Wandering China

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

China unveils a new round of electric car subsidies [BBC] #RisingChina #ElectricCar

Those who have set foot in China in recent years will know: it can be difficult to spot a motorcycle run on gasoline. Across the cities, there are >120m electric-bikes zipping around in numbers.

Electric car sales in China are currently miniscule, said Jeff Schuster, an industry analyst with LMC Automotive. Out of 18 million passenger vehicles sold in China last year, just 22,000 were plug-ins. That number is expected to grow to 60,000 next year, however. CNN August 2013

Can they pull off the same with cars? … perhaps Tesla Motors can stimulate this shift with the nifty Model S.

Also, see New-energy vehicle policy shifts gears in the China Daily (September18, 2013)

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China unveils a new round of electric car subsidies
Source – BBC, published September 18, 2013

20130919-051204.jpg
China has unveiled a new round of subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles in a bid to combat rising air pollution in its major cities.

The government will provide up to 60,000 yuan (£6,160; $9,800) to buyers of all-electric, “near all-electric” and hydrogen vehicles until 2015.

The policy is expected to boost Chinese automakers such as as BYD, which makes electric cars and batteries.

However, the programme does not include gasoline-electric hybrid cars.

Please click here to read the entire article at the BBC online.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Environment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Modernisation, Peacekeeping, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, Trade, Transport

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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.

– – –

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 CNN uses disaster to propagandize against a government [Hidden Harmonies] #RisingChina #Propaganda

On CNN agenda setting and the manufacture of dominant narratives.

For more, see
一样的出轨,两样的CNN (Guancha, July 26, 2013)

– – –

How CNN uses disaster to propagandize against a government
by Yin Yang
Source – Hidden Harmonies, published July 24, 2013

(最近,一些中国朋友对这篇文章表示兴趣。我简单解释。两年前,中国温州有高铁遇意外。最近,西班牙的高铁也有意外。右边的CNN报告是关于中国的意外。左边是报西班牙的。这两篇文章非常清楚。CNN关于中国文章的目的是骂中国。不像西班牙的报告, 唯一关于意外。这是他们的宣传技巧。这是西方媒体的宣传技巧。他们不希望中国高铁进入他们的市场。中国人,行业,社会,政府都需要被他们骂的臭臭的。)

Western propaganda has become an art-form, and for the unsuspecting audience, it is invisible. If you decide to be critical though, you will immediately see how thinly-veiled the propaganda is. Some of you might have heard about the recent high-speed rail crash in Spain, killing 69 people according to the latest count. The weird coincidence is that China’s Wenzhou crash was exactly 2 years ago.

Below are two articles from CNN reporting on the crashes. On the right column is of China’s crash two years ago and on the left column is a recent coverage for Spain’s. Notice how the Spain article is about the accident while the article on China is a condemnation of China’s HRS and governance. CNN can find tons of criticism and dwissatisfaction on Spain’s Internet too if it wants. Yes, right now. CNN can find critical things to write about the Spanish government: for example, Spain woefully under-funds its infrastructure. These are CNN’s explicit choices to make. See the glaring difference in the articles as a result of the choices CNN made. Welcome to “free” press.

Source - by Yin Yang, Hidden Harmonies, 2013

Source – by Yin Yang, Hidden Harmonies, 2013

DO note the table above is not complete , please click here to view the entire table and full article at Hidden Harmonies.

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, CNN, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Disaster, Education, High Speed Rail, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport, U.S.

Flight delays make mockery of ‘China speed’ [Global Times] #RisingChina #AirTravel

A Global Times Op-Ed on the need for a new consensus to move Chinese air travel forward. How much legitimacy will the China Dream narrative hold if expedient air travel is not part of the equation? There are lessons to be learnt, and in a way many forget it is a large country still due a lot of things to sort out. For instance I recall freezing in Kunming’s architecturally stunning new airport carved out in a mountain range. Cooling they had, for summer. But as for winter… according to locals, heating wasn’t ready due to the rush to open the airport. Read more about the experience here.

In a decade, both Beijing and Shanghai have made it onto the world’s top 20 airports measured by passenger traffic – Beijing even ranks second. Nonetheless, though “China’s speed” seems to dazzle, “China’s quality” cripples…

… Civilian airlines use only 20 percent of the airspace in China, while the rest is strictly controlled by the military. Liu Zhun / Global Times

– – –

Flight delays make mockery of ‘China speed’
– OP-ED
By Liu Zhun
Source – Global Times, published July 16, 2013

20130718-033542.jpg

illustrated by Liu Rui / Global Times

China is moving fast. Its GDP growth topped 7.5 percent in the worst years of the global economic decline. It was also able, when the world economy began to recover in 2012, to surpass the US in total volume of trade.

