Wandering China

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

China and the Catholic Church by George Yeo [The Globalist] #RisingChina #Parallels

George Yeo examines the legitimacy of leadership in the digital age. He suggests parallels between China and the Catholic world as both institutions come under increasing scrutiny with the rise of social media.

With the social media revolution, the hierarchical structure of leadership in China and the Catholic Church is under attack. Leaders once protected by ritual and distance and sometimes also by hypocrisy and ignorance are now seen as quite human after all.

George Yeo was once Singapore’s foreign minister.

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China and the Catholic Church
by George Yeo
Source – The Globalist, published Aug 1, 2013

20130802-072027.jpg
: Left: President Xi Jinping. Right: Pope Francis. (Photo Credit: The Globalist. CC BY-NC-SA)

The hierarchical structure of leadership in China and the Catholic Church is under attack. In today’s circumstances, it is crucial to be authentic and close to ordinary people. For China and the Catholic Church, moral leadership is an inseparable part of all leadership. The world needs more of that. It is unfortunate, says George Yeo, that China and the Catholic Church are still estranged from each other, given the similar challenges they face today.

On March 14, 2013, both China and the Catholic Church announced their new leaders to the world — Xi Jinping in Beijing and Francis in the Vatican.

In a different period, their accessions would have been described as coronations. But not in today’s circumstances.

Each has responsibility for about a fifth of humanity. China and the Catholic Church are similar in many ways. Both are ancient. Both are run by Mandarins.

In the case of the Catholic Church, according to Toynbee, it was the clergy which inherited the legacy of the Roman Equestrian Order. Both China and the Church make moral claims to leadership. Each sees in the other a natural competitor.

Neither Xi nor Francis was elected by the entire citizenry or congregation. In both China and the Catholic Church, the idea of direct election to the top leadership would have been thought absurd.

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

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Religion, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Shenzhou X spacecraft mission a success [China Daily] #RisingChina #Space

Shenzhou 10 神舟十号 returns: Even when starving and purged of wonder, long-range propulsion never left the sights of the Chinese leadership in Mao’s era… That determination persists. That it is now expressive and spacefaring in the span of decades since is demonstrative of a particular resilience.

Check out Wang Yaping’s science lesson on Tiangong-1 天宫 lab here. She happens to be the second Chinese female taikonaut – in the space of a year.

. . . Compared with its previous mission Shenzhou-9 last year, the Shenzhou X is no longer experimental but considered an applicable shuttle system for transporting astronauts and supplies to orbiting modules.

. . . China is the third country after the United States and Russia to acquire the technologies and skills necessary for space rendezvous and docking procedures, as well as supply manpower and material for an orbiting module via different docking methods.

The autonomous Tiangong project, first authorized in 1999 – culminates in an orbital station.

For more, please see –
China’s Shenzhou-10 Crew Returns to Earth by Universe Today on June 26, 2013

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Shenzhou X spacecraft mission a success
By Xin Dingding
Source – China Daily, published June 26, 2013

20130629-052949.jpg

Astronauts (L to R) Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping wave to the welcoming crowd after they go out of Shenzhou X spacecraft’s return capsule on Wednesday morning. [Photo/Xinhua]

20130629-053025.jpg

Astronauts (L to R) Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping wave to the welcoming crowd after they go out of Shenzhou X spacecraft’s return capsule on Wednesday morning. [Photo/Xinhua]

Three astronauts who completed China’s longest manned space mission returned to Earth safely Wednesday morning, marking another step forward towards the country’s goal of building a permanent manned space station by 2020.

Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China’s manned space program, said the Shenzhou X mission was a “complete success”.

The reentry module of Shenzhou X landed safely on a sun-lit prairie in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at about 8:07 a.m. Wednesday. All three astronauts were in good physical condition.

Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou X crew and a second-time space traveler, was the first to emerge out of the bowl-like module, followed by Wang Yaping, the only female astronaut of the mission, and Zhang Xiaoguang.

During a brief welcoming ceremony held at the landing area, the astronauts waved merrily to a crowd composed of military officers, the search and recovery team, and health personnel.

“It feels really good to be back home,” said astronaut Nie Haisheng.

“We are dreamers, and we have now fulfilled our dream,” said Zhang Xiaoguang. “Our space dream knows no boundary, and our hard work will never cease,” he said.

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli arrived at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center Wednesday morning and watched the live broadcast of the return and recovery of Shenzhou X there.

Zhang delivered a congratulatory note on behalf of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council, and the Central Military Commission, celebrating the success of the Shenzhou X mission.

The Shenzhou X is China’s first application-oriented space flight.

Compared with its previous mission Shenzhou-9 last year, the Shenzhou X is no longer experimental but considered an applicable shuttle system for transporting astronauts and supplies to orbiting modules.

The mission aims to further test technologies designed for docking and supporting astronauts’ stay in space, as well as to use new technologies related to the construction of a space station, a spokeswoman for China’s manned space program told the press prior to the launch of the Shenzhou X spacecraft on June 11.

In its 15-day journey in space, Shenzhou X docked with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1 twice, once through automatic operation and the other manual.

