Wandering China

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

S$370m scholarship aims to cool Beijing-West tensions [TODAYonline] #RisingChina #SchwarzmanScholarship #Education #Tsinghua

“China is no longer an elective course, it’s core curriculum,” Stephen Schwarzman in Beijing. (Associated Press, in Fox News, April 22, 2013)

When it begins in 2016, the Schwarzman Scholarship programme will match the 111-year-old Rhodes in the numbers of students and the size of its endowment. (Today Online)

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S$370m scholarship aims to cool Beijing-West tensions
Creation of programme for study in China shows country’s importance to Wall Street financiers, corporate leaders
Source – TODAYonline, published April 22, 2013

20130422-093443.jpg

Mr Stephen Schwarzman is creating a S$370- million scholarship for study in China that he hopes will rival the Rhodes Scholarship in prestige and influence. Photo: Bloomberg

HONG KONG — The private-equity tycoon Stephen Schwarzman, backed by an array of mostly Western blue-chip companies with interests in China, is creating a US$300 million (S$370 million) scholarship for study in China that he hopes will rival the Rhodes Scholarship in prestige and influence.

The programme, whose endowment represents one of the largest single gifts to education in the world and one of the largest philanthropic gifts in China, was announced by Mr Schwarzman in Beijing yesterday.

The Schwarzman Scholars programme will pay all expenses for 200 students each year from around the world for a one-year master’s programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of the country’s top universities.

The programme’s creation underlines the tremendous importance of China and its market to Wall Street financiers and corporate leaders, who have become increasingly anxious as security and economic frictions grow between China and the West.

Please click here to access article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Finance, Influence, International Relations, New Leadership, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Today Online, U.S., Xi Jinping

Singapore among top migrant destinations for China’s super rich: Report [Today]

Chinese on the move, but this time its for a wholly different reason from previous waves of the Chinese diaspora: This has been visible throughout Singapore in the past few years. For instance, film and kung fu star Jet Li was made a Singaporean citizen in 2009 for his children’s education.

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Singapore among top migrant destinations for China’s super rich: Report
Agencies
Source – Today Online, published November 3, 2011

BEIJING – Nearly half of China’s super rich wants to migrate, said a survey released jointly by the Hurun Report, which also publishes an annual China rich list, and the Bank of China.

According to the South China Morning Post, the survey was conducted on people with assets of more than 10 million yuan (S$2.02 million). The poll was based on one-on-one interviews conducted in 18 major mainland cities from May to September. The average age of respondents was 42 years and had net worths of more than 60 million yuan, the survey said.

The report noted that 14 per cent of the 980 millionaires interviewed had either already moved overseas or were applying to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Green China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Overseas Chinese, People, Population, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Today Online

[Singapore – ] Doctors being recruited from China [Today]

Singapore’s ethnic complexion continues to update itself with medical doctors from China.

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Doctors being recruited from China
by Ng Jing Yng
Source – Today Online, published April 16, 2011

SINGAPORE – The first six arrived last month. Come August, there will be another 15.

The entry of these medical officers from China marks the success of the Ministry of Health’s recent recruitment drives in the country to supplement the pool of doctors here, an MOH spokesperson told MediaCorp.

The first batch of six medical officers, who have been placed in various public hospitals such as the Singapore General Hospital, come from a list of eight accredited Chinese universities. As medical officers here, they qualify as doctors and will be trained further, for instance, in the specialist track or as a family physicians. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Culture, Health, Influence, International Relations, People, Singapore, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Today Online

A risen China reaches for power [Today Online]

The article makes a fair point that China has been less and less willing to sit still and absorb what it sees as unjust.

The other pertinent point is the rising sense of nationalism now that some Chinese are beginning to feel that they are the flagship against the idea of Western hegemony. Perhaps its public diplomacy is really a form of ‘charm offensive’. Now it is a question of whether China is successful in managing its people whilst taking careful steps to learn how to protect itself better from the outside world – increased ideological division on top of an already complex ethnic and cultural makeup. China is efficient because most Chinese share one paradigm – make money. When that splits and if China is not prepared for that. Then that, I feel may be a real consequence of ‘great power’ China.

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A risen China reaches for power
by Philip Stephens
Source – Today Online, published December 11, 2010

China is in unapologetic mood. Not so long ago Beijing routinely protested its anxiety not to disturb the established international order. But a rising China has now become a risen China. Past inhibitions are being shed. Beijing looks as if it is formulating an East Asian version of America’s Monroe doctrine.

The effort to organise a boycott of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is a small part of this new assertiveness. During a few days in the Chinese capital I must have been told more than a dozen times that the democracy activist Liu Xiaobo was a common criminal. Awarding him the prize had been a calculated provocation. The Nobel committee, apparently, is no more than a pliant tool of Western governments.