China’s image seems to have become synonymous with speed. But a report released recently by FlightStats, a reliable US-based real-time tracker of world air travel services, ranked Chinese mainland’s airports as the world’s worst in terms of on-time departures and arrivals.

According to the report, which covers 35 major world airports and their punctuality this June, Beijing Capital International Airport is embarrassingly listed at the bottom, with just 18.3 percent of flights leaving on time.

The second worst was taken by another Chinese airport – Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, with only 28.72 percent of its passenger planes taking off on schedule. The average punctuality rate was 69.26 percent.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Aviation, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, Transport

Shanghai seeks to halt ‘subway theater’ [China Daily] #RisingChina

China Daily ponders the effectiveness of station checkpoints in Shanghai.

From personal experience traveling across China’s subway-enabled cities – I recall that most checkpoints were manned by fresh faced young adults looking no more than twenty. Few looked to fit the part of enforcer to be honest.

– – –

Shanghai seeks to halt ‘subway theater’
By SHI Yingying and JIN Haixing
Source – China Daily, published July 15, 2013

Critics say too many commuters evade or ignore security checks

Qian Tianxin had nothing but praise for Shanghai’s subway security during the 2010 World Expo. Since then, he says, standards have slipped.

Station checkpoints today, said the president of Minhang district’s Passenger Management Association, are manned by “robots” who do little except motion to passengers to place their belongings on a conveyor belt to be scanned.

Passengers say the security checks at Shanghai subway are lax. Niu Yixin - photo by Xinhua

Passengers say the security checks at Shanghai subway are lax. Niu Yixin – photo by Xinhua

“It’s far short of what they are capable of doing and should be doing,” he said.

Branded as both inconvenient and theatrical by commuters, security checks at Shanghai Metro, which handles 7 million journeys a day, have become the target of much derision in recent years.

Please click here to read the entire article at China Daily. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Infrastructure, Modernisation, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Transport

China’s former railways minister stands trial for corruption [Xinhua] #RisingChina #Corruption #Transport

Doing what has to be done to demonstrate that no ivory tower exists in the management of Rising China’s  arteries, at least for now at the ministerial level. Liu Zhijun 劉志軍, despite being head of China’s second most powerful ministry capable of some level of unilateral decision making (arguably, after the military )

Interesting his fact-file is still available on the Chinese government official portal.

For more, please see:

– Former railways minister seeks leniency on corruption charges (South China Morning Post, June 10, 2013)

– Chinese former minister Liu Zhijun’s trial on corruption charges begins (Guardian, June 10, 2013)

And a blast from the past – two years ago

– China’s railway minister under investigation over “disciplinary violation” (Xinhua, Feb 12, 2011)

– – –

China’s former railways minister stands trial for corruption
Source – Xinhua, published June 9, 2013

Video grab shows China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse o

Video grab shows China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Source - Xinhua, by Gong Lei)

Video grab shows China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun being brought into the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing, capital of China, June 9, 2013. Liu stood trial in the court on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Source – Xinhua, by Gong Lei)

BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) — China’s former railways minister Liu Zhijun stood trial in a court in Beijing on Sunday on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

According to the indictment by the Second Branch of the Beijing People’s Procuratorate, Liu took advantage of his position and helped 11 people win promotions and project contracts, and accepted 64.6 million yuan (10.53 million U.S. dollars) in bribes from them between 1986 to 2011.

During his tenure as the railways minister, Liu is suspected of helping Ding Yuxin and her relatives to win cargo transportation and railway construction contracts. He also helped them in the acquisition of shares in a bullet train wheel set company and with enterprise financing, by breaking regulations and applying favoritism, which allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits, according to the indictment.

Please click here to read the full article at Xinhua. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, Transport, xinhua

MOR rails against ticket plug-in chaos #China #SpringFestival #Rail #Global Times

China Daily on the new online dynamic of getting a train ride home during China’s most important time of year.

