Wandering China

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

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

ahhoodroad-jan2017-200dpi

Tucked away in a secondary road in Balestier is the former Sun Yat Sen Villa. Just over a hundred years ago, it was the Southeast Asian (Nanyang) headquarters for Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities with the Tong Meng Hui secret society.

The funds and support he raised here with the Tong Meng Hui had a role to play in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty – marking the end of millennia of dynastic rule in China with the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. The Republic of China was established, Asia’s first. It had a western style parliamentary system although that didn’t last long.

Few Singaporeans, nor northern mainland Chinese know about the existence of this place which in our minds, a glaring blindspot.

First, it makes for a worthwhile visit to understand that Singapore’s relationship with China goes back a longer way than Deng-Lee relations, or the post-LEE post-Terrex new normal. Second, that Singapore had a hand in the birth of modern China. Sun Yat Sen visited Singapore nine times between 1900 and 1911. The villa was gazetted as a national monument in October 1994 and is now known as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Altitude: 200feet / 60m

#NeverForget Singapore’s #SeaState
Shot with the DJI Mavic Pro

Filed under: History, International Relations, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Uncategorized, , , ,

A step back to move forward. Hello again!

Dear reader, it’s been a number of years but I’m back.

I’ve taken time off to work on my book on China’s rise and it seems timely that I return to the blogosphere to continue sharing my thoughts now that the book’s probably a year away from completion. I was in Guilin with a flying camera in the Guangxi Automous Region recently. The objective was twofold –  to get an updated first hand impression of what China’s periphery has been thinking about and doing, and second to document China from the sky. I returned with a number of aerial photos and look forward to sharing them here.

guilin 5 DJI_0014-29 Pano.jpg

So, hello again!

Wandering China

Filed under: Back to China, Uncategorized,

Intermission

Greetings readers, the Wandering China blog will be taking an intermission till further notice. I thank you for your kind support.

willofheaven-cmyk

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Wukan: After the Uprising [Al Jazeera] #RisingChina #Democracy

A recommended watch to see through the monotheistic narrative that commonly misrepresents China in global media. The southern Chinese have been inciting uprisings against their perceived injustices since the Ming dynasty, a lineage continued during the time of Sun Yat-Sen. It looks like it exists till today.

Watch the documentary here:

(Running time 25 min)

– – –

Wukan: After the Uprising
Source – Al Jazeera, last modified July 5, 2013

China is no stranger to rural uprisings. Tens of thousands of protests erupt across the country each year, many over the illegal sale of communal village land by corrupt local officials. Few demonstrations lead to real change, but in 2011, one community defied the odds.

Wukan, a village in China’s southern Guangdong province, captured the world’s attention when it achieved a rare victory.

After weeks of noisy protests, a crackdown by local authorities and the death of a leading activist, demonstrators succeeded in ousting the village committee, which had held power for more than four decades. Democratic elections were announced and Wukan made international headlines.

Wukan: After the Uprising tells the story of the village’s journey following its extraordinary victory. This four-part observational documentary series looks at the challenges of a community’s transition to democracy, through the eyes of former rebels now entrusted with the task of leading the village and regaining lost land.

As the international press left Wukan after its historic vote, Al Jazeera stayed on to follow the newly elected village committee in action. Over the course of more than a year, filmmakers Lynn Lee and James Leong documented Wukan’s unique experience with democracy.

From the high of the elections, to the grind of everyday work, to the dilemmas of leadership, this is a rare and intimate portrait of rural China in the midst of remarkable change.

watch Episode 1: Rebels to Politicians

Please click here to read entire article at Al Jazeera.
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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Uncategorized, Wukan

Being Chinese in South-east Asia [Straits Times] #RisingChina #OverseasChinese

Once overshadowed by ethnic branding and stereotypes…

This book disproves the lie that the Chinese cannot be integrated because of their racial exclusivity, their loyalty by default to China, and the cultural insecurity of indigenous South-east Asian societies.

– – –

Being Chinese in South-east Asia

Ethnic community in this region is as deeply embedded as any other today
By Asad Latif For The Straits Times
Source – ST, published Jul 06, 2013

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An enactment of a Peranakan wedding at the Peranakan Museum. The book’s value lies in extending its analysis of the contribution of the Baba to Singapore and Malaysia, to ethnic Chinese in South-east Asia. — ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Golden Dragon And Purple Phoenix: The Chinese And Their Multi-ethnic Descendants In Southeast Asia
By Lee Khoon Choy
Singapore: World Scientific, 585 pages

AMONG the more than 60 million ethnic Chinese settled around the world, 33 million live in South- east Asia.

Their identity was once overshadowed by the idea that wherever there are Chinese, there is China. That assertion incorporated them into the Sinic sphere of influence, questioned the possibility of loyalty to the lands of their birth, and undermined their claim to the region.

Ethnic Chinese became targets of a deadly stereotype: To be Chinese meant to be clever, rapacious, inscrutable and suspect. They were envied for their industry and thrift, but their business success was imputed to the clannish networks that cornered commercial power. Perceptions of racial exclusiveness tinged with chauvinism threatened to turn them into eternal outsiders in South-east Asia.

The community paid a terrible price for that ethnic branding. It was the chief victim of the Japanese invasion and occupation of Malaya and Singapore during World War II.

Please click here to access the entire article at the Straits Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, People, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized

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

Toward a Greater China stance.

– – –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Children ‘left behind’ in China’s rush to the cities [AsiaOne/AFP] #RisingChina #MigrantWorkers

For more than 20 years China’s government has encouraged the rural poor to move to cities as a way to boost growth and lift living standards. The country now has 263 million migrant workers, and new leaders who took office this year have renewed the drive to urbanise.

