also have inherent political, economic and social differences. Yet, they have developed strong bilateral relations, thanks to the efforts of both Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Deng.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Ethnicity, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

When it comes to China, which side is Germany on? [Guardian] #RisingChina #Germany

China and Germany teach each other lessons on contemporary influence without brandishing hard power.

On the ground, however – In a 25-country poll by the BBC (44-page PDF) published in May 2013, German opinion on China was 13% positive vs 67% negative in 2013, a marked drop – from 42% positive vs 47% negative in 2012.

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When it comes to China, which side is Germany on?
Berlin’s ‘special relationship’ with Beijing means it is not keen for the EU to start a commercial war with the Asian giant
Source – The Guardian, published September 12, 2013

20130915-083945.jpg
Angela Merkel is escorted by President Xi Jinping of China after their meeting at the G20 summit this month. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

A long-running dispute between the EU and China over the prosaic, but economically significant, matter of solar panels has thrown up a fundamental question: which side is Germany on? The trade war concerned billions of pounds of Chinese panels that Europe suspected were being heavily subsidised and then “dumped” on the European market. Germany led the opposition to taking punitive action against the Chinese.

“What is certain is that the Germans have taken up almost word for word the rhetoric of the Chinese trade ministry,” said a European diplomat from one of the countries in favour of imposing sanctions on China.

There’s a paradox at play here: it is German manufacturers who wanted the European commission to look into the solar panel issue. But for the German leadership there are bigger matters to consider, not least the country’s burgeoning “special relationship” with the Asian powerhouse.

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

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Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Germany, Government & Policy, High Speed Rail, Ideology, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Transport

Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage [BBC] #RisingChina #Economy

China announces restructuring phase to world and economic leaders.

The foundation for an economic rebound is still fragile with many uncertainties ahead,” Li Keqiang

Already on the cards…

The government has been undertaking key structural reforms, such as liberalising interest rates, allowing its currency to strengthen, and taking steps to reduce its dependency on exports.

Recent economic data showed a sharp rise in growth of exports and imports, as well as improvement in manufacturing figures. BBC

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Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage
Source – BBC, published 11 September 2013

Recent manufacturing data has soothed some fears of a “hard landing” for China’s economy

China’s economy is going through a “crucial” stage of restructuring, says the country’s Premier, Li Keqiang.

At the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Dalian, Mr Li pledged to improve relations with foreign firms.

He stressed that multinationals would get “equal treatment” with state-owned enterprises.

He added that China was well-placed to hit a growth target of 7.5% this year, despite a “complex” economic climate.

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

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade

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.

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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

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