Wandering China

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

Survey: Singapore’s response to China’s rise: Online Media and the formation of public opinion

It has been a while – – –

Greetings readers *especially if you are from/based-in Singapore – if you have a few moments to spare, I appreciate your input for an online survey. Your inputs are deeply appreciated as it will provide important data for this twenty-first century update of modern Singapore’s response to China’s rise.

>>> Please click here to proceed to the survey hosted on surveymonkey.com

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Research Objective in a nutshell: To study the impact of online media / web 2.0 on how people in Singapore form opinions about China’s rise.

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This survey should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. There are 38 questions in total, the majority of which are either multiple choice or based on a rating scale. Inputs will be collected and analyzed after the questionnaire closes on [June 15, 2014]. Responses are collected anonymously and will used solely for research purposes.

Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/policy/privacy-policy/ for more on privacy policy.

Filed under: Communications, Education, International Relations, Media, Politics, Singapore, , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , ,

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

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, , , , , , , , , , ,

Xi Jinping urges to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics #China [Xinhua/China Daily]

State media sowing the seeds of the guiding ideology that will have Xi’s name on it. The long and short of it? No giant leap, but a continuation of winning a new victory for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

He told the Party members to keep in mind that the Party’s overall approach is to promote economic development tuned together with political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, and that its general task is to improve the people’s livelihoods, make the country more prosperous and achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation. (Xinhua, November 19, 2012)

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Xi Jinping urges to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics
Xinhua
Source – China Daily, published November 19, 2012

BEIJING – Members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee gathered on Saturday to study and exchange opinions on the spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress which concluded on November 14.

The meeting was presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

In his speech at the meeting, Xi called for efforts to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, as it is the theme of the report to the 18th CPC National Congress, which was delivered by Hu Jintao on November 8. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Daily, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, xinhua, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Xinhua Insight: China never to copy Western political system #China [#Xinhua]

Not unexpected – Chinese declare they will never copy Western political system (though they have learnt and experimented with it at length for centuries), but are openly acknowledging they may draw from other successes in the region that would work in cohesion with their socialist political system.

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Xinhua Insight: China never to copy Western political system
By Xinhua writers Meng Na and Mou Xu
Source – Xinhua, published November 12, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — Anyone trying to keep track of the development of China’s political system must have got an unequivocal answer at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Hu Jintao solemnly declared in his report at the opening of the congress that “we will never copy a Western political system.”

“We should place high importance on systemic building, give full play to the strength of the socialist political system and draw on the political achievements of other societies,” Hu said in the report. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, 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, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Garnaut: He Di’s Building of China’s enlightenment #China [The Age]

The Age: He Di 何迪 had a hand to play in China’s early financial interactions with the wider world. More recently, he was a major force behind major transactions signaling China’s firm participation into the global marketplace with the successful IPO of COSCO, Bank of China, China Merchants Bank and China Merchants Securities amongst others. The advocate for a worldview shift of Chinese statecraft has his chief concern rooted in that China seems to be returning back down the old road of addiction to the power of central planning.

‘If you test how many Chinese people really want to return to Mao’s period, to become North Korea, I don’t believe it’s 1 per cent of them…’

On challenges of Chinese leadership today ‘…They were educated by the party, the old doctrines of Marxism, they lack growth experiences at the grassroots. They are really engineers who still want to enjoy the dividends from the previous-generation leadership.”

More on the Hong-Kong registered Boyuan Foundation where He Di is Director-General here. Boyuan is an NGO established in 2008 that takes a mid- and long-term view of the Chinese macro-economy, society, and international relations.

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Building China’s enlightenment
He Di wants Chinese people to live in a world of liberty, democracy and free markets.
by John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published November 12, 2012

Middle row, second from left: Taken on April 20, 1960, He Di’s father, He Kang, sits next to then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, on right. He Di is directly below his father. Source – The Age, 2012

TWO years ago China’s most successful investment banker broke away from his meetings in Berlin to explore a special exhibition that caught his eye: Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime.

In the basement of the German History Museum He Di watched crowds uneasily coming to terms with how their ancestors had embraced what the curators had described as the Nazi promise of ”advancement, prosperity and the reinstatement of former national grandeur”.

The UBS banker found the exhibition so enthralling, and so disturbing for the parallels he saw developing back home, that he spent three days absorbing everything on Nazi history that he could find. On returning to China he sharpened the mission statement at his think tank and redoubled its ideological crusade. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, Xi Jinping, , , , , , , , , , ,

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