Wandering China

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

#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 Bashing Bears Fruit: Apple Moves Bring Manufacturing Home [Huffington Post]

Navarro and Autry: ‘You just can’t stay in a deal where only one side is required to follow rules or behave in a civilized manner. It is time for Washington to take off the gloves and fight for American jobs like the 700,000 other ones Apple has left in China.’

In open support of the encirclement and containment of China, alluded when Syria, Iran, and North Korea are propped up in the conversation. This to me, interestingly suggests that the logic of domestic protectionism over global production networks is good business for a global marketplace of cyclical consumption and planned obsolescence.

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China Bashing Bears Fruit: Apple Moves Bring Manufacturing Home
by Greg Autry
Source – Huffington Post, published July 7, 2012

Navarro and Autry in a global call to action against China: looking back when Apple was made in the US.

Navarro and Autry in a global call to action against China: looking back when Apple was made in the US.

I’m going to take a little (very little) victory lap here. Several times in this space, I’ve suggested that Apple needs to move manufacturing back home. Each time I’ve gotten comments like “that’s not going to happen” or “they will just move to Vietnam or the next cheapest labor market.” However, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Thursday that he is going to manufacture a line of Macintosh computers in the U.S. Firstly, good work Tim, and thanks for finally listening to the vocal minority of us who have been complaining about this situation for years.

I still have my first Macintosh, with its anemic 128k of RAM. When that plucky little beige beastie greeted the public it was assembled at a state-of-the-art plant in Fremont, Calif. Yes, that California, the one with the high taxes, tough labor laws and the environmental crazies. To be fair, Apple moved Mac production out of the state within a couple of years and out of the country not long after. Apple production was done in various places including Cork, Ireland, before finally settling in China about a decade ago.

Now, the specifics of the Apple plan were light and the statement that the capital investment will be a mere $100 million suggests this first foray back into American manufacturing won’t be a big deal for a firm that keeps about 1,000 times that in the bank. However, that is a fine start. Frankly, re-shoring can’t happen over night, because America’s manufacturing infrastructure and workforce will need years to recover. When I interviewed executives at Foxconn City a couple years ago, they told me they didn’t think most of what they built in Shenzhen could be built in the U.S. at all. The fact is, that many segments of the electronic product assembly supply chain and production engineers experienced with the latest hardware are hard to find in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Finance, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Media, Migrant Workers, Politics, Population, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

Bill for China Ads in U.S. Election: $54.3 Million [Wall Street Journal]

Is is there room for concern behind the fact?

More than $50m were spent on the us-and-them construction of China’s national image by political parties during the US leadership transition. $54.3m is on an average, just slightly less than what a Hollywood flick might cost in 2005.

Political communication through the traditional media models continue to be interesting to observe. What was once internal top-down propaganda continues to be top-down, though this time it also takes on a role of globalised public diplomacy through the medium of advertising.

The place that saw the most China ads? Cleveland, Ohio, where TV watchers were deluged with 4,722 China trade ads, which cost the campaigns $4.6 million.

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Bill for China Ads in U.S. Election: $54.3 Million
Chinal Real-Time Report
Source – Wall Street Journal, published November 14, 2012

An Obama-campaign advertisement that said Mitt Romney has never stood up to China. Source – WSJ Online, 2012

China was at the center of the U.S. presidential debates and other contentious election fights. Now we know that the campaigns put their money where their mouths were.

According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, the two presidential campaigns spent a combined $45.7 million on television advertising that discussed China and trade. Additionally, candidates in four Senate elections tracked by the group – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Indiana — spent another $8.6 million in China trade spots.

“In previous elections, China has sometimes been used in a national security context,” wrote Elizabeth Wilner, an analyst at CMAG, a political ad tracking firm in Washington D.C. “In 2012, it was used in an economic one.” The CMAG report didn’t analyze the content of all the ads, though the ones it did mention were negative. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

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., , , , , , , , , , ,

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., , , , , ,

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

Flight tests on China’s air carrier confirmed by Ministry of Defense #J31 #China [Global Times]

China has reportedly become the second nation after the US to have field tested two fifth-generation stealth fighters.

