Wandering China

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

Smog solution unlikely without public help #China #Pollution #Consensus [Global Times]

Chinese state media performing the role of fourth estate: The Global Times rallying for a public consensus to take a hard stance on pollution. Despite the semantic gymnastics of late, tossing between words like fog, et al – the Global Times leads the way by calling it just what it is – smog. There probably isn’t an easy solution – so much of the pollution is driven by infrastructure-building on top of production, which in turns drives growth; it really is a question of how to grow in as clean a way as possible that doesn’t cut away jobs and employment downstream. And it’s not like good clean air  isn’t appreciated – many I meet or bring around Australia celebrate with refreshing deep breaths, and eagerly plan return visits because… of the air.

The government needs to increase its sense of urgency and ability to implement its policies. Environmental authorities should enhance their investigation of enterprises and strengthen the punishment of those that cause pollution. Businesses that cannot meet environment protection standards must be eliminated.

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Smog solution unlikely without public help
Op-Ed
Source – Global Times, published January 13, 2013

The toxic smog that has been shrouding the capital is expected to be dispersed by a fresh cold front on Wednesday, according to the weather forecast Monday. Recent days cloaked in choking and acrid smog have caused China to reflect on how clean air can be restored to the country.

The dense fog forced Beijing for the first time to implement an emergency response plan for hazardous pollution. According to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau Monday, 14 inspection teams were organized to oversee pollution reduction in districts and counties of Beijing, and by Sunday night, the production of 58 enterprises had been suspended and 54 businesses had reduced their emissions by 30 percent. The bureau also said relevant authorities are cooperating to the implementation of the regulation that government cars, which make up 30 percent of Beijing’s traffic, will stay in the garages for the moment. Those emergency measures are laudable, but meanwhile, the public is questioning why the strong supervision and decisive attitude to reduce pollution cannot be included into routine work.

The lingering smog sends a warning message. Coal burning, dust and industrial and vehicle emissions are the fundamental causes of the hazardous haze this time. The government bears more responsibility for tackling the problem, but no one should be just an onlooker. Reducing pollution and improving the living environment need the participation of the whole of society. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Infrastructure, Politics, Pollution, Social, , , ,

World’s largest building nears completion [Sydney Morning Herald/AFP] #China #Chengdu #NewCenturyGlobalCentre

Ocean City built by man… just because they can?

The scale baffles and excites the mind as China continues to build its interior, at least a thousand of kilometres from any coast.

For one who has visited the Sydney Opera House on multiple occasions, to imagine that the New Century Global Centre would be able to contain twenty of the Opera Houses stretches the contours of the headspace. I will be visiting Chengdu shortly, and will post an update on the mammoth structure that will feature an artificial sun with an artificial 500m long beach.

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World’s largest building nears completion
AFP
Source – Sydney Morning Herald, published December 28, 2012

Source - Sydney Morning Herald 'CHINA CONSTRUCTS WORLD'S BIGGEST BUILDINGThe 100-metre-high New Century Global Centre in Chengdu is a symbol of the spread of China's boom, 500m long and 400m wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses, according to local authorities.'  Photo: AFP

Source – Sydney Morning Herald ‘CHINA CONSTRUCTS WORLD’S BIGGEST BUILDING
The 100-metre-high New Century Global Centre in Chengdu is a symbol of the spread of China’s boom, 500m long and 400m wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses, according to local authorities.’ Photo: AFP

 

A thousand kilometres from the nearest coast, a towering glass wave rolls over the plains of Sichuan, the roof of what Chinese officials say will be the world’s largest standalone structure.

The 100-metre-high New Century Global Centre is a symbol of the spread of China’s boom, 500m long and 400m wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses, according to local authorities.

By comparison the Pentagon in Washington – still one of the world’s largest office buildings – is barely a third of the size with a mere 600,000 sq m of floor space.

