Wandering China

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

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

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

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.

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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 »

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

China’s Expanding Life Spans—and Waistlines [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Health #Urbanisation

Checking the rear view mirror of China’s rise: Urbanisation and public health concerns over the creeping obsolescence of physical activity in China’s time-compressed concrete jungles.

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China’s Expanding Life Spans—and Waistlines
By Christina Larson
Source – Bloomberg, published June 11, 2013

Photograph by Wang Zhide. ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

Overweight students exercise in a gym during a weight-loss summer camp in Weifang of Shandong Province. Photograph by Wang Zhide. ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

Over the past two decades, China’s population has grown richer, older, more urban—and fatter. From 1990 to 2010, public health authorities in China made significant progress in stemming several of the medical challenges common in poor countries, including reducing childhood mortality and rates of infectious diseases. However, China’s population now faces additional health pitfalls exacerbated by urban smog, more sedentary lifestyles, and the rise of KFC (YUM) and cheap fast food.

In short, China’s public-health challenges now look more like America’s, for better and worse. That was a main finding of researchers at the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Peking Union Medical College, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which published a collaborative paper on public health in China in the June 8 issue of the British medical journal the Lancet. Their findings draw upon data in the World Health Organization’s 2010 Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study.

From 1970 to 2010, the average life span for men in China climbed 12.5 years (to age 72.9). The average lifespan for women climbed 15.5 years (to age 79). A major factor behind these gains has been a steep drop in childhood mortality, due in part to improved neonatal and maternal care. In 1970, 100.6 children out of a thousand died in China before they reached age 5; by 2010, that number had dropped to 12.9 deaths per thousand. (Meanwhile, even as people are living longer, fewer are being born: The average number of children born to each woman in China dropped from 4.77 to 1.64 over those 40 years.) The result is a quickly graying country.

Please click here to read the full article at Bloomberg.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Food, Government & Policy, Health, Ideology, Infrastructure, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Population, Poverty, Reform, Resources, Social, The Chinese Identity, Trade

Rat Meat Sold as Lamb Highlights Fear in China [New York Times] #RisingChina #FoodSafety

Evidence not all Chinese are positioned to participate in China’s rise as part of a collective leap.

Food safety and environmental protection face the same problem that although regulatory capacity has expanded, there’s been no fundamental change for the better… The fact that the police have become involved shows how serious the problems still are.” Mao Shoulong, professor of public policy at Renmin University in Beijing

To read the actual Ministry of Public Security report please go here (In Chinese)
公安机关集中打击肉制品犯罪保卫餐桌安全

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Rat Meat Sold as Lamb Highlights Fear in China
By Chris Buckley
Source – New York Times, published May 3, 2013

HONG KONG — Even for China’s scandal-numbed diners, inured to endless outrages about food hazards, news that the lamb simmering in the pot may actually be rat tested new depths of disgust.

In an announcement intended to show that the government is serious about improving food safety, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday that the police had caught a gang of traders in eastern China who bought rat, fox and mink flesh and sold it as mutton. But that and other cases of meat smuggling, faking and adulteration featured in Chinese newspapers and Web sites on Friday were unlikely to instill confidence in consumers already queasy over many reports about meat, fruit and vegetables laden with disease, toxins, banned dyes and preservatives.

Sixty-three people were arrested and accused of “buying fox, mink and rat and other meat products that had not undergone inspection,” which they doused in gelatin, red pigment and nitrates, and sold as mutton in Shanghai and adjacent Jiangsu Province for about $1.6 million, according to the ministry’s statement. The report, posted on the Internet, did not explain how exactly the traders acquired the rats and other creatures.

“How many rats does it take to put together a sheep?” said one typically baffled and angry user of Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblog service that often acts as a forum for public venting. “Is it cheaper to raise rats than sheep?”