– – –

Children ‘left behind’ in China’s rush to the cities
By Carol Huang
AFP
Source – in AsiaOne, published Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013

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A girl whose surname is Ouyang, whose parents are migrant workers, sits on a bed in the home she shares with her parents in Zhuangshuzui village in Hunan province, on April 30, 2013.

ZHUANGSHUZUI, China – Six-year-old Keke looks silently from a bare living room at her closest companion: a grandmother who resents having to raise her.

Keke is one of China’s 61 million “left-behind” children, whose parents have joined the mass migration to cities where they can earn higher wages – but cannot afford to keep a family.

Instead they have to leave their children’s upbringing and safety in the hands of elderly, sometimes inattentive carers, many of them with poor health and meagre schooling.

“I don’t really want to be raising her,” says Keke’s 60-year-old guardian, who declined to give her name.

“I have a lot of sicknesses and aches and pains but I still have to raise her. Sometimes when I get sick my whole body hurts, and nobody cares.”

Please click here to read the full article at AsiaOne.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Opening gaokao to non-locals a good first step [Global Times] #RisingChina #GlobalVillage #Education #Gaokao

Early days, as China’s floating sea of migrant workers accounts for 17% its total.

I recall fondly a conversation with a mother of two kids who has run the gauntlet from north to south of China, gaining employment in agriculture everywhere she went. It opened my mind. China internally, had so very much to offer each other. She even ventured as far as Myanmar, but that is for another story.

There are 56 official anchors to the central collective.

But with the digital age opening the floodgates to global village of perspectives, the game changer was China’s own calculated risk to use the Internet to its socio-economic advantage. Yet, very often they are wrongly misinterpreted as a homogenous bunch sucked into one overarching and dominant ‘dream’ narrative by foreign media. There are at maximum potential a working class the world can never match in numbers. Volume. It has been China’s strategy all along.

By settling this roving skilled population, and making them happy -The leaders have on their side a unique form of leverage no one else in the world has. Skilled artisans roving the nation via its expanding transport network, means they can fix things fast. So now they are training for this.

An education at large, liberates the mind. It can only be good they can stay with their parents as a result. At that young age, from 0-7 most parents should attest to how important those years are to socialized and be naturally identified as a parent at a young age.

Nevertheless, the 4,500 involved accounts for just 0.0005% of examinees. Still, a glimmer of an indicator of equitable growth to come.

Of course, the other startling figure in this article is the sheer number of examinees in each year’s gaokao – 9.12 million. It strongly challenges the mind to be graded on the same rubric as almost ten million others. In Singapore, I competed against -a cohort of 30,000 odd. The game plan to compete against a stack so high must be a daunting hurdle…

As many as 9.12 million students from across the country attended this year’s gaokao. It was particularly noteworthy for 4,500 students who were able to sit the exam in the city where they live but don’t hold a local household registration, or hukou. Previously, they would have had to return to their hometowns to take the exam. The policy of opening the gaokao to non-local residents has been implemented in more than 20 provinces and municipalities this year. Shu Meng, Global Times

– – –

Opening gaokao to non-locals a good first step
By Shu Meng
Source – Global Times, published June 8, 2013

Roadblocks were set up and traffic control measures were adopted around many schools in China yesterday, for the first day of the National College Entrance Examination, or gaokao, this year.

The gaokao is, perhaps, the most important moment for most students due to the importance of the results, which will determine the university they attend and even their future fate.

As many as 9.12 million students from across the country attended this year’s gaokao. It was particularly noteworthy for 4,500 students who were able to sit the exam in the city where they live but don’t hold a local household registration, or hukou. Previously, they would have had to return to their hometowns to take the exam. The policy of opening the gaokao to non-local residents has been implemented in more than 20 provinces and municipalities this year.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, Ideology, Uncategorized

China’s 20 year plan to pay 8 trillion to urbanize 500 million people by 2034 [Next Big Future] #RisingChina #Urbanisation

For more on the macroeconomics agency of the Chinese State Council, go to the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China’s (中华人民共和国国家发展和改革委员会) English online presence.

– – –

China’s 20 year plan to urbanize 500 million people by 2034
Posted by Brian Wang
Source – Big Next Future, published May 19, 2013

After extensive consultation, co-ordinated by the National Development and Reform Commission, the long-term plan for China’s urbanisation is being finalised. Behind all the complex issues is one fundamental question: how will it be paid for?

Here the ballpark costs of $400 billion per year are suggested to use increased taxes and temporarily increasing the budget deficit from 2% of GDP to 5% and redirecting funds from rural land acquisition.

The costs of urbanization could be reduced by leveraging the factory mass produced skyscraper technology of Broad Group. China’s Broad Group is building the Sky City One using factory mass production. It is to likely completed after 90 days of assembly late in 2013 and the projected cost for the building is RMB 4 billion (US$628 million). Sky City will boast 220 floors, 1 million square meters (11 million square feet) of floor space and 104 elevators, according to the preliminary plans. It will cost $63 per square foot and house 30000 people in 4500 apartments. Five hundred Skycities would cost $314 billion (and costs could go down by having the follow on buildings being learned to be built for less). They would house the 15 million people each year that are urbanized. They would also have all of the schools, offices, hospitals and other facilities that were needed.

Please click here to read the full article at Next Big Future

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Migrant Workers, Migration (Internal), Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized

CPC member responsible area 4000m above sea level [Photo] #RisingChina

CPC member responsible area 4000m above sea level @ Snow Jade Dragon Mountain in Yunnan.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Influence, Photo Story, Politics, The Chinese Identity, Uncategorized

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