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

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Bo Xilai, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Poverty, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tourism, , , , , , ,

#China’s View of the New Type of Relations between Major Powers [China-US Focus]

China-US Focus: Can major power relations detach itself from the construct of the zero sum game? Dr. Chen Xulong, Director of the Department of International and Strategic Studies at the Beijing-based China Institute of International Studies talks about a new type of relations where a common destiny becomes the driving narrative. That said, the oft said most important bilateral ties in the world are hardly simply bilteral ties. They are hardly insular to just the themselves. With their corresponding spheres of influence and proxy actors clashing too, perhaps a much broader view is necessary.

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China’s View of the New Type of Relations between Major Powers
by Chen Xulong
Source – China-US Focus, published October 15, 2012

China’s view of “a new type of relations between major powers” has drawn much attention in the world, especially from people interested in the China-US relationship. A good understanding of this concept is necessary.

China’s Exploration of the “New Type of Relations between Major Countries”
Since the beginning of the 21st century, Chinese leaders have been exploring the way towards a better and more stable China-US relationship. Their exploration is based on the understanding of the importance of the bilateral relationship. The China-US relationship is a bilateral relationship of great importance, vitality and potentiality in the world, and is also highly representative of a rising power and an existing dominant power. The past history of China-US relations has showed us that China and the US both gain from peaceful coexistence, and will lose from confrontations, that the mutual interest serves as the bedrock of cooperation, and that China-US cooperation is conducive to stability in the Asia-Pacific region as well as peace and development in the world.

The Chinese leaders’ exploration is also based on the understanding of the characteristics of this age and the developing trend of the world. They have realized that peace, development and cooperation are irreversible trends of the times. With the development of multilateralization, globalization and informatization, all the countries share a more common destiny with mutual dependency and intertwined interests. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, ChinaUS Focus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

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., , , , , , , ,

Central Committee elected #China #Leadership[Global Times]

The way forward has been set. Scientific development joins the hallways of contemporary Chinese statecraft.

For the full list of the 205 members of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) elected at the 18th CPC National Congress on Wednesday, please go here.

“In the past, the authorities focused on so-called political, economic, cultural and social development, now they have realized the importance of sustainable development, which is related not only to people’s well-being now, but future generations,” Zhang Yaocan, professor of political science with Central China Normal University.

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Central Committee elected
by Wu Gang
Source – Global Times, November 15, 2012

Delegates raise their hands to show approval for a work report at the closing ceremony of the 18th Party congress held at the Great Hall of the People Wednesday. Photo: IC, 2012

The Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has enshrined the “Scientific Outlook on Development,” a political guideline that puts people first and calls for balanced and sustainable development, the 18th CPC National Congress announced as the week-long event concluded on Wednesday.

Some 2,270 Party delegates cast votes Wednesday, electing the new CPC Central Committee and the new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Nearly 50 percent of the new Central Committee are newcomers, indicating that the CPC, with 91 years of history and more than 82 million members, has again completed its leadership transition. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Confucius, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Natural Disasters, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Yuan, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The China8 Interviews #5: on Green China with Calvin Quek #China

Wandering China is pleased to release the fifth of the China8 series of interviews. China8 is where China’s perceived and presenting selves are discussed. This it hopes to achieve by looking closely at both China’s international and domestic coherence of its harmonious ascent. Ultimately, Wandering China hopes these perspectives will be helpful for anyone making sense of depending on how you see it, the fourth rise of the middle kingdom, or sixty odd years of consciousness of a new nation-state with a coherent identity emergent from a long drawn period of ideological strife.

This time, the focus is on Green China, with insights from Greenpeace – Calvin Quek brings first-hand insights as he is right in the thick of it all. In a domain where policy formation is at critical crossroads because economic progress has to continue, Calvin is a fellow overseas-born Chinese from Singapore.

China 8.1: You made your way to China to study at Peking University in 2009 after working in Singapore’s finance sector for a number of years. Can you describe what went through your mind then? What prompted the move, and how does it feel now to be in China?