There is more to the change in the atmosphere than a burning resentment at the West’s admonitions about universal values. China is drawing sharper distinctions between its own and others’ national interests – something seen in its responses this year to the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Influence, International Relations, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Today Online

Republicans, Democrats, and a Chinese scapegoat [Today Online]

According to US media reports, 250 ads targeting China were aired in just under half of the 100 competitive districts, such as in Pennsylvania.

This is the single biggest threat to Chinese public diplomacy; and peace between the world’s most important bilateral relationship. This would be far from good news, and I was forewarned about this (thanks Bennett) and what needs to be understood is simple. In China, very few of the everyday Chinese I met have anything bad to say about America. If anything, they appreciate and see the American dream as one to emulate.
This might be a bad omen if the bridges built on social, cultural, economic cross-pollination between East and West continue to be burnt in this way by mere political wars. And who gains from this short-sighted internal political war based on a media ruse? Only the politicians that seek division as leverage, not the rest of us.

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Fear of the Asian giant played a cameo role in America’s bipartisan wars
by Maria Siow
Source – Today Online, published November 09, 2010

In the days leading up to the mid-term elections in the United States, I was glued to the television set here in Washington, especially during primetime, hoping to catch some of the political ads aimed at demonising China and inducing fear among Americans about the rise of China.

Many of these ads ascribed dubious if not outright unpatriotic qualities to candidates said to have helped create jobs in China instead of America. Playing to voters’ anxieties about the outsourcing of jobs, some ads argued that by opting for economic stimulus and healthcare reform, the Democrats have plunged America into greater reliance on China credit.

Taking China-bashing to new heights, one commercial titled Chinese Professor – slickly produced presumably on a liberal budget – depicted a Chinese classroom set in 2030 festooned with posters of Mao Zedong. The professor asked a roomful of students why the US had declined alongside the Greek and Roman civilisations. Blaming America’s downfall on stimulus spending and the costs of healthcare reform, the professor prompted uproarious laughter when he concluded that excessive American borrowing meant that “Americans now have to work for us” since China owned US debts. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Economics, Influence, International Relations, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Today Online, U.S.

China, Singapore stage joint concert to commemorate diplomatic ties [Channel News Asia]

Twenty years of official ties, but centuries of cultural connection exist between these two. Singapore is the only country outside of the two ‘China’s to house a Chinese majority. It will be  interesting to observe what this union of both country’s media generators/regulators will do in the grander scheme of China’s international image.

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China, Singapore stage joint concert to commemorate diplomatic ties
By TODAY
Source – Channel News Asia, published September 17, 2010

BEIJING: China and Singapore staged a joint concert at the Poly Theatre in Beijing on Thursday night to commemorate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The concert featured 400 well-known film, television and music artistes from the two countries.

Among them were Stefanie Sun, Tanya Chua, Fann Wong, Li Nan Xing, Christopher Lee, Jeannette Aw, Xiang Yun and Huang Wen Yong from Singapore. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Channel News Asia, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Influence, International Relations, Overseas Chinese, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Soft Power, Strategy, Today Online

China-based companies: Friend or foe? [Today Online]

An article by Singapore’s ‘Today Newspaper’ (an journalistic extension of the official broadcaster) about the nature of the complex economic relationships with China-based companies that are predicated on bigger picture desires – these have cost local and other investors millions of dollars as the shares of these rogue companies plunged. But all Singapore can do is to give these companies a slap on the wrist.

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China-based companies: Friend or foe?
by Conrad Raj
Source – Today Online, Sep 06, 2010

The recent action by the Monetary Authority of Singapore against New Century Shipbuilding Limited for allegedly making false and misleading statements is sadly another blight on the image of Chinese companies. New Century’s violations once again bring into question the quality of the Chinese listings here.

The MAS action, which forced New Century to, in May, suddenly pull out its $666.4 million initial public offering, comes in the wake of a spate of improprieties committed by some of these China-based companies – often called S-Chips. These transgressions have cost local and other investors millions of dollars as the shares of these rogue companies plunged.

This is not to say that there are no good Chinese companies listed here. In fact, only about a dozen of the more than 150 Chinese companies listed here have been found to have violated our listing rules. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Economics, Finance, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Singapore, Today Online

‘Thank you, Singapore’ – Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Zhang Xiaokang [Today Online]

Another compelling reason why understanding Singapore helps in understanding China – “Most of these people have a much deeper understanding of Chinese culture and it’s easier to understand China. That constitutes a unique basis for China-Singapore relations. This carries much historical weight.” In some ways, Singapore (in a Chinese cultural sense) is an English-educated model, formerly colonized or otherwise, of China.

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‘Thank you, Singapore’ – Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Zhang Xiaokang
by Teo Xuanwei
Source – Today Online, published April 27, 2010

Just days before the end of her three-year term as the highest ranking diplomatic representative of the People’s Republic of China to Singapore, Ambassador Zhang Xiaokang (picture), spoke to Teo Xuan Wei (xuanwei@mediacorp.com.sg) and other members of the media. During the interview, she described bilateral relations as “developing rapidly”. She also praised bilateral people-to-people exchanges and trade ties between the countries.

