Wandering China

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

Hire a Great Chinese Engineer by Impressing His Girlfriend’s Mom #China #Culture [Harvary Business Review Blog]

Into the Chinese mind: The Harvard Business Review with a salient human interest story about some examples of what stirs the Chinese hierarchy of needs for forward motion – the family unit and how they evaluate reputation.

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Hire a Great Chinese Engineer by Impressing His Girlfriend’s Mom
by Doug Raymond
Source – Harvard Business Review, published January 10, 2013

I thought hiring good engineers would be easy when I launched my startup, Julu Mobile, in Shanghai in early 2011. After all, China produces 600,000 engineering graduates each year, and as a former Google product manager I thought knew how to attract them.

However, I soon learned that hiring the best and brightest would be a lot harder than I thought. In my Silicon Valley experience, the best engineers look for audacious challenges, because the bigger the challenge, the greater their chance to prove themselves and reap the correspondingly larger rewards. Joining a startup company early is an exciting opportunity and potential path to glory for them.

In China, I have found that a different mindset dominates. When I started recruiting talent for my new company, before candidates asked about our strategy, they asked how much money we had. They wanted to know what my plans were for IPO. One candidate told me that he expected “a seven-figure package” (in US dollars). While there was some interest in our plans for China’s mobile market, their primary concerns were economic and reputational: how could I prove to them that they would become rich, and that our company would be famous? I don’t blame them for being skeptical of my tiny start-up, but I was struck by how much more risk-averse my prospects were than those engineers I’d worked with in Silicon Valley. Over the next months, I began to understand why. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Mapping Feelings, People, Social, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , ,

Xi questions propaganda chief’s handling of censorship row #China #Xi #Censorship #SouthernWeekly [Asahi Shimbum]

Asahi Shimbum: Japanese coverage on the Southern Weekly censorship matter.

Could this really be the case of the manufactured end of media censorship as the comment below suggests?

I think the reality and culture of the Chinese press is that it has been dynamic for a while now. The southerners have been known to be more vocal and discerning of central power – time spent in Guangdong province watching the news there will yield clues for anyone interested. Today it extends further up north – any time spent on Beijing’s local television current affairs programmes will reveal a growing number of self-analytical programmes. It’s even more apparent when one factors in Greater China, with Hong Kong and perhaps contentiously Taiwan in the mix.

If interested, Chinese-language papers such as Nandu 南都 Daily  (translated as Southern Metropolis Daily) for a start are useful to get a pulse of the Chinese fourth estate in action.

For Greater China (Taiwan) coverage on the issue, check out Wen Qian World Weekly’s investigative coverage on youtube here (in Mandarin only without subtitles  – according to the report Southern Weekly has had a reputation of being leading and cutting edge with investigative journalism –  a must watch if you can understand Mandarin:

Screen cap of the only comment left on the online page thus far, by Mark Newham. As of publishing, this article has been tweeted 71 times and shared on Facebook 53 times.

Screen cap of the only comment left on the online page thus far, by Mark Newham. As of publishing, this article has been tweeted 71 times and shared on Facebook 53 times.

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Xi questions propaganda chief’s handling of censorship row
Compiled from reports by Atsushi Okudera, Kenji Minemura and Kentaro Koyama
Source – the Asahi Shimbum, published January 14, 2013

BEIJING–In an apparent attempt to quell the uproar over censorship, Chinese leader Xi Jinping expressed displeasure toward the media control division and said he would not punish journalists who disobeyed its latest order, sources said.

Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China, appears to have given top priority to preventing the row from expanding further and threatening his new leadership installed in November.

Arguments for free speech erupted after the reform-oriented Southern Weekly based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, was forced to rewrite its New Year edition before it was published on Jan. 3. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Influence, japan, Mapping Feelings, Media, New Leadership, 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, Xi Jinping, , , , , , , , ,

China orders no extravagance during holidays [Xinhua] #China #Corruption #Guanxi

Xinhua: Not leaving the grey areas of corruption to chance prior to the holiday periods – a top-down directive clearly stating how public funds can not be used.

First established in 1927, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection 中国共产党中央纪律检查委员会’s current Secretary is Wang Qishan – China’s current ‘troubleshooter’,  one of the seven in the latest Politburo Standing Committee.

More on the Ministry of Supervision here. It may come as a surprise for those not in the know this is a ministry with a history of female leadership. More on Ma Wen here.

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China orders no extravagance during holidays
Editor – Wang Yuanyuan
Source – Xinhua, published December 27, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) — The disciplinary watchdog of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as well as the government’s supervisory authority, have called for efforts to halt extravagance during the upcoming holiday season.

The use of public funds to purchase cigarettes, liquor and gifts for government officials should be strictly prohibited, according to a circular issued by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision on Thursday.

Public spending on extravagant banquets, travel, entertainment or sporting activities will also be prohibited during the New Year holiday, as well as February’s Spring Festival, the circular said.

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

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Corruption, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, xinhua, , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , ,

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.