I came to China first to teach at a local university, as I had free time before my original plan to do my MBA in the US. I spent 3 months at Beijing Union University and loved the experience of interacting with China’s youth and discovering Beijing. I then discovered that there was so much to do here in environmental sector and this is what led me to reconsider my decision to study in the US. China needs all the help it can get to address climate change and other environmental issues, and I have some vain hope that I could make a difference. I still feel that way now. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Green China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Natural Disasters, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Pollution, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Singapore, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

Trees planted to form a barricade to pollution #China [China Daily]

China Daily: Adding on to the Green Wall of China, its longer-term plan to hold back the expansion of the Gobi desert. Slated to be 4500km long when completed in 2050, it currently progresses with a great ring of 13 million trees been planted over 138sq km  in Beijing’s bid to deal with pollution from industry to the north.

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Trees planted to form a barricade to pollution
By Zheng Xin
Source – China Daily, published November 8, 2012

Workers plant trees in the Caijiahe area of Beijing on Nov 1. Wang Jing / China Daily

More green plants are standing sentry on the outskirts of Beijing as authorities attempt to reduce pollution and make the city a more pleasant place to live.

By the end of October, more than 13 million trees had been planted over 138 sq km, mostly around the Sixth Ring Road.

The area was equal to more than 83 percent of the target the capital’s forestry bureau had set for the project this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charm Offensive, China Daily, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Government & Policy, Great Wall, Green China, Infrastructure, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Pollution, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade, , , , ,

China’s mystery man faces struggle at home and abroad [CNN]

So, Obama will be at the helm of the US again. Now attention naturally turns to China.

Sometimes it is what seems apparent.

China’s obaque system will be intensely under scrutiny. But it’s always been apparent what the outcome of the Chinese leadership transition would look like – with Xi arguably at the helm. The Chinese will soon gather for their interpretation of a ‘democratic’ vote at the highest level to install the cogs in the wheel with an outlook of ten years in their sights.

Depending on how one is informed, the role of media in shaping opinion and worldviews continues to hold substance today.

Here we know to also understand what the Chinese think.

What is apparent to the average Chinese media consumer, on a traditional diet of top-down state media, to provocative provincial media, to fact that the humble village outcry that could prompt government intervention numbers close to 200,000 recorded mass incidents annually.

Add on the fact that by numbers they are the world’s biggest virtual network, with a technological equivalence of dominant western network technology. Yet beyond the obvious ‘parallelling’, the Chinese are known for their diligence to copying and modelling, for anyone who investigates Chinese art, thought, or training. They have the world’s largest and most participative public sphere online and that means the world’s largest workforce is also the most socially networked, an important skill for the twenty-first century. A place where cultural differences are less apparent, nor important. This is something perhaps a wider body of the rest of the world should learn too –

I am fortunate for this analysis by my father. He is one who has well-experienced the ups and downs of fledgling free market of China by doing business across the east coast of China for a period of five years. He maintains an extensive network of business contacts in China who keep him in tune with how China is from within.

He starts by simply stating, everything is already decided before Nov 8, 2012.

To the Chinese, he unflinchingly feels, domestic outcry is their biggest concern.

The loss of markets – meaning loss of jobs will be the real reason for the bigger outcry (quite similar to the U.S. at the present moment – where employment in a time of massive economic restructuring are overarching).

So they will toe the line, the goal is simply not to lose markets and making customers uncomfortable. People need to remember China itself is huge customer with 1.3 billion domestic market. Anyone who has travelled to China as a tourist can see the overwhelming (not all) domestic tourists at first hand would see this. Therefore, economic downturn or not, so under adverse economic conditions, all will come to terms (i think).

He goes on to talk about its social structure, fast reconfiguring to the twenty-first century, but not quite there yet. A good fit is still some way away.

He feels they would not mind losing thousands of unhappy well-informed middle-class every now and then. That said, they definitely do not want to have millions of those who lack means to get out to wreck havoc from within. Simply put, their main task: making sure majority of 1.4bln have the basic needs, continue to sell hope and they continue to rule.

So, for a further glimpse into catches a glimpse of the amount of pubic sphere discourse on the US elections on Chinese TV… Here’s a top five list of great Chinese current affairs programmes for a peek into their abundant, internal discourse.

