Wandering China

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

China officials slam themselves – on TV [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Self-Cleansing

China: reflexive days ahead?

Also, see Sweating and on the verge of tears: Chinese officials carry out self-criticism on TV

by Zhang Hong (South China Morning Post)

Source - SCMP, September 28, 2013

Source – SCMP, September 28, 2013

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China officials slam themselves – on TV
Criticism session part of CCP’s self-cleansing campaign: Observers
Source – Straits Times, published September 28, 2013

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Xi has pledged to clean up the CCP by ridding its ranks of bureaucracy and extravagance. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IT WAS a made-for-television criticism and self-criticism show.

In an unprecedented move, China’s state broadcaster CCTV showed top officials of Hebei province criticising “impatient” superiors even as they admitted to overspending on things like official cars and lavish dinners.

Observers noted that the programme televised on Wednesday is a first, and shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intensifying its “self-cleansing” campaign.

They also said other provinces might follow Hebei’s lead, and that the people would dismiss such “self-criticism” sessions as a mere show, unless errant officials were also taken to task.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times online.
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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Apple #Gold

Apple taps into Chinese mind – mixing their perception of gold with cyclical obsolescence of the mobile phone.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores. Leonid Bershidsky, 2013

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China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold
By Leonid Bershidsky
Source – Bloomberg, published Sep 25, 2013

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

I have two words for those who still think Apple’s marketing genius died with Steve Jobs: China and gold.

In preparing the debut of its two new iPhone models, the 5s and 5c, Apple made the crucial decision to include China in the product launch, and to offer a gold-colored high-end phone. Voila, a sales record: 9 million iPhones sold in the opening weekend, up from 5 million for the original iPhone 5.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores.

Gold is a well-used marketing tool in the world of mobile devices. “Dumb” phone manufacturers have used the hue, especially in Asian markets and Russia, ever since color handsets came into existence in the early 2000s. Nokia made fun of the gold iPhone 5s, tweeting from its UK corporate account, “Real gangsters don’t use gold phones.” The Finnish company itself, however, has produced a number of gold-colored models, including one that used genuine 18K gold plate.

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

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Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Influence, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, 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

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

Hunting tigers: In cracking down on corrupt officials, Xi Jinping must not forget fundamental reforms [Economist] #RisingChina #Reform #Corruption

Another tiger bites the dust? Jiang Jiemin 蒋洁敏 (here for biography) removed as head state asset regulator.

China sacks head of state asset regulator Jiang Jiemin amid graft probe (SCMP, September 3, 2013)

China Probes State-Assets Head as Anti-Graft Push Widens (Bloomberg, September 2, 2013)

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Hunting tigers- In cracking down on corrupt officials, Xi Jinping must not forget fundamental reforms
Source – Economist, published Sep 7th 2013 | From the print edition

20130908-103610.jpg
photo source -AP

A DRIVE against corruption? Or a political purge? Or a bit of both? Outside China, not many people noticed the dismissal of Jiang Jiemin, the minister overseeing China’s powerful state-owned enterprises (SOEs). His charge—“serious violations of discipline”—is party-speak for corruption. Officials at CNPC, a state-run oil giant which Mr Jiang used to run, have also been charged. But in Beijing it fits a pattern. It follows on from the trial of Bo Xilai, the princeling who ran the huge region of Chongqing and was a notable rival of Xi Jinping, China’s president. Mr Xi now seems to be gunning for an even bigger beast: Zhou Yongkang, Mr Jiang’s mentor, an ally of Mr Bo’s, and until last year the head of internal security whom Mr Bo once hoped to replace (see article).

Mr Xi vows to fight corrupt officials large and small—“tigers” and “flies” as he puts it. He has certainly made as much or more noise about graft as his predecessors. If Mr Zhou is pursued for corruption, it will break an unwritten rule that the standing committee should not go after its own members, past or present. And there are good reasons for Mr Xi to stamp out corruption. He knows that ill-gotten wealth is, to many ordinary people, the chief mark against the party. It also undermines the state’s economic power.

But this corruption drive is also open to another interpretation. To begin with, the tigers being rounded up are Mr Xi’s enemies. Mr Bo had hoped to use Chongqing as the springboard to the Politburo’s standing committee. The verdict on Mr Bo, expected any day, is a foregone conclusion. His sentence will be decided at the highest levels of the Communist Party, and it can only be harsh. Party politics, as seen by its players, is an all-or-nothing game, and the stakes are even higher when family prestige and fortunes are at stake.

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

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Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The Economist

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.
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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

China’s quest for world-beating brand held back by regime [Guardian] #RisingChina #Branding

Brand China: Hamstrung by regime or perception divide?

We get these endless things from the government saying there should be more innovation and brand building… But there isn’t anything behind it. The problem is that no one really wants to invest in innovative design. It’s very market-led. So if reports come to the stores that red shirts are selling, they’ll tell their in-house designers to design more red shirts. This means the designers don’t get a chance to do anything… They spent 60 years driving creativity out of the system. To reintroduce it in 10 minutes is a bit hopeful.” Paul French, chief China market strategist at market research firm Mintel.