Its defense industry’s ability to run overlapping advanced programmes sees Shenyang Aircraft Corporation alone responsible for four major fighter aircraft. How the Chinese have pieced them together is for another story, however. The current king of the roost is the already combat-ready Lockheed Martin F22 Raptor, in service since 2005.  Check out the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation’s 沈阳飞机公司 English site here (one may not find much there, it seems to be updated till 2009 though, unlike the Chinese site which is updated to 2012).

For a video of the takeoff, check out J-31 fighter roars off on maiden flight on China.org.cn. Incidentally, the J31 is named Falcon Eagle 鹘鹰 in Chinese.

Some online speculation from AIN Online, November 2, 2012 : The aircraft does not carry Chinese Air Force insignia, but instead has a Sea Eagle badge on the tail and fuselage. This, together with the double-wheel nose landing gear, has led Chinese commentators to speculate that the J-31 is intended to fly from China’s new aircraft carrier. However, no tail hook was visible in the images of the first flight that appeared on Chinese websites.

Also – see Wall Street Journal’s China Realtime Report- Taking Off: Implications of China’s Second Stealth Fighter Test Flight. The 172 comments (correct as of November 6, 2012) are worth a read as well.

China’s fighter aircraft development efforts appeared to take another leap forward after local media reported that Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) had successfully tested its J-31 stealth fighter prototype this week. Following the test flight of a Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) J-20 prototype less than two years ago, the test of the J-31 suggests China could eventually become only the second country behind the U.S. to develop two stealth fighter programs – an important development with serious potential implications for the tactical aircraft export market and well as the U.S. military.  By Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins for the WSJ, 2012

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Flight tests on China’s air carrier confirmed by Ministry of Defense
by Xu Tianran
Source – Global Times, published November 5, 2012

A two-seat variant of the J-15 carrier-based fighter is spotted Saturday at the runway of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), Liaoning Province, two days after the maiden flight of SAC’s stealth fighter dubbed as “J-31.” Photo source – http://www.meyet.com

Military authorities confirmed Sunday that carrier-based jets have been conducting take-off and landing training on the country’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning.

According to an official report released by the Ministry of Defense, jets have practiced touch-and-go landings, a maneuver that involves landing on the flight deck of the carrier and taking off again without coming to a stop.

It is the first time Chinese authorities have acknowledged that jet pilots have been training on the Liaoning. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, military, Nationalism, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , ,

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., , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wary of Future, Professionals Leave China in Record Numbers [New York Times]

Headlines and titles may inadvertently seem skewed as it frames thought. Like a mental snapshot, it can oversimplify or at its worst, misdirect (in the wider ecosystem of political rhetoric, this looks part of the inadvertent Sino-US leadership transitional exchange of shaping mind-share). I think if one reads on, this article can be taken rather positively.

The recent movement of these professional, educated Chinese across the world can further help build bridges where mass media glosses over. In others ways, it is not a bad thing it is an educated, professional group that carries Chinese thought extending outwards. Where most of all the previous batches who left largely by push factors or war, the case now is markedly different.

In Singapore’s case, the overarching narrative, its Chinese are largely descended from craftsmen and coolies. As Lee Kuan Yew once pointed out – in response to Deng’s question if China would ever succeed looking at how Singapore successful hybridization of central power with Confucian meritocracy at the forefront and free market capitalism with its socio-cultural tradeoffs.

Indeed, on closer examination, the numbers today who move due to socio-economic pull factors are still small in percentage terms. As reported by this article, even fewer (perhaps few would admit) regard political reasons as the chief factor.

Over millennia of movement the number of overseas Chinese number at 55million . That cumulative number makes it as large as most medium sized countries so they are not insignificant either. Change your lenses change your sight.

