Wandering China

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

Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban [ABC News Australia] #RisingChina #Huawei #Telecommunicatioms

So it seems to wearing made in China is fine, or eating out of plates made there does not require too much afterthought. However, using their information infrastructure and equipment to send messages from A to B – requires an ideological leap of faith for some.

Well, it’s not quite time to chuck away the image of China simply being the world’s factory of cheap and good, where excellent margins to those willing to leverage the Chinese model are the key draw. Today, they’re moving up the food chain and it will be a mistake not to take notice.

The land down under is seeing an increasing number of rising China’s foreign vanguard of products tested with the Aussie market prior to going global. This even includes the Great Wall make of SUV and Utility Vehicles.

Rewind – a year back Huawei was barred from tendering for Australia’s National Broadband Network based on intelligence and cyber espionage concerns. See China hits back at NBN bid rejection (The Age, March 29, 2012)

Fast forward a year and check out how Huawei has responds in  the 7.5min video accompanying the article – with ABC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell.

– Over in the UK – Huawei has become embedded into UK telecoms infrastructure [Financial Times] – June 6, 2013

– Can it look any more ominous than this  (see photo below)? Inside The Chinese Company America Can’t Trust [Time Magazine] – April 15, 2013

Source - DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

Source – DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME
myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

That said, it is probably useful to get a clearer picture of what Huawei does:

To read a perspective of Huawei Its annual revenue is more than $35 billion. It is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Huawei components feature in networks serving one-third of the world’s population… Huawei is not really a manufacturing company. It makes some of its most sensitive equipment, but it contracts out most routine manufacturing. Just under half – 70,000 – of its staff are directly involved in research and development. It has sought 55,000 patents and been granted 30,000 of them. Thirty thousand of its employees worldwide are non-Chinese. It is really a giant R&D, design, marketing and brand company. A questionable risk to security – Huawei an extraordinary creation (The Australian, May 18, 2013)

See also from WC //

Huawei a victim of its success [China Daily] – May 26, 2013

Huawei calls US Congress report ‘China bashing’ [AFP/Sydney Morning Herald] – October 8, 2012

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Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban
By China correspondent Stephen McDonell
Source – ABC News Australia, published June 10, 2013

The Chinese company blocked from working on Australia’s National Broadband Network has set its sights on shaking off its image as a stalking horse for Chinese spies.

Telecommunications giant Huawei was banned from tendering for the network as Australia followed the lead of a similar government ban in the United States due to espionage fears.

The company, based in southern China’s Shenzhen province, has refuted claims by the US House Intelligence Committee that the company could potentially build so-called “backdoors” into the likes of the NBN to allow for Chinese eavesdropping.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: ABC News, Advertising, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.K., U.S.

A better way to learn Chinese? [BBC] #RisingChina #LearningChinese

To find consensus through a common language is great, but unmatched by the narrative when two are able to speak the other’s native tongue to comprehend the ideologies behind each other’s world view.

That there is much attention in mastering Chinese is inspiring for the future. The Chinese are still sparing no expense to master English. A return in favor by the global village will be a positive reply.

Apart from committed socialization, perhaps watching Mandarin MTVs (they usually come with lyrics and feature commonly used words and expressions) could be added to the learning repertoire. Have a mental singalong and play mix and match with the lyrics while the visuals provide a useful imprint.

Move up to TV shows next. With reading of Chinese characters upgraded, the semantic toolbox gets pre loaded with familiar symbols.

Just recall scenes from the MTVs for more advanced idioms for instance.

In any case, to treat it as an academic subject is a whole different ball game altogether. The BBC talks about the constructivism underlying Chinese characters and meaning.

– – –

A better way to learn Chinese?
By Philip Ball
Source – BBC, published March 18, 2013

20130529-045431.jpg

There’s been a rising dissatisfaction with current language teaching methods in China, but scientists think they may have an answer.

