Wandering China

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

Wang Leehom | Full Address [Oxford Union/Youtube] #RisingChina #Music #WangLeeHom

Bridging a great divide : American-born Chinese all-round entertainer Wang Leehom 王力宏 at the Oxford Union on  Chinese soft power deficit in pop culture, identity and the East/West cross-pollinaton that is nowhere near potential.

Also – Check out Wang Lee-Hom’s homage to his ethnic heritage  with a cover of  龙的传人 (Descendants of the Dragon).

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Wang Leehom | Full Address
Source – Youtube, published April 21, 2013
Download the mixtape here – : http://www.wangleehom.com/OxfordMixtape

Drawing on the lessons of his experience growing up in the US and then migrating East, Wang Leehom talks about Chinese pop music and the ability of music and pop culture to strengthen the relationship between the East and West.

Filmed on Sunday 21st April 2013

ABOUT WANG LEEHOM: The first Chinese pop star and actor to be invited speak at the Oxford Union, Wang Leehom is the perfect ambassador for Chinese pop music and commentator on the emergence of “World Pop,” not only because he has sold millions of albums and consistently been one of the hottest names in Chinese music since his debut in 1995, but also because of the unique journey he has taken from his childhood home of Rochester, New York, to concert stages and movie sets around the world.

Formally trained at Williams College and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Leehom has written and recorded songs in a large variety of styles, including pop, rap, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, and is also known for his pioneering infusion of traditional Chinese elements and instrumentation into contemporary music. In addition to his successful solo concert tours, the latest of which will bring him to The O2 in London on April 15, Leehom’s diverse musical talents have seen him perform onstage with everyone from Usher to Kenny G to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with which he appeared as as a guest conductor and violin soloist.

Additionally, Leehom is an acclaimed actor who has starred in the Golden Lion Award-winning “Lust, Caution” from Ang Lee, “Little Big Soldier” opposite Jackie Chan and the self-written and directed “Love in Disguise”. He is also well known for his philanthropic work and environmental advocacy, which were cited as reasons he was the only Chinese recording artist selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With over 33 million followers, Leehom is among the most followed personalities on Weibo (a Chinese analogue to Twitter). Source – Oxford Union, 2013

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ethnicity, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Music, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Youtube

New policies to boost relations [China Daily] #RisingChina #CrossStraitsTies

Toward a Greater China stance.

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New policies to boost relations
By AN BAIJIE
Source – China Daily, published June 17, 2013

Taiwan delegation members take photos at the fifth Straits Forum in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Sunday. Photo by HU MEIDONG / China Daily

Taiwan delegation members take photos at the fifth Straits Forum in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Sunday. Photo by HU MEIDONG / China Daily

The Chinese mainland will continue its “correct policies” to further consolidate peaceful cross-Straits ties, top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng said on Sunday.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the fifth Straits Forum in Xiamen, Fujian province. The forum is scheduled to continue through Friday.

“The new leadership will continue to follow the correct policies and dedicate itself to consolidating the political, economic, cultural and social foundation for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations,” Yu said.

Please click here to read the full article at China Daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Democracy, East China Sea, Economics, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized

Taiwan regulators, feet to the fire, talk tough on China-linked media deals [Reuters] #China #Media

As two Chinas draw closer, the jostle for voice will be dramatic one. Though they share an eye on the economic imperative, cross-straits media ownership ideals do not match.

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Taiwan regulators, feet to the fire, talk tough on China-linked media deals
By Clare Jim and Yimou Lee
Source – Reuters, published March 10, 2013

(Reuters) – Taiwan regulators, under pressure from a public worried that Beijing may meddle in their media, have begun talking tough on TV and newspaper deals by Taiwanese businessmen with strong ties to the mainland.

The island’s media watchdog has proposed new anti-monopoly rules that could scuttle the $601 million sale of Next Media Ltd’s (0282.HK) Taiwan operations to a Taiwanese group including Want Want Holdings (0151.HK) owner Tsai Eng-meng, who runs a multibillion dollar snacks-to-property empire in China.

Academics and media professionals, as well as the political opposition, fear Tsai and others who make their fortunes on the mainland will push a pro-Beijing bias on Taiwan’s free-wheeling media. Tsai, who already owns a top-four Taiwan daily, has denied any pro-China agenda but has attracted controversy as a vocal proponent of Taiwan unification with the mainland.