Perhaps looking at the bright side can be a decent point of view. I know a few Chinese aged between 19 and 35 now residing in Australia. We have been on camping trips far out in the bush carrying our own water without much fuss, Others I know, by competing against in futsal teams  in the local leagues, many others love dressing up for the Melbourne Cup day.

Some may find it hard to empathize the competition in China because they may not have set foot in China, or met the Chinese on the ground. 9 to 10 million compete for a spot in university a the college examinations each year. Those who don’t make the grade fight for very little. A 2 to 3000RMB monthly salary, hardly enough to cover rent for a decent sized rental home is norm for those striking out.

Have personally known a few bright hardworking of China’s digital natives who just couldn’t make the grade despite sometimes seemingly overboard preparations. Such is their reality. Many have integrated well here, Melbourne thrives with a former mayor who is Chinese, and many live just like the Aussies do adding to the multicultural social fabric down under.

In monetary terms, they automatically make six times the amount due to the strong Aussie dollar with far less working hours with plenty of time for family and other pursuits. Many of them make efficient workers who get things done so promptly it is hard for work to keep up. This is not representative across the board of course. For every one that excels there potentially is another who just wants to get by. But I digress.

In return as well, for those who work with or live in communities with Aussies, they become a real life conduit for Aussies to understand China in its own terms too. Its cuisine has proven immensely popular here with all 8 major branches of Chinese cooking represented those from all corners of China proving extremely popular – right down to Sichuan hotpot, a regular in winter for many. It then moves onto the locally adapted local favorite the dim sim (does not exist in real Chinese culinary palates I think), to the classy Beijing Hutong themed Xiao long bao restaurants.

I meet many of them at vineyards, organic farms, strawberry farms and fishing spots. About half happily drive the Aussie-made Holden because it feels right to drive a locally made car in Australia. Just the tip of the iceberg. I think it is a great thing. Overseas Chinese who mingle well with host environments naturally make vehicles of the wider Chinese culture and national identity. It also shows like that others, there are those who seek out a balanced life too where work doesn’t dominate all their headspace.

More importantly, they help others see we can all get along, share other ideals and worldviews. Interestingly too, in the field of diasporic identities, that overseas Chinese end up being all too aware of their own Chineseness is common across most other diaporic groups too – from the Greeks and Italians I know here – they celebrate their identity with zeal and vigour.

Not all assimilate or adapt of course. It would oversimplify to say all enjoy life here. Many of them feel the pace of life is a little too slow. I have also known a fair few who can’t wait to return, but do so at least, with a broadened outlook and first hand experience of another way of living.

They return with a first hand glimpse of a rather liberal, western society where the channels to exercise one’s right to voice, its deferences shows other paradigms exist successfully elsewhere. When they enter the work force, they are valued for their more globalised outlook, with a practical experience of using English in school and at work, the culture, history, norms and processes. And this is celebrated in the mass media there in game shows – this comes with Chinese subtitles only.

And 非你莫属 is just one of many state funded shows out there. It features distinctly American style sports commentary and a debate that involves mentors, employers, the host and the job seeker. They reserve the right to say no at the end of their final round offers, and negotiate outside the show. And its the wide range of jobseekers on offer, from the clerk to driver, to partner or director raking in six figure RMB a month.

Cultural capital has been identified as a pillar industry and the production values are apparent, it has taken care to weed out what was deemed low culture reality tv and today the focus on more productive shows like this is ramping up. This employment-seeking show emphasises the need for more internationally minded employees in their midst. This episode talks about it is unavoidable now China has risen that it needs an upgrade in a globalised mindset. It actively advertises for Haigui 海归; pinyin: hǎiguī on foreign television. A fair few of them seem genuinely proud in returning to contribute.