Please click here to read the full article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bird Flu, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Health, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Poverty, Reform, Resources, The Chinese Identity

‘Chinese dream’ shared by nation and individual, says Xi

The Global Times on the Chinese Dream, the central rallying call for China’s motivation to move forward under Xi’s stewardship of the Chinese road to renewal.

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‘Chinese dream’ shared by nation and individual, says Xi
Globaltimes.cn
By Globaltimes.cn, published March 18, 2013

First mention:

Chinese dream” resonates online after Xi’s speech
On November 29, 2012, Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said “realizing the great renewal of the Chinese nation is the greatest dream for the Chinese nation in modern history” when he visited “The Road Toward Renewal” exhibition in Beijing along with other members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

Latest mention:

Xi shares ‘Chinese dream’
Newly elected Chinese president Xi Jinping on March 17 underlined the importance of sharing the “Chinese dream” with everyone in the country during the closing ceremony of the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress, following the installation of the new leadership.

During his keynote speech delivered to the country’s top legislature, Xi said the Chinese dream “is a dream of the whole nation, as well as of every individual,” noting that all Chinese deserve “common opportunities to enjoy a wonderful life.”

Interpretations:

To realize this dream, China must adhere to socialism with Chinese characteristics while fostering the “Chinese spirit” and uniting the people as a form of “Chinese strength,” said Xi, who was elected president on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang also pledged to deepen comprehensive reforms and allow all the people in the country to share in the dividends of reforms.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Finance, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, Infrastructure, Media, Nationalism, New Leadership, Panda Diplomacy, People, Politics, Population, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Xi Jinping

China targets 7.5% GDP growth [Xinhua] #China #Economy

There, they’ve announced it – 7.5% GDP growth. Gently tap on the brakes and take a chill pill for a bit. I think the Chinese leadership knows its utmost task is to ensure a healthy ,competitive and cohesive nation first, to thrive in the long term. Especially in light of current sentiment towards them in the global playground.

Also – see China to continue “proactive fiscal, prudent monetary” policy (Xinhua, March 5, 2013]

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China targets 7.5-pct GDP growth
by Xinhua writers Chen Siwu and Wu Zhi
Source – Xinhua, published March 5, 2013

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) — The Chinese government announced Tuesday that its GDP growth target will remain around 7.5 percent this year to leave room for economic restructuring.

The target is intended to help create jobs and improve people’s well-being, Premier Wen Jiabao said while delivering his last government work report to the opening session of 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature.

This marks the second consecutive year for the world’s second-largest economy to target 7.5-percent growth. In 2012, the government cut its growth forecast from 8 percent for the first time in eight years.

Please click here to read the article at its source. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, Modernisation, People, Politics, Population, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade

World’s largest building nears completion [Sydney Morning Herald/AFP] #China #Chengdu #NewCenturyGlobalCentre

Ocean City built by man… just because they can?

The scale baffles and excites the mind as China continues to build its interior, at least a thousand of kilometres from any coast.

For one who has visited the Sydney Opera House on multiple occasions, to imagine that the New Century Global Centre would be able to contain twenty of the Opera Houses stretches the contours of the headspace. I will be visiting Chengdu shortly, and will post an update on the mammoth structure that will feature an artificial sun with an artificial 500m long beach.

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World’s largest building nears completion
AFP
Source – Sydney Morning Herald, published December 28, 2012

Source - Sydney Morning Herald 'CHINA CONSTRUCTS WORLD'S BIGGEST BUILDINGThe 100-metre-high New Century Global Centre in Chengdu is a symbol of the spread of China's boom, 500m long and 400m wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses, according to local authorities.'  Photo: AFP

Source – Sydney Morning Herald ‘CHINA CONSTRUCTS WORLD’S BIGGEST BUILDING
The 100-metre-high New Century Global Centre in Chengdu is a symbol of the spread of China’s boom, 500m long and 400m wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses, according to local authorities.’ Photo: AFP

 

A thousand kilometres from the nearest coast, a towering glass wave rolls over the plains of Sichuan, the roof of what Chinese officials say will be the world’s largest standalone structure.