Please click here to read article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Back to China, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity

Agencies to probe cafe over name [Straits Times] #China #Singapore #Diaoyu #EastChinaSea

Wandering China covered this news story a little over a month ago – see Sophia Rd cafe cashes in on island dispute [AsiaOne]. Now it seems, three agencies in Singapore – the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and the Police are going to probe the cafe over its name.

Does this marketing gimmick have enough clout to affect international relations? It looks like Singapore is about to self-regulate in an act of top-down self censorship. One wonders if it is acting on a public complaint, at all.

Why further accentuating divide where convergence could be celebrated I wonder. I had the chance to visit the cafe just a few days ago and people of all races and creed could be seen sauntering in, both out of curiousity and others, to grab an affordable meal.

Some background into the probe –

‘Advertisements should not adopt or encourage a confrontational approach to resolving societal conflicts or differences. Advertisements should not exploit or fuel conflicts relating to national problems and controversial policies or issues.’

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Agencies to probe cafe over name
Diao Yu Dao moniker draws attention of police, Acra and ad authority
By Melissa Lin
Source – Straits Times, Published Dec 25, 2012

20121225-064544.jpg
The Sophia Road cafe has a signboard bearing the words Diao Yu Dao, China’s name for the group of islands in the East China Sea whose ownership is disputed by Tokyo and Beijing. — ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

BARELY two months after opening for business, a cafe at Peace Centre – called Diao Yu Dao – has come to the attention of at least three agencies for its name linked to islands whose ownership is disputed by Japan and China.

The agencies are the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and the police.

Diaoyu is China’s name for the group of islands in the East China Sea. Japan, which controls them, calls them the Senkaku islands.

Please click here to read rest of the article at the source (subscription required)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, ASEAN, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, East China Sea, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Influence, International Relations, japan, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Sophia Rd cafe cashes in on island dispute #Singapore #Diaoyu #Senkaku [AsiaOne]

AsiaOne: Cafe in Singapore rides the wave of the East Asian island dispute by reaching out through a true-blue Singaporean, if not their primary past-time – food.

Singapore is multicultural by legacy, design and device, and expressed largely through the collective love of diverse foods – the more diverse the better – anyone who visits Singapore can attest to this – it is a global epicentre for cuisine in both high and low places. Peace Centre where this cafe is located is somewhat in the city, but nowhere near the central business district.

There is limited space in Singapore – we are all of 42km wide with barely 20km running north-south. It is the second smallest country in Asia and urban density stands about 12,000/sqkm. 40% of the island is thankfully zoned as a green belt because we cannot do without the rain catchment areas, for now. That also means more than 5+ million (3m citizens, 1m Permanent Residents, the rest imported workers) share a living space of around 400+sqkm. Of course that means if everyone had to stretch out their arms all at once it would be a problem. Most live high-rise, so at any one time the reality of that density is not apparent. Helps that it is a 24-hour city too, makes movement a little bit more spaced out.

Having spent the past three years on travelling cycles of – Australia – Singapore – China documenting and getting a first hand view of China I can almost acutely feel the clear impact population density makes. Australia is at 4/sqkm (in June 2010 it was 2.9), China at 116/sqkm, Singapore – as I mentioned, about 12,000. The difference is clear.

I’ve mentioned a few times over the course of the past two years that population density through a decade of opening floodgates, is becoming a serious problem but I digress. I think the reality that the authorities had no qualms allowing this name to be used for the business as positive. They banned Ministry of Sound from setting up a dance club in Singapore because they felt the Ministry name would resonate negatively with officialdom. They eventually relented after years of deliberation, but case in point.

And that there is a large body of Japanese and Taiwanese working and living in Singapore for decades, I know many of them frequent the area – with no qualms, I think here is where Singapore can be a useful model. Despite the ongoing online vitriol for the past two years, they qualify as growing pains – any host nation can attest to that, as you add more layers to your identity, some meet, other’s don’t, and some just need a bit more fine-tuning, talked over a meal perhaps!

This is a great read by Professor Brenda Yeoh from the National University of Singapore –
Rapid Growth in Singapore’s Immigrant Population Brings Policy Challenge (Migration Information Source, April, 2012) if you’d like a pulse of Singapore’s challenge towards this aspect of globalisation – convergence of movement and with divergence needing attention of consensus, felt made more apparent in confined space.