There’s no way round it: learning Chinese is tough. As far as reading goes, what most dismays native speakers of alphabetic languages is that Chinese characters offer so few clues. With virtually no Spanish, I can figure out in the right context that baño means bath, but that word in Chinese (洗澡) seems to offer no clues about pronunciation, let alone meaning.

There seems no alternative, then, but to slavishly learn the 3,500 or so characters that account for at least 99% of use in written Chinese. This is hard even for native Chinese speakers, usually demanding endless rote copying in school. And even then, it is far more common than is often admitted for Chinese people to forget even quite routine characters, such as 钥匙 (key). As a result, there’s been a rising dissatisfaction with current language teaching methods in China in recent years.

Is there a better way? Physicist Jinshan Wu of Beijing Normal University, a specialist in the new mathematical science of network theory, and colleagues have investigated the structural relationships between Chinese characters to develop a learning strategy that exploits these connections.

Please click here to read the full article at the BBC.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Research, Science, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K.

‘The Kate effect’: China in grip of first lady fever as Peng steps out [The Age] #China #softpower]

Whatever term one uses, it is simply soft power, Chinese style.

China has a recent history of esteemed First Ladies captured widely in popular culture for years. If she can ignite the imagination of the the women around Greater China the that would boost the Chinese sphere of influence greatly. Their consensus would have mean a more finely tuned Chinese model for growth down this new period.

– – –

‘The Kate effect’: China in grip of first lady fever as Peng steps out
Malcolm Moore in Beijing for the Daily Telegraph
Source – The Age, published March 25, 2013

China’s new president flew out of Moscow on Sunday pronouncing himself “deeply satisfied” with his first official trip overseas. But back home, the only topic of conversation was his elegant wife.
Footage of Peng Liyuan, 49, triggered first lady fever in the Chinese media and on the internet.
Mrs Peng, a Chinese folk singer and major-general in the Chinese army who sings for the People’s Liberation Army, is arguably just as famous in China as her husband, Xi Jinping, who was inaugurated as president two weeks ago.

20130325-091812.jpg

“Graceful”: Peng Liyuan. Photo: AFP

“Now is the end of our quest for a graceful first lady,” wrote the deputy editor of the Hong Kong Commercial Daily newspaper on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Yesterday, the Beijing News ran a full page of stories about Mrs Peng’s itinerary in Moscow, alongside a photograph of her arriving at a speech dressed in an elegant Chinese-style silk tunic and skirt.

“In her role as first lady on this visit abroad, Peng Liyuan is exhibiting China’s soft power,” Wang Fan, head of the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the newspaper. The footage of her in Moscow quickly caused something akin to the “Kate Middleton effect”, with copies of a black coat she wore instantly appearing on Taobao, an online shopping site, for 499 yuan ($76.76), and advertised as “in the same style as the first lady’s”.

“Her shoes are really classic, and who designed her bag?” wrote another user on Weibo. In fact, a black leather clutch she carried was made to order by a Chinese firm in the south-western city of Chengdu.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Media, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Telegraph UK, The Age, The Chinese Identity, U.K.

Reds link up with CCB #Football #Soccer #ManchesterUnited #ChinaConstructionBank #China #Finance [Manchester United Official Site]

Public Diplomacy and foreign policy mileage while leveraging an eager domestic audience: China’s increasing love for football solidifies further with China Construction Bank (founded 1954 turned commercial in 1994, listed on the HKSE since 2005) on a three-year sponsorship gig with Manchester United, the English Premier League’s most successful club. Anyone watching EPL games recently would have noted most advertising hoardings have already been dominated by Chinese companies in the past two to three years.

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Reds link up with CCB
Source – Manchester United official site, published January 15, 2013

Image Source - Manchester United official site

Image Source – Manchester United official site

Manchester United has today (15 January) agreed a three-year sponsorship with one of China’s most prominent banking groups, China Construction Bank (CCB).

As part of the agreement, United’s first with a Chinese bank, CCB will hold the rights exclusively to produce the official Manchester United branded credit card in mainland China.