The 100-metre-high New Century Global Centre is a symbol of the spread of China’s boom, 500m long and 400m wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses, according to local authorities.

By comparison the Pentagon in Washington – still one of the world’s largest office buildings – is barely a third of the size with a mere 600,000 sq m of floor space.

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

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tourism, , , , , , ,

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader #China [New York Times]

As a student of the media, it is hard to ascertain intention from simply reading off representative lines of text in articles. Unless one has a direct face-to-face interview with the author and amongst other things, a complete understanding of the editorial process,  political economy of the transnational media institution involved, it’s at best, an informed guess. Interpreted by Chinese communities I am in touch with as part of a continuum of China gesturing in a time of Sino-US leadership transition, the consensus seems to be one of 顧全大局 – keep the eye focused on the big picture, general situation and present conditions.

New York Times: From David Barboza, correspondent for the NY Times based in Shanghai since 2004. Fact illuminating or complicating the Chinese fog of war ahead of the  leadership change scheduled to take place on Nov 8 at the 18th National Congress? I don’t think the Chinese people are overly concerned for the wider Chinese socio-economic headspace has other priorities, but for a non-Chinese audience this may take some deliberating.

Will this diminish Wen’s residual power as the Chinese central authority reconfigures itself? Also – this comes at a time when questions are being asked if Hu Jintao will step down from his chairmanship of the Central Military Commission (see Hu Jintao likely to quit as head of China’s military: analysts by the Want China Times, October 15, 2012)

The article scarcely reveals the methods behind their investigations, based on ‘[a] review of corporate and regulatory records‘. Incidentally, this story is repeated all over Australia’s state broadsheets via the agencies and was trending on Twitter when news broke. Below is what I found on my feed.

Screen capture from my Twitter Feed. Hashtag #Wenjiabao is trending at the moment. David Barboza who wrote the article was ‘credited’ by FT’s David Pilling as bringing the NYTimes website down in China.

In response, China’s Great Firewall was cranked up with a retaliatory posture, with its 500m plus  internet users now unable to search for keywords relating to Wen and NYT (save for those who utilise proxy servers to ‘tunnel’ through the wall – China condemns NY Times Wen Jiabao wealth story ‘smear’ (BBC, October 26, 2012)

On China’s Twitter-like weibo platforms, keywords such as Wen Jiabao and the New York Times are blocked. Mr Wen’s name, like most other Chinese leaders, has always been a screened keyword.

Some netizens did manage to post the article despite heavy and rapid censorship. A Sina Weibo user tweeted about the article from Kawagoe city in Japan, but his post was removed after 11 minutes.

Here’s an interesting comment on the NY Times article which piqued my interest. Fair comment, or victim of  information intertextuality and access gone wild?

It looks like ousted Chongqing leader Bo Xilai has eventually got to fight back. Revelations about Wen Jiabao family’s hidden fortune have been timed to coincide with expulsion of Bo Xilai from top legislature that stripped him of his MP immunity, which means he’s now facing a biased trial and harsh imprisonment, if not worse. With the revelations Bo Xilai and his supporters landed a devastating blow straight at the top of China political establishment. Adding to the drama the long awaited change in China’s secretive and closed leadership is looming only few days away. Wondering whether this is just the first and last retaliatory blow from someone who has given up all hopes and deems to be doomed. I would bet that Mr. Bo Xilai keeps ready some more bunker-busting ammos in store and signaled loud an clear that he’s now ready to use all of them in his last-stance fight. If my bet is right things in China in the very near future will get quite interesting. Comment on article by Mario from Italy

If found true however, will this fall under the list 52 “unacceptable practices” (不准 – 中国共产党党员领导干部廉洁从政若干准则 in full)? Introduced in 2010 to fight widespread corruption after an initial trial that started in 1997, the code of ethics has a special emphasis on indirect corruption – when officials abuse power to benefit not themselves directly, but their relatives. The code explicitly names ‘spouses, children, in-laws and other relatives’ as unacceptable beneficiaries depending on transaction.