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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., , , , , , , , , ,

#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., , , , , , , , ,

China’s Xi leads campaign to cut pomp #China #XiJinPing [South China Morning Post]

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong: No more red carpets as China reportedly becomes more aware of how it projects its national image to both domestic and foreign audiences. Xi Jinping kicks off his fifth-generation take on the core Chinese leadership by urging a collective dispensing of pomp and circumstance, starting at the highest level. Visual aesthetics cannot be discounted in political communication, intentional or otherwise. Of course, a subtle and negotiated consensus within the Chinese core leadership has always been priority – we’ll see if this manages to be pulled off in time and if anyone overtly steps out of line.

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China’s Xi leads campaign to cut pomp
by Christopher Bodeen
Source – AP, in South China Morning Post, December 8, 2012

BEIJING (AP) — New communist leader Xi Jinping is on a mission to soften the image of Chinese officialdom, winning kudos for his breezy personal style and ordering leaders to take a knife to the pomp, formality and waste that have alienated many among the public.

With his silky baritone, glamorous wife and daughter at Harvard, Xi cuts a very different figure from the staid, hyper-private leaders of the past. Even his posture, more like that of a slouchy college professor than a stiff party cadre, has won him plaudits.

Xi took the new informality a step further at a Tuesday meeting of the 25-member Politburo, ordering that arrangements for leaders’ visits and the trappings of power be drastically pared back. Elaborate welcoming ceremonies will be eliminated, traffic disruptions avoided, and staid, often worthless reporting on the doings of the leadership dispensed with. Even red carpets are to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Education, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, 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, U.S., Xi Jinping, , , , , , , , , ,

#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.

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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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China backs Egypt mediation #China [Global Times]

Global Times: The Chinese are concerned about the Gaza Strip. With new helmsmen, how will China see its independent foreign policy of peace and non-intervention unfold?

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China backs Egypt mediation
by Hao Zhou
Source – Global Times, published November 22, 2012

Israeli police gather after a blast ripped through a bus near the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. At least 21 people were injured, in what an official said was “a terrorist attack.” Text – Global Times, Photo: AFP, 2012

China supports mediation efforts made by Egypt and other Arab nations as well as the League of Arab States (LAS) to ease the current tensions in Gaza, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

“China is paying great attention to the situation in the Gaza Strip,” Hua told reporters.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr over the phone about the situation there, expressing China’s support for Egypt and other Arab states as well as the LAS, she said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disaster, Egypt, Foreign aid, global times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peacekeeping, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , ,

President Xi’s Singapore Lessons #China [Project Syndicate]

Nobel laureate Michael Spence on a crucial point of China’s development – and how long after Deng Xiaoping’s and Lee Kuan Yew’s friendship that helped sparked the opening of China, Singapore’s lesson of one-party rule remains poignant.

As a one-party system with a somewhat similar ethnic complexion it continues to maintain popular legitimacy despite a high media literacy rate by design. Despite recent challenges, it still largely calls the shots on policy while transitioning to first world status with a knowledge economy that shifted from too, manufacturing.

Like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in their first few decades of modern growth, China has been ruled by a single party. Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) remains dominant, though that appears to be changing. The others evolved into multi-party democracies during the middle-income transition. China, too, has now reached this critical last leg of the long march to advanced-country status in terms of economic structure and income levels.

That said, it is most probable it is a case study of the many others they would consult in taking care to cross the river in highly turbulent times. Singapore is not definitive, but a series of stones the Chinese will feel around for before updating or reconfiguring their own socialist system to fit those needs.

From financial crises to violent revolution, what reason would China have to look that way for inspiration? Only for lessons on how not to do it I believe.

China has 1.3 billion mouths to feed. Singapore has 5.3 million. The official reported population density of about 7,257sq km from Singstats in 2011 this official stat does not consider the fact that Singapore has zoned out a 40% nature green sponge if you will, for water catchment, so true habitable space = 60% of 715sqkm).

Both cannot afford to make mistakes in their use of large scale systems.

That is where the lesson will be drawn. How it seldom makes mistakes, and when it does – it knows how to handle it in both foreign while giving domestic and alternative press some leeway for discourse.

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President Xi’s Singapore Lessons
by Michael Spence
Source – Project Syndicate, published November 19, 2012

NEW YORK – China is at a crucial point today, as it was in 1978, when the market reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping opened its economy to the world – and as it was again in the early 1990’s, when Deng’s famous “southern tour” reaffirmed the country’s development path.

Throughout this time, examples and lessons from other countries have been important. Deng was reportedly substantially influenced by an early visit to Singapore, where accelerated growth and prosperity had come decades earlier. Understanding other developing countries’ successes and shortcomings has been – and remains – an important part of China’s approach to formulating its growth strategy.

Like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in their first few decades of modern growth, China has been ruled by a single party. Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) remains dominant, though that appears to be changing. The others evolved into multi-party democracies during the middle-income transition. China, too, has now reached this critical last leg of the long march to advanced-country status in terms of economic structure and income levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Great Wall, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Project Syndicate, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Xi Jinping, , , , , , , , , , ,

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