This is highly recommended and it gives a glimpse of how the Chinese are democratising on their own terms, in their unique own way. The adaptations from American and European game shows are obvious at the onset, but their process are far more intricate and involve far more depth of discourse) that see many returning candidates have the right to take questions, present competently, then proceed into the final rounds where they exercise the right to eliminate and haggle salary with interested employers.

As a student of media, it is important to discern the agenda setting potential of media. Although the political economy of the mass media no longer dominate the spectrum of messages as they used to, transnational media corporations remain nevertheless powerful.

As such, we consume, at best, selected, well-informed, well intended, rationalized textual and visual constructions of the macro, but never of the real thing until all five senses are fed. Even then, sometimes the right messages don’t go right through. A lover’s tiff for example, where misreading of body language triggers a chain of cascading misunderstandings is one most can relate with. The primacy of first hand experience is equally,  important to get a full picture – to try to make the best of the information available, to more accurately inform opinion.

The movement is not all one way. With economies stagnant in the West and job opportunities limited, the number of students returning to China was up 40 percent in 2011 compared with the previous year. The government has also established high-profile programs to lure back Chinese scientists and academics by temporarily offering various perks and privileges. Professor Cao from Nottingham, however, says these programs have achieved less than advertised.

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Wary of Future, Professionals Leave China in Record Numbers
by Ian Johnson
Source – New York Times, published October 31, 2012

Lee Yangang and his wife, Wang Lu, emigrated to Sydney, Australia, from Beijing last year, saying they felt insecure in China. Source – New York Times, 2012

BEIJING — At 30, Chen Kuo had what many Chinese dream of: her own apartment and a well-paying job at a multinational corporation. But in mid-October, Ms. Chen boarded a midnight flight for Australia to begin a new life with no sure prospects.

Like hundreds of thousands of Chinese who leave each year, she was driven by an overriding sense that she could do better outside China. Despite China’s tremendous economic successes in recent years, she was lured by Australia’s healthier environment, robust social services and the freedom to start a family in a country that guarantees religious freedoms.

“It’s very stressful in China — sometimes I was working 128 hours a week for my auditing company,” Ms. Chen said in her Beijing apartment a few hours before leaving. “And it will be easier raising my children as Christians abroad. It is more free in Australia.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Back to China, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, New York Times, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, Yuan, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Martin Jacques – A Point Of View: How China sees a multicultural world [BBC]

Professor Jacques repeats his call for Western strategist and politicians for a change in prism in understanding the Chinese mind with another timely US/China grand narrative comparison on the BBC. Ultimately  I think he asks, where and how do we want to see the Chinese pendulum swing under pressure?

Just as with the US, China will naturally tend to see the world in its own image. An unusual feature of China, in this respect, is that its history is so atypical: a huge population who overwhelmingly consider themselves to share the same identity. This helps to explain why the Chinese have tended to think of Africa as one, just like China, rather than a complex mosaic of different ethnicities and cultures. Martin Jacques, 2012

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A Point Of View: How China sees a multicultural world
by Martin Jacques
Source – BBC, published October 26, 2012

Photo source – Getty Images, n.d.

The vast majority of the Chinese population regard themselves as belonging to the same race, a stark contrast to the multiracial composition of other populous countries. What effect does this have on how China views the world, ask Martin Jacques.

I was on a taxi journey in Shanghai with a very intelligent young Chinese student, who was helping me with interviews and interpreting. She was shortly to study for her doctorate at a top American university. She casually mentioned that some Chinese students who went to the US ended up marrying Americans.

I told her that I had recently seen such a mixed couple in Hong Kong, a Chinese woman with a black American. This was clearly not what she had in mind. Her reaction was a look of revulsion. I was shocked. Why did she react that way to someone black, but not someone white? This was over a decade ago, but I doubt much has changed. What does her response tell us – if anything – about Chinese attitudes towards ethnicity? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Africa, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Ethnicity, Go West Strategy, Government & Policy, Han, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , , , ,

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Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
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