What is unique about the relationship between Singapore and China?

Ambassador Zhang Xiaokang: The striking difference is (that) … about 75 per cent of Singapore’s population is of Chinese origin. Most of these people have a much deeper understanding of Chinese culture and it’s easier to understand China. That constitutes a unique basis for China-Singapore relations. This carries much historical weight.

The Singapore-China relationship has occupied a very unique place in China’s external relations. Singapore is a very important hub with multi-ethnic groups. Many MNC (multi-national corporation) headquarters are also based here. This means Singapore is a meeting place between Western and Eastern cultures.

In this way, Singapore can play a very good bridging role between China and other countries in this region as well as China and other countries in the world. And through the unique window of Singapore, perspectives to understand China.

Singapore is the last Asean country to establish diplomatic relations with China, however, Singapore is the first to sign a free trade agreement with China.

Some Singaporeans are not as tolerant towards Chinese nationals. How can we improve the understanding on the ground?

Ambassador: There can never be too much people-to-people engagement. Although we have done quite a bit, there’s always room to do more and our officials at the Embassy are always working hard towards that end. It’s not unusual that some Singaporeans may not be used to the ways of China nationals who come here. But I feel that it’s nothing much.

China is so big, even Shanghainese working in Beijing may not be used to how the people there speak or act. The living conditions, habits and cultures even within China are very different. So it’s something quite natural. People-to-people engagement, the more the better.

What has left the deepest impression during your posting here?

Ambassador: It is the harmony in Singapore. That between man and environment, between ethnicities, between religions, as well as between the Government and its people.

This is the 20th anniversary of China-Singapore diplomatic relations. What hopes do you have for relations going forward?

Ambassador: Over the years, bilateral relations, in general, have been healthy and developing rapidly.

In the next 20 years, how will relations develop? First, we’ll have to examine why bilateral relations have developed in this way. I think there are some underlying key factors that have played significant roles to sustain such this very healthy, fast-developing cooperation.

One, China-Singapore relations have received broad support. Whether it’s top-down, the grassroots level or the different quarters of each country, there’s deep commitment and support for cooperation and development.

Two, both sides have deep respect for the other. We are closely linked in terms of our strategies for development. One example is the Tianjin Eco-City. Both sides feel this is a win-win collaboration. These will remain unchanged. We will continue cooperating.

Going forward, our people have to interact more; the younger generation leaders, and the community. Our communities and schools should also organise more cultural exchange programs. To that end, the Chinese Cultural Centre here will be a very good platform to further boost understanding between the two countries. There are many things we can learn from Singapore, for instance, in modern urbanisation. How to develop an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly city. Singapore’s experience in these areas is very relevant for us.

In 2008, China was devastated by the Sichuan earthquake, delighted by the Beijing Olympics, dismayed by the milk incident, and at the end of the year, all of us were plunged into the recession. As the most senior official representing China here, what were your experiences here?

Ambassador: I’d like to say one word to sum up my experience and feelings for the year 2008, and that is “Thanks”.

Thanks for the sincere support from Singapore’s people for our Olympic games in Beijing, and also for your very generous donations and your deep sympathy for the earthquake-striken Sichuan.

During that period, myself and my colleagues at the embassy here, worked from early in the morning until late at night. To do what? To receive donations from Singapore’s people. Ordinary Singaporeans coming here to contribute their bit to support our people in Sichuan.

We are, we were, and we have been deeply touched and moved by this generous support. All of us said to each other. This kind of moving situation can only be found in Singapore because Singapore’s people, 75 per cent of the population, their ancestors are from China. I think that explains why.

Once again, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Singapore’s people for their warm-hearted support for everything they offered during the year 2008. Thank you.

What will you miss about Singapore when you return to China?

Ambassador: I will miss the weather, the greenery, but most of all, I’ll miss my friends here. During my time here, I’ve met the best minds of Singapore. I’ve had many thought-provoking conversations with them.

Filed under: Chinese overseas, Culture, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Singapore, Today Online

A clash over a China deal [Today Online]

A clash over a China deal
AFP
Source – Today Online, published April 26, 2010

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and the leader of the island’s main opposition party yesterday held their first televised debate on a proposed trade pact with mainland China.

Mr Ma told Ms Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), that Taiwan was obliged to form an alliance with its giant neighbour in order to compete with other countries in its region.

“Could you please tell me if Taiwan has any other option when the other countries in the Asian region are forming alliances with each other?” Mr Ma asked during a debate televised nationwide by the island’s public TV system.

Mr Ma, head of the China-friendly Kuomintang party, warned that Taiwan could be marginalised without the pact, known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which he has said could be signed in June.

Ms Tsai, whose DPP favours the island’s independence, said the pact could alarm South Korea and Japan and make Taiwan more dependent on China, which considers the island part of its territory. AFP

Filed under: International Relations, Politics, Taiwan, Today Online

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