Wandering China

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

Special Report: China’s military hawks take the offensive #China #Hardpower [Reuters]

The world will need some time to get used to increased expressions of Chinese freedom of speech: If anything, this marks the end of coherent, centralised  propaganda that some may be used to and discounts the fact that China is after smart power today, combining hard and soft power to build comprehensive national leverage. China was always about 1.3 billion narratives and now the multipolarity within are increasingly seeing the light of day.

“There appears to be a discord between this peaceful rise language and the comments from senior PLA officers,” said Li of the U.S. Naval War College. “There is no doubt about that.”

Will it result in unilateral action by these ‘hawkish’ military leaders? Unlikely. The compact between the role chairman of the Central Military Commission and the PLA, set in stone since the Deng days, is too strong to break.

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Special Report: China’s military hawks take the offensive
By David Lague
Source – Reuters Hong Kong, published January 17, 2013

'An aerial photo shows the Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (L) cruising as a Japan Coast Guard ship Ishigaki sails near Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea in this file photograph by Kyodo September 14, 2012.' Source - Reuters

‘An aerial photo shows the Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (L) cruising as a Japan Coast Guard ship Ishigaki sails near Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea in this file photograph by Kyodo September 14, 2012.’
Source – Reuters

(Reuters) – It was supposed to be a relaxed evening for a group of senior international military chiefs. Gathered at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, they had changed out of uniform for dinner and discussion.

China’s Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquan took the podium in a room overlooking the Yarra River last October 29 and began diplomatically enough. But as he neared the end of his speech, he went on the offensive.

“Some people” had ignored the outcome of World War Two and were challenging the post-war order, he told counterparts from 15 other nations. It was a pointed reference to Japan’s claim over islands in the East China Sea that Beijing insists are Chinese. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, East China Sea, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, South China Sea, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , ,

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

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

The new generals in charge of China’s guns #China [BBC]

BBC makes a point that China’s new CMC leaders have a wholly different world view and set of life experiences. How would they express those difference on the world stage?

A noteworthy reminder too, that its armed forces swear allegiance to the party, and not the country. This means it cannot act unilaterally, and must remain one of the priorities of the new leadership. This covenant between party and military was set in place early on by Deng – it seems to remain intact today.

The bit about the black box has been somewhat cleared after Hu Jintao, at least on the surface, stated stepping down as CMC chairman during the 18th NPC.

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The new generals in charge of China’s guns
BBC
Source – BBC, published November 14, 2012

Photo source – AFP, 2012

As China’s ruling Communist Party prepares to hand power to a new generation of leaders, the BBC Beijing Bureau explains why changes at the top of the armed forces are also being closely watched.

China is ushering in a new generation of political leaders this week, as Communist Party leader Hu Jintao hands over power to successor Xi Jinping.

At the same time, a new group will take over the armed forces.

Amid a wave of retirements, at least seven new members will join China’s 11-member Central Military Commission (CMC), which oversees its armed forces – including the world’s largest standing army. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, military, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , ,

How Romney Could Have Won with One Phrase #China [NTDTV]

The Falungong-backed overseas Chinese New Tang Dynasty TV presents an intriguing believe it or not.

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How Romney Could Have Won with One Phrase
Source – Youtube, published November 7, 2012

With this one issue, Governor Romney could have won the election. If only he’d been bold enough to do it, he would have been able to take a principled stance, differentiating himself from Obama on China. Commentary by Matt Gnaizda, NTD China Analyst

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Corruption, Democracy, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , ,

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