Wandering China

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

China is getting better at influencing media outside China [Quartz] #RisingChina #Media

Flooding headspace to gain consensus.

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China is getting better at influencing media outside China
by Lily Kuo
Source – Quartz, published October 22, 2013

China doesn’t just exert heavy control over state media; its influence over media outlets outside China is expanding, according to a new report by Freedom House.

For the past three years, the government has been investing millions of dollars in a global soft-power push. State newspaper China Daily publishes inserts of its English edition in major Western papers from the Washington Post to the New York Times. China’s Central Television, or CCTV, has hired dozens of experienced reporters from the US for its Washington bureau and rivals other foreign operations like Al-Jazeera America.

According to the report, China is also doing things like offering free editorial content to Latin American, African and Asian news organizations that can’t afford to send correspondents to China. It’s also subtly exerting influence over Chinese-language media in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Chinese diaspora communities.

China has donated aid money, for example, to state-run media in Africa and Latin America and flown their journalists to China for training. Left-leaning countries like Bolivia and Venezuela have also bought communications satellites (pdf, p. 20) from China. In Southeast Asia, governments with close diplomatic ties to Beijing, like Vietnam and Cambodia, appear to be pressuring their media to let up on criticism of China.

Please click here to read the entire article at Quartz.
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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

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

Leader who struck a chord with China [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Singapore

– Lee Kuan Yew is Singapore’s world-class asset at understanding the Chinese mind.

He had once suggested to a Chinese leader in having English as the dominant language. Would China do the same? The answer was no surprise, it was no. It was unrealistic for Lee then made it clear it was a serious handicap. Imagine competing against Chinese competition when fluency in English no longer remains a key advantage.

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Leader who struck a chord with China
Lee Kuan Yew could get China’s attention, but it will be tough for tiny Singapore to find comparable successors to fill his big shoes
By John Wong, For The Straits Times
Source – Straits Times September 18, 2013

20130919-082752.jpg
Mr Lee (on podium, right) with Chinese Premier Li Peng at a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People during his nine-day visit to China in September 1988, when he also met Chinese President Yang Shangkun, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Zhao Ziyang and paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. — PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

CHINA has published many books about former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. One written by Chang Zheng in 1996 bears this interesting title, Lee Kuan Yew: A Great Man In A Small Country (Xiao Guo Wei Ren). In politics and international power relations, does “size” matter at all?

Deng Xiaoping, a “five- footer”, had struck Mr Lee as “a giant among men” when they first met in 1978. Mr Lee has since openly stated that Deng was the most impressive leader he had ever met.

Viewed from a different angle, Singapore is a tiny city-state while China is a huge continental- sized country. The two also have inherent political, economic and social differences. Yet, they have developed strong bilateral relations, thanks to the efforts of both Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Deng.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Ethnicity, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

When it comes to China, which side is Germany on? [Guardian] #RisingChina #Germany

China and Germany teach each other lessons on contemporary influence without brandishing hard power.

On the ground, however – In a 25-country poll by the BBC (44-page PDF) published in May 2013, German opinion on China was 13% positive vs 67% negative in 2013, a marked drop – from 42% positive vs 47% negative in 2012.

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When it comes to China, which side is Germany on?
Berlin’s ‘special relationship’ with Beijing means it is not keen for the EU to start a commercial war with the Asian giant
Source – The Guardian, published September 12, 2013

20130915-083945.jpg
Angela Merkel is escorted by President Xi Jinping of China after their meeting at the G20 summit this month. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

A long-running dispute between the EU and China over the prosaic, but economically significant, matter of solar panels has thrown up a fundamental question: which side is Germany on? The trade war concerned billions of pounds of Chinese panels that Europe suspected were being heavily subsidised and then “dumped” on the European market. Germany led the opposition to taking punitive action against the Chinese.

“What is certain is that the Germans have taken up almost word for word the rhetoric of the Chinese trade ministry,” said a European diplomat from one of the countries in favour of imposing sanctions on China.

There’s a paradox at play here: it is German manufacturers who wanted the European commission to look into the solar panel issue. But for the German leadership there are bigger matters to consider, not least the country’s burgeoning “special relationship” with the Asian powerhouse.

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

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Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Germany, Government & Policy, High Speed Rail, Ideology, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Transport

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

Discipline bodies launch website [Global Times] #RisingChina #Corruption #CCDI

Rising China, corruption and social levelling via Web 2.0: new website launched for the Chinese to anonymously report on cheating officials.

New anti-graft site allows people to report cheating officials (SCMP September 3, 2013)

The site is jointly run by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (中国共产党中央纪律检查委员会) and the Ministry of Supervision 监察部.

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Discipline bodies launch website
Zhang Xiaobo
Source – Global Times, published September 3, 2013

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Ministry of Supervision on Monday jointly opened an official website, offering the public a new online channel to report corrupt officials.

The website will play a key role in combating corruption by releasing official statements and providing a new means for online corruption reporting, read a notice on the site.

“This is a great move for the Party to push forward the online anti-corruption drive, as it allows Net users to report corrupt officials via a new channel, instead of merely posting exposés on Weibo,” Li Danyang, a research fellow on public administration with the Beijing-based Beihang University, told the Global Times.

The website consists of 10 sections, including an online forum where the public can leave their opinions and proposals, as well as ask questions about anti-corruption work. It also outlines the discipline watchdog’s structure, giving the public more information on how the agency operates.

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

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Corruption, Democracy, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

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

Australia-China trade no longer just a resources story [Australian Financial Review] #RisingChina #Australia

Australian businesses showing the way to embrace China’s economic rise, can the politicians please catch up? Aussie business demonstrating how to leverage – China’s economic rise during its cruise control mode.

Quick points:
1. China is the largest buyer of Oz minerals and agriculture, fourth biggest customer in manufacturing
2. 35% of all Oz exports in q2 2013

Not since the wool boom of 1950 has Australia been so reliant on a single trade relationship. Even Japan in the early 1970s and late 1980s was not as significant, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics…

…In the second quarter of 2011, China surpassed Japan as the number one destination for Australian rural exports. Meat, oil seeds, cotton and dairy products have seen growth of between 50 per cent and 400 per cent over the past three years. Australian wheat exports could reach 4 million tonnes this season, making China the number one buyer ahead of Indonesia

More official figures from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade on Oz trade with China here.

On the other hand, read this for another perspective from Bloomberg.
Here’s the real crisis in Australia

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Australia-China trade no longer just a resources story
By Angus Grigg and Lisa Murray
Source – Australian Financial Review, published August 21, 2013

20130831-080546.jpg
China is not only the largest buyer of Australian minerals, but also the number one purchaser of agricultural products and has surged past Singapore and South Korea in recent years to be the fourth largest buyer of our manufactured goods.  Photo: Bloomberg

Australia has become more reliant on China as a buyer of its exports than any other trading partner in the past 63 years, surpassing the dependence on Britain after World War II.

In the second quarter of 2013, China bought 35.4 per cent of all Australian exports, a new record high and more than double the level of five years ago.

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Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

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