The CCB Manchester United Credit Card is set to be popular with the club’s fans in China, offering them a range of exciting benefits, including various club-related incentives. CCB will be marketing the card to its almost 102 million personal banking customers in mainland China. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Europe, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Sport, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., , , , ,

Chinese Ambassador on China’s internet policy [BBC] #Video #China #Internet #LiuXiaoMing

BBC: Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming to the UK and Northern Ireland contributing to Chinese public diplomacy by engaging traditional top-down broadcast media.

What is the big picture of internet development in China?

China’s intention is to double GDP by 2020, and with that correspondingly double its GDP per capita. If it succeeds it is merely carrying out its promise of equitable growth – its five-year plans are clear for all who bother to read.

The level of success of course, can be measured in some way by the bridging of its digital divide. Sometimes it is hard for those well intentioned speculators who have never set foot in China to see what that means. The nature of the internet is as such that there is no way to cover it with a blanket. Streamline yes, but there is simply no way to turn off the tap.

Apart from that, the biggest population of the Western sphere is the US… China deals with a population more than four times larger. Compared to the UK, that’s even more significant. With >500m internet users at the moment, one has to bear in mind China is still, only 50% urbanised (just as one indicator), nowhere near solid state in terms of access to the democratisation potential of the internet. How does one manage 500 million self-serving narratives? When it hits 1 billion, what then? In Chinese leadership parlance, 1 billion small problems is a much bigger problem than 1 big problem.

No one has managed a situation that scale before. No one.

Extract from the Interview –
Liu: I think corruption is not a problem for China alone. Once you are in the period of social transformation, it’s unavoidable you’ll have all kinds of problems. Just like Deng Xiaoping once said at the beginning of opening up of China, he said, “When we open the window we’ll let in the fresh air, it’s unavoidable that flies and mosquitoes will be in.” But the important thing is how the party face up to it and adopt measures to deal with this problem. I think the leadership is resolute and determined.

Esler: But our correspondent couldn’t even get on Facebook when he was in China. I mean, you can’t get on Twitter. It’s not quite as you present it.

– – –

Chinese Ambassador on China’s internet policy
Gavin Esler
Source – BBC, published December 22, 2012

Screen capture of Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming On BBC Newsnight, 2012. Please click to head onto the BBC site with the video interview

Screen capture of Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming On BBC Newsnight, 2012. Please click to head onto the BBC site with the video interview

China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiao Ming has told BBC’s Newsnight that there is a “misconception” about the internet in China.

He says “every day thousands of people make comments online”, but that the government must “remove unhealthy content”.

In 10 years the number of internet users in China has grown tenfold to more than 500 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, Human Rights, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., , , , , , , , , ,

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.

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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., , , , , , , ,

Who are the Chinese 誰是華人? [Youtube]

Overseas Chinese making sense of China through largely positive memories. Filmed in 2011 – in China, Singapore, London, Paris, Melbourne and Malaysia, this ethnic narrative is UK Christian minister (though not apparent initially in the first fifteen minutes) Reggie Lee’s take on the Chinese identity through history, dynasty, philoosphy and culture. The short film then steers toward reconciling Chinese-ness with Christianity in anticipation of what many Chinese Christianity skeptics would say about the bible – ‘but there is no mention of Chinese people in the bible’.

Making up about 20 percent of the world’s population, the Chinese are a significant race and have a history of more than 5,000 years steeped with traditions. However, because of the Chinese Diaspora and the cultural revolution in the early sixties, many Chinese have a very vague idea of their history, culture and tradition. “Who are the Chinese?” is a film that takes you into the deep cultural and spiritual roots of the Chinese. Filmed in 6 locations across the world, this production provides those searching for their history a well researched documentary with a few surprises. Source – Whoarethechinese.com 2012

Filed under: Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Greater China, History, Influence, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, People, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., Youtube, , , , , , ,

You’ll never be Chinese [Prospect Magazine]

Mark Kitto is someone I have been following for a while and he once said he was ‘committed to China‘. He has an interesting story to tell having experienced both the highs and lows, urban to rural, polluted and clear-skied bits of China. From his interviews he gives me a sense that he’s someone who has a nuanced understanding of Chinese culture and guanxi.