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China’s quest for world-beating brand held back by regime
Selling Chinese-label goods at home is one thing: but to gain global recognition, the country must rediscover the arts of creativity and risk-taking
Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing
Source – The Observer, Guardian online, published Sunday 1 September 2013

20130903-084625.jpg
Robin Li, the founder and chief executive of leading Chinese search engine Baidu. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

China is the world’s second-largest economy but it has yet to develop the breakthrough global brand that will consolidate its status as a true commercial superpower. The names of Chery, Xiaomi and Baidu are synonymous with cars, mobile phones and internet search in China but they do not resonate abroad in the way that Ford, Samsung and Google straddle the globe. Likewise, there is no Chinese equivalent of Sony, Boeing or Coca-Cola, despite the ambition of the political hierarchy to convert a nation of 1.3bn people into a consumption-driven juggernaut.

That lack of a worldwide champion means that Made in China lacks prestige as a label, despite the country’s importance as the world’s factory floor, making everything from iPads to Topshop garments. And that reputation as a global manufacturing hub is one of the problems, nurturing a perception that China is synonymous with cheap, low-quality goods. Newspaper headlines in the west declaim stories about China’s toxic baby milk, lead-contaminated toys and fake pharmaceuticals.

But this is changing, as China’s leaders force that economic shift from export-based growth to consumer spending. They are pumping money into research and development so that Chinese brands can compete with foreign rivals in a burgeoning domestic market. Furthermore, many of these companies have taken that baton and are running towards foreign markets, with the hope that global success will result. Much of the push comes in the form of state subsidies – according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, the country spent £105bn on research and development last year.

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

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Filed under: Advertising, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Media, Modernisation, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, 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

China finding superpower path no cakewalk [CNN GPS] #RisingChina #Superpower

It is doubtable Chinese strategists are overly concerned in being drafted in to compete in this imagined superpower arena – largely a battle of capturing the imagination of the majority of mindshare as to who rules the hegemonic roost.

Deng spoke of this in his address to the UN almost thirty years ago. He had a dim view of the intents of superpowers. Sensing it is more a distraction than destination the Chinese have made plain their strategies to consolidate and spread equitable development, right down to sticking to its independent foreign policy of peace (since 2003) for the next five to ten years. At least the Chinese have a working and efficient plan in place. They make it plain to see meaning it is all up for public scrutiny. In rural villages, they are summarized and inscribed onto street notice walls.

It is not hard to see how problems can arise as one gets rich too quickly. I have met those who turned from sheep farmer to Land Cruiser own within the span of a few years. But lest we forget, they are the first generation of exposure to a new social compact. Perhaps the yardstick is better measured how the next line of inheritors of the Chinese legacy fare against their global peers. More and more Chinese leave the motherland to study foreign ways but tellingly, more often than not, Chinese students I meet here look forward or feel compelled to return home.

Overseas, hotspots across the straits and those in the East and South China Sea are down to legacy issues conventional international diplomacy may not be be able to fix. Their outcomes may be limited in shaping or influencing domestic public opinion in the media saturation especially those with access to the digital revolution.

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China finding superpower path no cakewalk
By Richard Wike, Special to CNN
Source – CNN GPS, published August 6, 2013

20130828-111252.jpg
Editor’s note: Richard Wike is associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Follow him on Twitter @RichardWike. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

It’s not easy being a superpower, and that’s something China is learning. A few years back, international headlines featured breathless accounts of China’s economic transformation and rave reviews of the Beijing Olympics. But today, news stories often portray a country battling over disputed territories overseas, while struggling at home with vexing issues such as pollution, corruption, and political dissent. China’s power is growing, but as it assumes a more prominent role on the world stage, its global reputation is beset by a host of challenges. Welcome to the travails of being one of the big boys on the block.

While China’s rise has been the subject of considerable debate among elites in recent years, ordinary citizens around the world have also taken note, and for many it’s a troubling development. Pew Research Center polling has shown that a growing number of people see China as the world’s leading economic power. Moreover, people not only see the economic balance of power shifting; many believe that in the long run, China will surpass the U.S. as the overall leading superpower. Across the 39 countries included in a spring 2013 Pew Research poll, a median of 47 percent say China has already replaced the U.S. as the leading superpower or will eventually do so. Just one third think China will never supplant the United States.

But, as the U.S. has often learned, power does not necessarily generate affection. More typically, it creates anxiety. In regions throughout the world, people worry about how a superpower will use its clout and how it will behave in the international arena. For instance, our polling has consistently found majorities in most countries saying the U.S. ignores their interests when making foreign policy decisions – this was true during the George W. Bush era and it remains largely true today.

Please click here to read the entire article at its CNN GPS.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, CNN, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, East China Sea, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Greater China, Hukou, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

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

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