1. 文茜的世界週报 http://www.ctitv.com.tw/newchina_video_c134v103030.html – ‘Wen Qian: the purpose of her show is to help taiwanese & chinese speaking audience keeping up with china’

2. 一虎一席谈 http://phtv.ifeng.com/program/yhyxt/ – ‘usual phoenix tv mission of reaching worldwide chinese, the show always show different views’
3. 解码陈文茜 http://phtv.ifeng.com/program/jmcwq/ ‘quite similar to Wen Qian’s taiwan show’
4. 风云对话 http://phtv.ifeng.com/program/fydh/ – Yuan Feng: 阮 is very well respected by international political watchers’

5. 社会能见度 http://phtv.ifeng.com/program/shnjd/– ‘going in depth into china social ills’

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China’s mystery man faces struggle at home and abroad
By Stan Grant
Source – CNN, published November 6, 2012

Beijing (CNN) — Xi Jinping is a mystery. So much so that the presumed leader-in-waiting of the world’s most populous nation could vanish for more than a week without any explanation being given.

In September this year, Xi disappeared. It sparked a flurry of rumors: he’d had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, was injured swimming, and had even gone on strike.

Xi eventually re-appeared and normal transmission was resumed. But should we be so surprised? Barely an analyst I’ve spoken to can say they really know him, or what type of leader he would be. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, CNN, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China’s growing military strength means more chances for peace #China [Global Times]

In the global headspace of ideologies already saturated with 24-7 reports on the significant leadership transitions of the world’s most important bilateral relationship, China publishes this editorial.

First it attempts to shape its 1.7m print readership and beyond in the online world into a cohesive unit – one based on real strength, a greater public awareness of what soft power means to them collectively, thus regulating their behaviour. It might significant that the Global Times has a strong overseas Chinese readership too.

The overarching point perhaps is that they had no reason to be intimidated anymore, and perhaps more importantly –  it also calls for cohesiveness, restraint, and mindfulness as they now have the means to shape their vision of peace and stability.

Nevertheless, we should not be afraid to resolutely fight back against others’ provocations. We should also be capable of distinguishing pure provocations from conflicts over core interests that can’t be resolved, and be able to calculate how much of a winning chance we have.

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China’s growing military strength means more chances for peace
Global Times Editorial
Source – Global Times, published November 4, 2012

Illustration by Liu Rui. Source – Global Times, 2012

Recently, there have been a lot of discussions in overseas media about the successful first test flight of China’s second kind of fifth generation stealth fighter, the J-31. If the reports are correct, it means that China is developing two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters at the same time. Only the US has ever owned two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters.

In recent years, China has continued to develop its aerospace industry, so as to catch up with the most advanced in the world. It is possible that China will make some new breakthroughs. With new high technology being developed, the gap between the Chinese air force and world-class level air forces will continue to narrow.

However, China should remain clear-headed about this. Currently, we have made some concrete progress. But much remains to be done to bring the whole defense equipment system to the same advanced level. China still has a long, tough road to undergo in this regard. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, U.S., , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

EU polysilicon probe sparks ‘trade war’ #solartradewars [Global Times]

Global Times: on the paradox of economic interdependence.

Solar power is great. I recently completed setting up a portable 100w solar rig at home and in some ways I understand what the fuss over the polysilicon in question.

Solar power is fundamentally about efficiency and making whatever light count. And this is something China does not have in large amounts itself. It has to import these materials from overseas – so sometimes it is funny when one blames ‘made in China’ without also thinking about ‘with materials from…’?

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EU polysilicon probe sparks ‘trade war’
by Cong Mu
Source – Global Times, published November 2, 2012

Source – Global Times, 2012

China initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into EU-made solar energy material products Thursday, in response to a European probe into Chinese solar panels dating back to September.

A Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) press release showed that complaints had been received from a number of companies, including Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development, LDK Solar, Luoyang Sino-Silicon and Daqo New Energy, on September 17. These complaints requested an assessment of the negative impact they had suffered from solar-grade polysilicon products made in and imported from the EU, the ministry’s Bureau of Fair Trade announced.

The Chinese companies also requested that the investigation into the EU be combined with previous anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into US and South Korean polysilicons. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, European Union, Germany, global times, Green China, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , ,

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