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

– – –

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

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.
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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.

Opinion: Coming to terms with China’s rise [Straits Times] #RisingChina #InternationalRelations

An Australian + Singapore perspective on the concert of nations in the contemporary multipolar status quo.

Asad Latif with a book review of Australia National University Professor Hugh Whites’s The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power.

This is a thought-provoking book by a first-rate strategic intellectual. Still, some of White’s observations are questionable. Referring to the Monroe Doctrine – under which America reserved for itself a pre-eminent role in the Western Hemisphere that excluded sharing power with others – he implies that China could have a comparable doctrine in Asia. Asad Latif

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Coming to terms with China’s rise
America has three choices – resist China’s rise, withdraw from Asia, or agree to share power
By Asad Latif For The Straits Times
Source – Straits Times, published August 17, 2013 (subscription required)

From left: Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the end of the 5th United States and China Strategic and Economic Dialogue last month. Officials from the two world powers met to discuss their countries’ relationship. — PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power
Hugh White
publisher Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 191 pages

WAR between America and China is a clear and sufficient danger, the Australian strategic thinker Hugh White warns in this book. Both countries are formulating their military plans and building their forces specifically with the other in mind.

They are competing to garner support from other Asian countries. Ominously, they are viewing regional disputes such as in the South China Sea as terrains of rivalry.

Since a major Asian war could be the worst in history, the United States – the region’s preponderant power today – should avoid the calamity. So should China, which is fast catching up with America economically and capable of translating this power into military clout.

However, unlike the US, China does not see itself as the only great power in the international system. It does not seek to oust America from Asia, as America seeks to contain it in Asia. Hence, it is up to Washington to make overtures to Beijing that would prevent a catastrophic war.

Please click here to access the entire article at the Straits Times online (subscription required). Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source - Straits Times, 2013

Source – Straits Times, 2013

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

How Mao created China’s capitalist revolution [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Reform #Mao

Reform made of sterner stuff… crossing China’s ideological chasm from the old to new.

One of the most interesting and paradoxical explanations originates with Mao, the very person who had such a destructive effect on China in the last decades of his life. By razing the edifice of old China as relentlessly as he did, Mao may have actually cleared the way for Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s subsequent reforms, thereby playing a role in China’s rebirth that Mao could never have imagined while alive.

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How Mao created China’s capitalist revolution
By razing China’s old value system, he cleared the way for Deng’s reforms
By Orville Schell And John Delury for the Washington Post.
Source – printed in Straits Times, published Jul 27, 2013

20130728-081831.jpg
A statue of Mao Zedong in Shenyang, Liaoning province. No leader in 20th-century China was more totalistic and unrelenting in attacking traditional culture than Mao. By force-marching Chinese society away from its old ways, he presented Deng with a vast construction site on which the demolition of old structures and strictures had been mostly completed, ready for reform and opening up. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IN HIS opening remarks at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, an annual meeting between high- ranking United States and Chinese officials, Vice-President Joseph Biden spoke about his first visit to China in 1976, the year that Chairman Mao Zedong died.

“It was already clear then,” he said last week, “that China stood on the cusp of remarkable change.”

That was 37 years ago, when China was still one of the poorest countries in the world – even after a century of experimentation with one formula after another for making the nation wealthy and powerful again.

It was by no means clear back then whether the incipient changes Mr Biden sensed would really take hold. Few imagined that by the early 21st century, China would be in a position to challenge the US economically, militarily and even in the contest for soft power.

So, after spending so many generations mired in a cycle of failed reform and revolution, how did China finally manage to chin itself up into its present period of prolonged economic dynamism?

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, Maoism, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Being Chinese in South-east Asia [Straits Times] #RisingChina #OverseasChinese

Once overshadowed by ethnic branding and stereotypes…

This book disproves the lie that the Chinese cannot be integrated because of their racial exclusivity, their loyalty by default to China, and the cultural insecurity of indigenous South-east Asian societies.

– – –

Being Chinese in South-east Asia

Ethnic community in this region is as deeply embedded as any other today
By Asad Latif For The Straits Times
Source – ST, published Jul 06, 2013

20130708-072506.jpg
An enactment of a Peranakan wedding at the Peranakan Museum. The book’s value lies in extending its analysis of the contribution of the Baba to Singapore and Malaysia, to ethnic Chinese in South-east Asia. — ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Golden Dragon And Purple Phoenix: The Chinese And Their Multi-ethnic Descendants In Southeast Asia
By Lee Khoon Choy
Singapore: World Scientific, 585 pages

AMONG the more than 60 million ethnic Chinese settled around the world, 33 million live in South- east Asia.

Their identity was once overshadowed by the idea that wherever there are Chinese, there is China. That assertion incorporated them into the Sinic sphere of influence, questioned the possibility of loyalty to the lands of their birth, and undermined their claim to the region.

Ethnic Chinese became targets of a deadly stereotype: To be Chinese meant to be clever, rapacious, inscrutable and suspect. They were envied for their industry and thrift, but their business success was imputed to the clannish networks that cornered commercial power. Perceptions of racial exclusiveness tinged with chauvinism threatened to turn them into eternal outsiders in South-east Asia.