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Sophia Rd cafe cashes in on island dispute
By Adrian Lim, for myPaper
Source – AsiaOne, published November 6, 2012

Source – AsiaOne, 2012. Photo from myPaper

SINGAPORE – The decor is nostalgically Singaporean while the affordable food served includes casual Chinese-Hong Kong fare like bolo buns.

But this street-facing cafe at Peace Centre in Sophia Road, which opened two weeks ago, bears a moniker which might raise a few eyebrows.

It is called Diao Yu Dao, named after the group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, hotly contested by China and Japan for sovereignty. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese overseas, Culture, Democracy, East China Sea, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Hong Kong, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Social, Taiwan, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , , ,

Four-party academic forum on Diaoyutais opens in Taichung [Focus Taiwan]

Running since 2009 and jointly organised by the National Chung Hsing University and Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is one of Taiwan’s approaches to the East China Sea dispute – academic dialogue.

Interesting how the article postures a disagreement on semantics.

Liu Jiangyong, a professor from Tsinghua University in Beijing, got things off to an unproductive start when he noted that China calls the archipelago the Diaoyu islands and said that while the Republic of China calls them the Diaoyutais, the ROC is “not a country.”

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Four-party academic forum on Diaoyutais opens in Taichung
Source – Focus Taiwan, Central News Agency, published October 19, 2012

Source – Focus Taiwan, 2012

A symposium on the disputed Diaoyutai (Diaoyu or Senkaku) islands in the East China Sea was held Friday in Taichung in central Taiwan.

The symposium was co-sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Chung Hsing University, and brought together officials and scholars from Taiwan, China, Japan and the United States.

Philip Yang, deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council, who hosted the first meeting of the symposium, said sovereignty claims over the uninhabited island group can be explored through dialogue and law. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, East China Sea, Education, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , ,

Foxconn Plant Closed After Riot, Company Says [New York Times]

Taiyuan,  Shaanxi province: On the back of a string of suicides beginning in 2010 that gave the Taiwanese-owned Foxconn (one of the largest employers of Chinese with more than 1.1 million of them on payroll) its public image and internal practices a beating, just as the iPhone 5 is launched. An unfortunate convergence of economic imperative and global production networks perhaps, as the free market demands a product that is priced right for a competitive worldwide market. In China it is the displaced migrant worker who facilitates SIRI being a part of affluent networked societies. There are 79,000 workers in the Taiyuan plant. After 2,000 workers rioted, state media reported 5,000 police were despatched to restore order.

Foxconn cited police as saying 40 people were taken to hospital and a number were arrested, while the state-run Xinhua news agency added that three people were in serious condition.

Source – 5,000 police sent to quell mass Foxconn brawl (ABC News Australia, September 25, 2012)

Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order after what the plant’s Taiwanese owners Foxconn Technology Group said was a personal dispute in a dormitory that erupted into a mass brawl.

Foxconn China plant closed after 2,000 riot (Reuters, September 12, 2012)

When a major new product such as the iPhone 5 is heading to stores, even more stress is put on that fast-growing manufacturing chain. Apple sold 5 million iPhones over the weekend (up from 4 million for the first weekend of sales for the iPhone 4S), and could sell 10 times that amount by the end of the quarter that closes December 31. Meeting that demand has required an epic buildup of materials, infrastructure, and labor, all while satisfying Wall Street’s need for bigger, more historic profits.

Riots, suicides, and other issues in Foxconn’s iPhone factories (CNet, September 25, 2012)

An English-language domestic report from Xinhua is also available here
40 Injured in Foxconn Brawl by NewsLook

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Foxconn Plant Closed After Riot, Company Says
By David Barboza and Keith Bradsher
Source – New York Times, published September 24, 2012

Workers cleaned up glass from the broken windows of a security room at an entrance of the Foxconn Technology plant in Taiyuan on Monday.
Source – New York Times, 2012.

SHANGHAI — Foxconn Technology, a major supplier to some of the world’s electronics giants, including Apple, said it had closed one of its large Chinese plants Monday after the police were called in to break up a fight among factory employees.

A spokesman said some people had been hurt and detained by the police after the disturbance escalated into a riot involving more than 1,000 workers late Sunday.

The company said the incident was confined to an employee dormitory and “no production facilities or equipment have been affected.” It said the cause of the disturbance was still under investigation. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Greater China, Human Rights, Mapping Feelings, Media, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Modernisation, People, Poverty, Social, Taiwan, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands [New York Times]

From the New York Times: putting the knee jerk to rest?