The astronauts spent 12 days in Tiangong-1, where they conducted space medical experiments, technical tests and delivered a lecture to students on Earth about basic physics principles.

The Shenzhou X mission was the first high-profile space mission after Xi Jinping took office as China’s President in March this year.

On June 24, Xi made a video call to the astronauts, during which he said “the space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger.”

“With the development of space programs, the Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into the space,” the President said.

China is the third country after the United States and Russia to acquire the technologies and skills necessary for space rendezvous and docking procedures, as well as supply manpower and material for an orbiting module via different docking methods.

Previous docking procedures conducted between Shenzhou-type spacecraft and the orbiting space lab included two automated dockings by the unmanned Shenzhou-8 in 2011 and both an automated and manual docking by the manned Shenzhou-9 in 2012.

The Tiangong-1 space lab has been in orbit for more than 600 days. It is designed to function for two years. The module is considered the first step in building a permanent space station in the future.

Since its first manned space mission in 2003, China has sent ten astronauts and six spacecrafts into the space.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Green China, Ideology, Influence, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Religion, Resources, Science, space, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity

Challenge China to Free Tibetans [Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #Tibet

Truth or dare? For more on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, go here.

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Challenge China to Free Tibet
Xi Jinping needs to hear that religious freedom is the only way to stop self-immolations.
By Elliott Abrams and Azizah Al-Hibri
Source – Wall Street Journal, published April 21, 2013

When Kal Kyi, a 30-year-old mother of four, set herself on fire in March to protest Chinese repression of Tibet, she joined a grim and growing fellowship of despair. Over the past four years, 112 Tibetans have immolated themselves in protest against Chinese oppression.

Tibet is burning, and the world community, including the U.S., must speak out. China’s new president, Xi Jinping, and the rest of its leadership must be persuaded that its interests lie with respecting human rights, particularly freedom of religion, and to restart discussions with Tibet’s exiled leader, the Dalai Lama.

Unfortunately, persuading Beijing is no simple task. China’s rulers have dug in their heels on Tibet as self-immolations continue to mount. They have expanded repressive measures while accusing foreign forces of fueling Tibetan grievances.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Peacekeeping, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Random, Religion, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, Tibet, Wall Street Journal, Xi Jinping, , ,

CCP moves away from Maoism [Straits Times]

Straits Times: No more Mao Zedong thought as guiding ideological principle?

The Bo crisis shows this way of “saying Mao” while “doing Deng” is potentially unstable… Finally, by deleting Maoism, it might usher in a Xi-era of political reform, now that the biggest ideological obstacle is removed. Cheong Ching, Straits Times, 2012

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CCP moves away from Maoism
Revised Chinese Communist Party charter will usher in political reforms
By Ching Cheong Senior Writer
Source – Straits Times, published November 1, 2012

HONG KONG – The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) convenes it seventh plenum today with a bold move to take Maoism out of the party’s Constitution.

The meeting’s main agenda is to iron out the details of the leadership changes which had in the past year been the focus of international attention.

An equally important task is to revise the party’s charter: One possible change is that communist China’s founding father Mao Zedong’s thought may no longer be a guiding principle of the party. This would be an extremely important change for China. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Influence, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Religion, Social, Straits Times, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Xi Jinping, , , , , , , , , , ,

Confucius in church [Global Times]

On the Global Times front page: Cross-pollinating two cultures by bridging church and Confucianism.

Not everyone’s in favour and the lessons have a class currently 14 strong. The Christian population is certainly growing in China, and I see it here in Melbourne as well – I see Chinese students  convert to Christianity on a weekly basis. China Daily reported in 2010 the findings of a survey by the Institute of World Religions at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It revealed 23.05 million followers then, where

“Nearly 69 percent of believers said they converted to Christianity after either they or members of their family fell ill…About 15 percent of believers said they are Christian because of the influence of family traditions.” Li Lin, in the Blue Book on China Religions, a book that lists facts on religion in China.

The last official census saw 4 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants expressing their faith outright.
What does one make out of this – nip in the bud, social engineering, or genuine story of hybridization?

“Many Christians are ignorant of traditional culture, and some are even against learning it because they believe the Bible is the only book they need and that Confucianism and other schools of thought might interfere with their beliefs,” Shi Hengtan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who leads the class of 14 people in Beijing.

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Confucius in church
by Xuyang Jingjing
Source – Global Times, published October 9, 2012

A Christian church situated in Jiangbeizui, Chongqing Photo: CFP

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and a group of Christians are meeting in a regular gathering. They start to sing hymns, raising their hands in praise. After concluding grace with “Amen,” they sit down and start to study, not the Bible, but the Confucian classic Lun Yu, or the Analects.This is part of a quiet grass-roots campaign among a small number of Chinese Christians to learn about traditional Chinese culture. Organizers say they simply want to help promote dialogue and better understanding between the two cultures by reading the Analects and the Bible side by side, but their efforts have met with criticism from both Christians and Confucian scholars.Shi Hengtan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, leads the class of 14 people in Beijing. Since September they have been meeting once a week to study the Analects. The class read the text, and Shi offers an explanation, and then quotes a verse from the Bible with a similar meaning. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Population, Religion, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , ,

China detains Protestant Shouwang Devotees [BBC]

The BBC reports the latest as more Shouwang Devotees get detained as they gathered for Easter Service.