The community paid a terrible price for that ethnic branding. It was the chief victim of the Japanese invasion and occupation of Malaya and Singapore during World War II.

Please click here to access the entire article at the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, People, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized

Greater US-China ties can cut both ways [Straits Times]

A greater engagement between the two countries is helpful, but it is a double-edged sword. Certainly, better understanding between leaders reduces the risk of greater distrust. But it could also expect China to deliver more than it is ready to do. And, not least, as the engagement is strengthened, expectations of each other will increase. Historian Wang Gungwu for the Straits Times.

Interesting times indeed. The Xi-Obama summit sees engagement thrown into the US-China mix while both sides build up respective pivots to contain each other – strategic proxy pieces unveiling in this year alone.

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Greater US-China ties can cut both ways
By Wang Gungwu For The Straits Times
Source – Straits Times, published June 10, 2013

20130612-220159.jpg

There is rising alarm at the new capacity of the Chinese to buy their way to influence and potential dominance. That was the way many saw the US not long ago. China is now likely to be seen in the same light. — PHOTO: AP

LAST week’s meeting in California between the presidents of China and the United States won the world’s attention. It was convenient for Mr Xi Jinping to stop by after Mexico and it was significant that the meeting was held on American soil. The chance for the two men to get to know each other better is clearly significant for the two countries’ future relationship. The fact that the two have different interests, however, cannot be wished away.

It has been easy for the popular media in each country to portray the other by highlighting what its peoples expect to hear. For example, many Chinese see America as weakening: its liberal capitalist economy is failing, President Barack Obama and his political opponents are fatally divided, and the military planners are determined to contain China in order for America to remain forever dominant in Asia.

At its core, US national interest leads its leaders to think in Cold War terms. Hence the system of alliances from that period is being kept to ensure that ultimately the communist system in China will collapse as it did in the Soviet Union two decades earlier. Most Chinese believe that this factor explains much of what the US is doing in Asia today.

Please click here to read the full article at the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tourism, Trade, U.S.

BY INVITATION: The slow boat in China is good for the region [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Growth

East Asia Institute professional fellow John Wong with an overview on China’s rejigging of its growth rhetoric and how ASEAN stands to benefit.

China has sustained hyper growth for more than 30 years. This is because it has much greater internal dynamics. A case in point is that only half of China’s population today is urbanised. China may therefore still have plenty of room for expansion in the medium term.

Still, China must also start adjusting to the inevitable transition from double-digit hyper expansion to more sustainable growth levels.

And perhaps quite saliently, this is something many miss – China can afford to do it.

A recent projection by the World Bank shows that China’s average growth through most of this decade will still be around 7 per cent to 8 per cent, easing to 6 per cent or 5 per cent in the 2020s. What is “low growth” for China is actually not low at all by regional and global standards.

Zooming out, while rising China takes a deep breath from hyper growth, it may be an opportune time for ASEAN to gear itself up further. The sustained ideological Sino-US chest beating will continue but it also needs to keep an eye on a multipolar future.

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BY INVITATION: The slow boat in China is good for the region
China’s growth is slowing, in line with long-declared policy to prevent overheating. Asean too will benefit from less competitive pressures in exports and investments.
By John Wong
Source – The Straits Times, published Jun 01, 2013

20130602-050224.jpg
— ST ILLUSTRATION by ADAM LEE

HAVING chalked up 9.9 per cent growth a year for over three decades, China’s economy is showing clear signs of slowing down.

No economy can keep on growing at such a breakneck rate for so long without running into constraints. An economy that has experienced high growth for a prolonged period inevitably slows as its original growth-inducing forces weaken. This is simply a result of the working of the market forces.

China’s slowing growth is not only inevitable; it is a desirable phenomenon, not only for the country, but also for its neighbours.

Please click here to read the full article a the Straits Times.

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Filed under: ASEAN, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, South China Sea, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Time to rebuild China-US trust [Straits Times] #SinoAmerica #RisingChina

A time to set a new example for the status quo?

– – –

Time to rebuild China-US trust
Editorial
Source – Straits Times, published May 27, 2013

SUSPICION has overtaken trust in Sino-American ties in recent months for the summit between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 to assume greater than usual significance. The two leaders will have a face-to-face chance to clear the air over such frictions as North Korean nuclear arms, East and South China Sea island disputes, cyber-hacking and trade issues.

It is good that they are meeting a few months earlier than planned. Before intervening distractions arise, it would be helpful if the two leaders are able to deepen their personal rapport in the relaxed ambience of the Californian venue. It is important to set the right tone for cooperation as regional if not global stability rides very much on how these powers, the world’s two largest economies, conduct their relations.

Beyond immediate trouble-shooting, Mr Xi and Mr Obama can and should help their countries’ ties mature. The two sides have dozens of mechanisms for communication and cooperation at various levels, including the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. They certainly should, as Mr Xi suggests, make the most of these, but there is nothing like a summit to reset the way the leaders view and deal with each other.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at the Straits Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

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