Wandering China

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

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)

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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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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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

Zakaria: Democracy in China? [CNN]

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria weighs in to China’s democracy debate in the wake of arguably China’s first openly democratic elections. Will ground-up calls for democracy spread?

His two cents?

‘Change in today’s China is rarely bottom-up and sweeping in nature. If there’s going to be change, for now it’s going be incremental and it will come from the top down.’ *Click on source link below to check out the video*

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Zakaria: Democracy in China?
By Fareed Zakaria
Source – CNN, published March 12, 2012

You rarely hear the words “China” and “election” in the same breath. Unlike the U.S., France, or Egypt – all of which do have elections coming up – China has a “leadership transition” this year. This is a planned event where handpicked individuals are promoted up.

But there were real elections in China last week – of the people and by the people. There was a democratic vote with real ballots, real candidates, and real, clean results.

Welcome to Wukan. It’s a small fishing village in South-East China, just a few hundred miles from Hong Kong. The story began a few months ago, when the villagers of Wukan protested against a “land grab”. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, CNN, Corruption, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Wukan

Farmers’ rights to land ‘must not be violated’: China’s Wen [AsiaOne/AFP]

Beijing, Monday: To mark the start of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) China’s premier Wen Jiabao repeats his stance that farmers’ right to land “must not be violated” a day after elections in Wukan village – increasingly a symbol of resistance against official land grabs.

Also – see the Wall Street Journal – Rebel Village Vote: No Big Deal?(March 5, 2012) –

A lot of people believe that the resolution of the problem at Wukan was the opening of a new channel and a foreshadowing of political reform,” he said. “But the elections were held according to the organization rules of the village and the election regulations of Guangdong province. There was nothing new about this,” Guangdong Provincial party chief Wang Yang.

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Farmers’ rights to land ‘must not be violated’: China’s Wen
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published March 5, 2012 

BEIJING – Farmers’ rights to their land “must not be violated”, China’s premier told parliament on Monday, a day after elections in Wukan village, a symbol of resistance against official land grabs.

Government seizures of land have become a major source of discontent in China, and sparked a major revolt last December in Wukan, where residents said Communist officials had been seizing their land for decades.

In a speech to mark the opening of China’s National People’s Congress, Premier Wen Jiabao said farmers’ rights must be protected. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, Wukan

Chinese village experiments with democracy [AFP/AsiaOne]

Seemingly stimulated by the Wukan incident: China rolls out an official disclosure of democracy, perhaps a little ahead of time.

They’ve been having elections such as these for a while but the key difference is now the elections are no longer closed-doors.

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Chinese village experiments with democracy
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published February 12, 2012 

A Chinese man casts his vote as thousands of residents take part in the voting for their first-ever open democratic elections for the village committee in Wukan, in Shanwei city, south China's Guangdong province on February 1, 2012, after they protested for months in autumn in 2011 against their allegedly corrupt leaders. Residents in Wukan won rare concessions after they faced off with authorities for more than a week in December in a row over land and graft, including pledges to hold free village polls. Photo: AFP

SHANGHAI – A Chinese village which staged an extraordinary rebellion against authorities last year has taken a key step in a process to freely elect its own governing committee, residents said Sunday.

Thousands of residents of Wukan in the southern province of Guangdong voted Saturday for more than 100 representatives who will put forward candidates for a seven-member village committee to be elected in March, they said.

The move followed protests by the village last December when they faced off with authorities for more than a week in an uproar over land grabs. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, AsiaOne, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Democracy, Government & Policy, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Wukan

McCain: “Arab Spring Is Coming To China As Well” [New Tang Dynasty TV/Youtube]

From the American-Chinese funded New Tang Dynasty TV, here’s a close look at U.S. Congress Senator John McCain’s reasserting statement during the 48th Munich Conference on Security Policy that ‘the Arab Spring is coming to China as well.’

In a meeting with an atmosphere reported the People’s Daily to be filled with the smell of gunpowder, the South China Morning Posts can also reveal that McCain and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun had a spar at the major forum. They report that ‘The face-to-face confrontation also highlighted the two nations’ divergent views on human rights, Tibet and China’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea.’

Will China’s high-handed position of stability at all costs compounded by its struggle to contain corruption (think Wukan exemplar) intensify social conflicts and crises to the extent that the CCP will disintegrate?

That said, any suggestion corruption or communism will topple China discounts two facts. First, that new leader Xi Jinping is known for his extremely tough zero-tolerance stance on corruption. Second, that Wen Jiabao has been stressing unwavering reform and rural democracy as a first step toward the democratisation of China.

That aside, it is hard to tell if this move by Republican Senator McCain is short (joining in the Republican election playbook’s China-bashing train that China’s socio-economic conditions are completely different to those of the countries of Arab Spring) or far-sighted.

Is such a move leveraging on the PLA’s lead? The PLA have been forewarning of “increasing infiltration of rotten thoughts” from the West to position military politics at the forefront of China’s critical leadership transition later this year. A more militant China is surely fuel for the us-and-them US military industrial complex?

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Wukan, Youtube

Wen Says China Should Allow People to Criticize Government [Bloomberg]

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reaffirms his pledge that the Chinese people should be allowed to criticize their leaders during the State Council meet on Tuesday. His premise seems pretty clear – he believes that the creation of conditions for the people to ‘criticize and supervise the government ‘will aid in eliminating corruption.

Check out the official Chinese report here –  China’s Cabinet seeks opinions on annual government work report, Jan 31 2012. Also, see the official statement published in Mandarin here.

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Wen Says China Should Allow People to Criticize Government
John Liu
Source – Bloomberg, published Jan 31, 2012

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said people should be allowed to criticize their leaders, echoing similar pledges he’s made in the past.

China should “create conditions allowing the people to criticize the government,” Wen said, according to a statement issued by China’s cabinet about a meeting today to discuss its annual work report.

Wen and other Chinese leaders have pledged greater transparency and more attention to disputes between citizens and local officials in an effort to reduce social unrest that could erode the Communist Party’s claim to power. Rights activists and U.S. officials have criticized the country for what they say is a worsening rights record.

In comments to the Charlie Rose show earlier this month, U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke said there was a “significant crackdown and repression going on within China.” Human Rights Watch said last year that China is seeing “the largest crackdown on dissent in over a decade.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Taiwan, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Wukan

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