Related News here – China Keeps Church Leaders from Public Worship Attempt (Compass Direct News, April 11, 2011)

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China detains Protestant Shouwang Devotees
Source – BBC, published April 24, 2011

At least 20 Chinese Protestants have been detained as they tried to gather for an Easter service in Beijing.

The worshippers, from the Shouwang church, were trying to hold an outdoor service because they are prevented from using their own premises.

Police have recently arrested dozens of people from the church. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Education, Environment, Human Rights, Influence, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Religion, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China Keeps Church Leaders from Public Worship Attempt [Compass Direct News]

Some argue that Christianity will help bridge the great divide between East and West. Judging from the report, there certainly is resistance. Shouwang Church, 1000 members strong denies its outdoor service is a form of political protest. On the other hand, the Chinese are holding back about ‘two dozen’ pastors and elders from attending the outdoor Sunday service. Without the primacy of first-hand knowledge, this all remains speculation on my part; but one thing’s for sure: Jesus has arrived in China –

Shouwang is ‘…one of the largest house churches in Beijing, Shouwang is unique in insisting on meeting together rather than splitting the congregation into smaller groups meeting in several locations…

“This is based on the founding fathers’ vision for Shouwang Church to be a ‘city on a hill,’” as stated in the Bible in Matthew chapter five, Fu explained. “So they’ve made a conscious decision not to go back to the small-group model. Either the government gives them the keys to their building or gives them written permission to worship in another location, or they will continue meeting in the open.”

For some insight into the Church inner workingsA Letter to the Congregation: Beijing Shouwang Church (China Source, November 12, 2009).  For more on the source that the pastors and elders have held – go to the  China Aid Association (coincidentally, its motto – expose, encourage, equip).

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China Keeps Church Leaders from Public Worship Attempt
Police put pastors under house arrest over weekend, before detaining at least 160 on Sunday.
Source – Compass Direct News, published April 11, 2011

DUBLIN, April 11 (CDN) — Police in China held “about two dozen” pastors and elders of Beijing’s Shouwang Church under house arrest or at police stations over the weekend to keep them from attending a Sunday worship service in a public location, according to Bob Fu of the China Aid Association.

Three top leaders of the church remain in jail and several others are under strict surveillance after hundreds of Chinese police yesterday cordoned off the walkway to a third-floor outdoor meeting area adjacent to a property purchased by the church in Haidian district, Beijing, and arrested at least 160 members of the 1,000-strong church as they tried to assemble.

The church members were bundled into waiting vans and buses to prevent them from meeting as planned in the public space, Reuters and The Associated Press (AP) reported, and most had been released by today. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Compass Direct News, Culture, Democracy, Education, Environment, Human Rights, Influence, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Religion, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Pope urges end to conflicts in Christmas message [BBC]

Relations between the Vatican and China – they broke formal diplomatic ties half a century ago – have recently reached their lowest point in years.

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Pope urges end to conflicts in Christmas message
Analysis by David Willey – BBC News, Rome
Source  – BBC, published December 25, 2010

Pope Benedict said the Christmas message of peace and hope was always new, surprising and daring. It should spur everyone towards a peaceful struggle for justice.

He dived straight into a list of the world’s main trouble spots, singling out the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and China. In the Middle East, the Vatican fears further attacks like the one on a Catholic cathedral in Baghdad in October that killed 52 people.

In China, Communist authorities have been forcing Catholic Bishops to attend events organised by the state-backed “patriotic church” which does not recognise the Pope’s authority. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Culture, Domestic Growth, People, Population, Religion, Social, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, The Economist

Vatican in new clash with China over church [Bloomberg/AP]

Vatican in new clash with China over church
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON
The Associated Press
Source – Bloomberg, published December 18, 2010

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican accused China on Friday of spurning efforts for improved ties with the Holy See, condemning the government-backed church as violating religious freedom and human rights.

Pope Benedict XVI’s outreach to China has been answered by “unacceptable and hostile acts,” the Vatican said in an unusually strong statement that accused Beijing of unilaterally damaging “the climate of trust that had been established.”

The Vatican statement had been expected following last week’s election of senior members of China’s government-backed church that included a prelate unrecognized by the Vatican to head its bishop’s council. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AP, Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, China Trip 2010, Influence, International Relations, People, Population, Reform, Religion, Social

China ordains bishop despite Vatican objection [BBC]

‘China and the Vatican have had no diplomatic ties since the 1950s, when Beijing expelled foreign clergy.

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China ordains bishop despite Vatican objection
Source – BBC, published November 20, 2010

China’s state-backed Catholic church has challenged the Vatican by ordaining a bishop without papal approval – the first such ceremony since 2006.

Guo Jincao’s ordination was carried out in the north-eastern city of Chengde amid a strong security presence.

Eight Vatican-approved bishops are believed to have been forced to attend the ceremony. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Education, Environment, Lifestyle, People, Population, Religion, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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