Check out a review of Kitto’s China Cuckoo here at Danwei in 2009. For more on the That’s magazine saga from 2005 where he lost his media business, go here.

Here’s an interview with Kitto on Skynews Sunday Agenda back in 2009

In more recent news, Mark Kitto isn’t alone in deciding to leave China – Heading for the exits in China (International Herald Tribune)

Check out his Moganshan Lodge web presence here.

– – –

You’ll never be Chinese
Why I’m leaving the country I loved.
by Mark Kitto
Source – Prospect Magazine, published AUGUST 8, 2012

Death and taxes. You know how the saying goes. I’d like to add a third certainty: you’ll never become Chinese, no matter how hard you try, or want to, or think you ought to. I wanted to be Chinese, once. I don’t mean I wanted to wear a silk jacket and cotton slippers, or a Mao suit and cap and dye my hair black and proclaim that blowing your nose in a handkerchief is disgusting. I wanted China to be the place where I made a career and lived my life. For the past 16 years it has been precisely that. But now I will be leaving.

I won’t be rushing back either. I have fallen out of love, woken from my China Dream. “But China is an economic miracle: record number of people lifted out of poverty in record time… year on year ten per cent growth… exports… imports… infrastructure… investment…saved the world during the 2008 financial crisis…” The superlatives roll on. We all know them, roughly.

Don’t you think, with all the growth and infrastructure, the material wealth, let alone saving the world like some kind of financial whizz James Bond, that China would be a happier and healthier country? At least better than the country emerging from decades of stultifying state control that I met and fell in love with in 1986 when I first came here as a student? I don’t think it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Influence, Mark Kitto, Media, Politics, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., , , , , ,

Why do we continue to ignore China’s rise? Arrogance [Guardian]

Author of ‘When China Rules the World’ Martin Jacques weighs in with two cents as he launches an update of his book.

‘It is impossible to understand or make sense of China through a western prism. As China becomes a great power and, over the next two decades, steadily usurps America as the dominant global power, we will no longer have any alternative but to abandon our western parochialism and seek to understand China on its own terms. But the shift in mindset that faces us is colossal. ‘

– – –

Why do we continue to ignore China’s rise? Arrogance
by Martin Jacques
Source – The Observer, March 25, 2012

Martin Jacques, author of a bestseller on China, asks why the west continues to approach the rise of the new global powerhouse with a closed mind. We obsess over details of the race for the White House, yet give scant regard to the battle to replace China’s current leadership. If we fail to pay heed to the political and economic shift of gravity, we will be sidelined by history.

History is passing our country and our continent by. Once we were the centre of the world, the place from where power, ideas and the future emanated. If we drew a map of the world, Europe was at its centre. That was how it was for 200 years. No more. The world is tilting on its axis in even more dramatic style than when Europe was on the rise. We are witnessing the greatest changes the world has seen for more than two centuries. We are barely aware of the fact. And therein lies the problem.

I vividly recall when the first edition of my bookWhen China Rules the World was published almost three years ago. At the many talks I gave, I showed a Goldman Sachs chart that projected that the Chinese economy would overtake the US economy in size in 2027. Invariably someone would point out this was only a projection, that the future was never an extrapolation of the past, that it was most unlikely the forecast would come to pass and certainly not in this time frame. No one suggested that the projection underestimated the date, even though the western financial crisis was already almost a year old. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Guardian, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Medicine, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., U.S.

Adele’s Rolling in the deep: Guzhen interpretation 古筝版 [Youtube]

British popular culture meets traditional Chinese instrumentation: UK songbird Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ as interpreted by the Guzhen 古筝(Chinese zither). Worth checking out if you have 3.44min to spare!

Filed under: Art, Culture, Influence, The Chinese Identity, U.K., Youtube

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