According to a Shanghai cable in 2007 that Wikileaks got its hands onto – “Wen is disgusted with his family’s activities, but is either unable or unwilling to curtail them.” Swimming in a sea of driftwood collateral corruption, if you will.

For a wider perspective – check out A rising pitch against corruption [Straits Times, March 8, 2010] – that examined China’s ever-lingering problem – corruption. The issue has brought down many Chinese institutions in the past – 3% of the GDP being siphoned off sounds like no small number. Back in 2010, Wen Jiabao spoke at the National People’s Congress, stressing that failure to ‘check corruption will have a ‘direct bearing’ on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) grip on power.’ This article then argued that it is not China’s modern capitalist leanings that have fueled today’s problems. Rather, it feels that it was Mao who “created a privilege-based political system that lies at the heart of China’s contemporary corruption woes.” Beyond that the fine line between guanxi and gifting as a significant cultural paradigm Chinese, diasporic or not, subscribe to makes the western interpretation of corruption hard to impose.

 And here’s a two-year rewind with Inflation, corruption could hurt China: Wen (The Age/AFP, October 3, 2012). In an interview with Fareed Zakaria on GPS, he said, “I do have worry for the management of inflation expectations in China… And that is something that I have been trying very hard to manage appropriately and well, because I believe corruption and inflation will have an adverse impact on stability of power in our country.”

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Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader
by David Barboza
Source – New York Times, published October 25, 2012

Many relatives of Mr. Wen became wealthy during his leadership. Source – New York Times, 2012

BEIJING — The mother of China’s prime minister was a schoolteacher in northern China. His father was ordered to tend pigs in one of Mao’s political campaigns. And during childhood, “my family was extremely poor,” the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said in a speech last year.

But now 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind — she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show.

The details of how Ms. Yang, a widow, accumulated such wealth are not known, or even if she was aware of the holdings in her name. But it happened after her son was elevated to China’s ruling elite, first in 1998 as vice prime minister and then five years later as prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Influence, Internet, Law, Maoism, Media, New York Times, Peaceful Development, Politics, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

Old 100 names: Witnesses of China’s history [BBC]

BBC on 老百姓: A bottom-up look at China from its Lao Bai Xing 老百姓 as the 18th National Congress draws closer. Scientific development was entrenched as guiding ideology for the 17th. What can we expect from the 18th? In Chinese 老百姓 literally means the old hundred clans though it could range in semantic meaning from “ordinary folks“, “honest folk”, “the people“, or “commoners.” Historically, the genesis of the 100 clans in folklore is also an interesting shaper of an identity that has prevailed over the ages.

There is a lot of unresolved history in China, some of it too recent and too painful to address, but not far below the surface. And deep history matters too – the cycles of unity and fragmentation, and the deference punctuated by rebellion that defines the relationship between people and state.

Further reading – A designer’s thoughts – Curiousity Chronicles on Lao Bai Xing

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Old 100 names: Witnesses of China’s history
By Carrie Gracie
Source – BBC News, Shixiaguan, published October 18, 2012

Photo source – BBC, 2012 from Getty Images

Chinese has a word for the people whose names don’t make it into the history books – the Laobaixing or “old 100 names”. They have witnessed history, even if they have only played a bit part. They have also inherited their community’s folk memory and will pass it on to their children.

Mountains behind. Blue sky above. And all around a forest of gold spears. Mei Jingtian is harvesting his maize with a scythe. It’s a scene which can’t have changed much in hundreds of years.

The sweetcorn is fine this year. Heavy summer rains have made the cobs swell. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Confucius, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Government & Policy, History, Human Rights, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , , ,

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