The right to know is the bedrock of every democracy. The Japanese public deserves to know the other side of the story. It is the politicians who flame public sentiments under the name of national interests who pose the greatest risk, not the islands themselves. Han-yi Shaw

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The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
Comment by Nicholas Kristof
Article By Han-yi Shaw
Source – New York Times, published September 19, 2012

Source – Han-yi Shaw 2012
Diaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).

I’ve had a longstanding interest in the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, the subject of a dangerous territorial dispute  between Japan and China. The United States claims to be neutral but in effect is siding with Japan, and we could be drawn in if a war ever arose. Let me clear that I deplore the violence in the recent anti-Japan protests in China:  the violence is reprehensible and makes China look like an irrational bully. China’s government should reign in this volatile nationalism rather than feed it. This is a dispute that both sides should refer to the International Court of Justice, rather than allow to boil over in the streets. That said, when I look at the underlying question of who has the best claim, I’m sympathetic to China’s position. I don’t think it is 100 percent clear, partly because China seemed to acquiesce to Japanese sovereignty between 1945 and 1970, but on balance I find the evidence for Chinese sovereignty quite compelling. The most interesting evidence is emerging from old Japanese government documents and suggests that Japan in effect stole the islands from China in 1895 as booty of war. This article by Han-Yi Shaw, a scholar from Taiwan, explores those documents. I invite any Japanese scholars to make the contrary legal case. Nicholas Kristof Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Back to China, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Diaoyu Fishing Boat Incident 2010, East China Sea, Economics, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, japan, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Nationalism, New York Times, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

Chrysanthemum Flower Bed 菊花台by the People’s Armed Police men’s choir 中國武警男聲合唱團 [Youtube]

Here’s sharing a moving symphonic track if you have six minutes to spare! There might be some dissonance at first with the olive green uniforms. The People’s Armed Police is the paramilitary arm responsible for civilian policing.

Its men’s choir performs the poetic ‘Chrysanthemum Flower Bed‘ (with English subtitles), soundtrack by popular Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou for the 2006 film Curse of the Golden Flower.

If one takes a negotiated reading of this intepretation there is a silver lining. That out there amidst the soothsayers painting Sino-Taiwanese tensions, we are presented here with another clue in Sino-Taiwan ties. On one hand, that things are not as bad as the media paints, another, indicative of a shared Greater China identity perhaps.

A look at the comments section in the Youtube video reveals:

May China mainland and China Taiwan be peaceful in the future! No internal fight and friction any more! Togather we can make Asian better than ever. TxHone

If Taiwan and China a peaceful solution to disputes with each other to help this will be the history of the world’s greatest countries a model of Hope that the Chinese peaceful change enunio

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Culture, Domestic Growth, Influence, International Relations, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Taiwan, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Chinese cities dim lights in environmental initiative [Xinhua]

Symbolism: 124 Chinese cities join in a global concert of nations in the Earth Hour ‘symphony’ to raise climate change awareness. Interesting enough, it’s interesting how Taiwan is ‘kind of’ claimed in the same breath as a Chinese city in this article.

:Taipei also joined cities worldwide Saturday in marking “Earth Hour” by turning off non-essential lights on landmark buildings for one hour… Lights were dimmed on the Taipei 101 skyscraper, the Grand Hotel and the Taipei Arena, among other buildings and public venues, from 8:30 p.m. local time.” 

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Chinese cities dim lights in environmental initiative
Editor: Mu Xuequan
Source – Global Times, published March 31, 2012

People attend an event to mark the "Earth Hour" in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 31, 2012. Main buildings and areas in many cities of China participated in the Earth Hour campaign on Saturday evening. "Earth Hour" is the world's largest environmental movement which encourages individuals, businesses and communities around the world to turn off their lights for one hour on the last Saturday of March in a bid to raise awareness on climate change. Source - Xinhua - Hao Tongqian

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) — A total of 124 Chinese cities joined urban centers around the world in turning off the lights of their landmark buildings on Saturday night, as part of an environmental initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Initiated by the WWF in 2007, the “Earth Hour” project calls on all the people in the world to turn off their lights for a spell on the evening of the last Saturday of March every year, to promote energy-saving and sustainable development.

At 8:30 p.m., the lights were turned out at major sites in Beijing, like the Great Wall at Badaling, the Water Cube and the National Stadium, placing the city among 5,000 urban centers in more than 140 countries to take part in Earth Hour. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Education, Environment, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Media, Peaceful Development, Taiwan, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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