– – –

MOR rails against ticket plug-in chaos
By Zhang Zihan and Li Cong
Source – Global Times, published January 21, 2013

Web browser providers have denied earlier reports that they had been ordered to stop providing plug-ins for buying train tickets, which the Ministry of Railways (MOR) said had caused a huge amount of traffic to flood its online ticketing system ahead of the Spring Festival travel rush.

“So far, we haven’t received any request from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and our plug-in is running as usual,” Li Ping, a public relations officer from Kingsoft, a software provider, told the Global Times on Sunday, refuting a report from China National Radio.

China Central Television also reported that other browser providers including Maxthon and Qihoo 360 all denied receiving orders from MIIT, while the ministry has not yet responded.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Infrastructure, Modernisation, People, Population, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, Transport

#Chinese Migrant bus driver strike stuns #Singapore [The Australian/AAP]

The Australian: The first real strike in a quarter century involving 5% of critical transport services for an extremely population dense island-nation just over fifty years old, does seem to tell Singapore that leveraging on China’s rise may prove to be an increasingly delicate affair.

Contrary to opinion floating around, strikes are not illegal but rather, one must be extremely in the know and meet multiple conditions to pull one off.

This sure has angered many Chinese on the mainland and Singaporean Chinese too – it is a complex issue with a tremendous back story. It will however, surely do little positives for the projection of national image and public diplomacy between the only two independent Chinese-majority states with Chinese leadership at the helm in the world.

Indeed, Singapore has been a known transnational Chinese social sphere for the good part of three centuries. Sun Yat Sen organised his thoughts and finances in Singapore to trigger the Chinese revolution a century odd back – will this spawn a chapter between the Chinese of Singapore and China?

For more, check out Why Chinese drivers went on strike in Singapore at Xinhua, December 8, 2012. Also, for evidence the Chinese are keeping a pulse on their sojourning workforce and consequent international relations with the host country – see China hopes Singapore secure rights of arrested drivers: ministry at Xinhua on December 7, 2012. J

Just how these events unfolding will impact bilateral ties remains to be seen – more recently more workers went on strike at Singapore’s docks. More on that in a coming article.

– – –

Migrant bus driver strike stuns Singapore
AAP Agency
Source – The Australian, published December 6, 2012

FOUR Chinese immigrant bus drivers accused of inciting Singapore’s first labour strike in 26 years have been granted bail in a case that highlighted growing social friction caused by an influx of foreign labour.

A fifth Chinese driver has already been sentenced to six weeks in prison even though prosecutors said he was not an instigator of the strike, which was called to demand equitable pay.

Walking off the job in protest is almost unheard of in Singapore, and the swift prosecution following the November 26-27 strike was a clear sign the government of this strictly-enforced country will not brook any disobedience from its work force. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Australian, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jaguar Land Rover building factory in China [Guardian]

Guardian: JLR and Chery ramping up for China’s middle class boom? The Guardian’s industrial editor provides details as the famed UK off-road powerhouse now join European counterparts Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz with full-blown local production capability direct in the world’s biggest auto market.

Quite a few of my mainland Chinese peers who now live in Australia love the Land Rover aesthetic. Most do not push (yet) their stately steel horses to the brink, preferring to drive them inland and keeping them spotty clean but I digress.

“China is now our biggest market,” Ralf Speth, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover at press briefing announcing their 10.9b yuan eastern China plant in their 65th year of operations. The plant will also see an R&D component.

– – –

Jaguar Land Rover building factory in China
Car firm to start manufacturing vehicles in world’s largest automotive market from 2014 after agreeing £1.1bn-joint venture
by Dan Milmo, Guardian Industrial Editor
Source – Guardian, published November 18, 2012

Source – Guardian, 2012.
Jaguar Land Rover posted a 58% increase in Chinese sales in the second quarter, boosted by demand for the recently launched Range Rover Evoque, above. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Jaguar Land Rover has signalled the importance of China to its growth prospects by starting the construction of a factory outside Shanghai.

JLR and its Chinese partner, Chery, formally laid the foundation stone for a plant in Changshu, near Shanghai, as part of a 10.9bn yuan (£1.1bn) investment that will include a new research centre and an engine production facility. The firm’s owners, Tata, also own a JLR assembly plant in India but the Chinese venture is the company’s first full-blown sortie into overseas manufacturing, reflecting stellar growth in the car firm’s third largest market.

The business posted a 58% increase in Chinese sales in the second quarter, boosted by demand for the recently launched Range Rover Evoque model. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Technology, The Guardian, Trade, Transport, U.K., , , , , , , ,

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