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Maoisten
Apr 12th, 2017 by Gao

Brian Hioe: A Red Star Over China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:紅星照耀中國?(破土)

Perhaps one of the most significant intellectual formations operating in today’s world, China’s New Left arose in the 1990s in opposition to the turn of China away from a centrally planned economy and a return to free market principles after the Deng Xiaoping period. More broadly, the New Left project emphasizes the growing disparities between rural and urban areas in post-Deng China, the sacrifice of principles of equality in order to drive toward development, and calls for a critical revaluation of China’s Maoist legacy in light of China’s present—inclusive of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
What is “New Left” is hard to pin down. The name “New Left” was a term appropriated from conservative critics who were quick to claim the New Left to be some form of resurgent Red Guard fanaticism. In that sense, “New Left” may be a misleading term, insofar as the Chinese New Left is a contemporary phenomenon, and one with little to do with the western New Left of the late 1960s. The New Left largely consists of academics, many of which have studied abroad and are influenced by forms of western critical theory. The New Left finds itself in opposition to the “Liberals” who welcome China’s capitalization and call for the institution of western style political reforms along the lines of America or of western European powers.

中國的新左派可說是當代世界中最重要的知識分子群體之一,他們在 1990 年代因為反對中國在鄧小平時代過後放棄計畫經濟,轉向自由市場原理而竄起。更大程度上,新左派的研究課題著重於後鄧小平時期城鄉差距的持續擴大,以及為求發展而犧牲平等原則,並呼籲對毛澤東時代的遺產進行批判性再評價以回應當前局勢,其中包括大躍進和文化大革命。
   「新左派」究竟是什麼,其實很難明確定義。「新左派」一名取自於那些急於將新左派定性為某種紅衛兵狂熱再現的保守派批評者。照那樣說來,「新左派」這個詞恐怕會產生誤導,因為中國的新左派是個當代現象,和 1960 年代晚期西方的新左派幾乎毫無關聯。新左派的成員大多是學者,其中很多人都曾出國留學,受到各種西方批判理論影響。新左派與歡迎中國走向資本主義化,呼籲依照美國及西歐強國的路線進行西方式政治改革的「自由派」彼此對立。

Brian Hioe: Anti-Capitalist Within China, Imperialist Outside of China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:中國國內的反資本主義者,出了境外卻是帝國主義者?(破土)

From a left perspective, the Chinese New Left’s critique of capitalism remains quite sympathetic when confined to within China’s borders. With the recent arrest of labor activists in Guangzhou, Chinese New Left publication Ground Breaking, for example, was one of the first to rally for support—even at risk to itself. Ground Breaking has reacted similarly in past incidents in which the Chinese state acts on behalf of capital and against the interests of the working class. Perhaps in this respect, given the threat of state suppression, they are to be praised for their bravery on certain issues. It is the New Left’s international viewpoints, concerning outside of China, which may ultimately be most problematic.

從左翼觀點來看,新左派對資本主義的批判多少還是能引人共鳴的,只要它的適用範圍限於中國國內。比方說,近日多位勞工運動者在廣州被逮捕之後,中國新左派的網刊「破土」(Ground Breaking,GB)是首先發動聲援的,卻不顧自身同樣面臨風險。而在過去幾次中國政府為資本利益護航,侵害工人階級利益的事件之中,「破土」也採取了同樣的行動。或許就這點來說,考慮到國家鎮壓的威脅,他們確實應當為了勇於聲援某些議題而得到讚揚。可是新左派的國際主義觀點一旦涉及境外議題,恐怕就再令人存疑不過了。

Chris Buckley: Maoists for Trump? In China, Fans Admire His Nationalist Views (New York Times) 储百亮:特朗普的出现让中国毛左为之一振(New York Times)

They protest, picket and sing to defend Mao’s memory, yearning for the East to be red again. But lately some of China’s Maoists are finding inspiration in an unlikely insurgent in the West: Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Trump “has torn up the old rules of the ruling elites, not just of the capitalist West,” said Zhang Hongliang, a polemicist who is the loudest proponent of what could be loosely called “Maoists for Trump.” In a recent essay, Mr. Zhang lauded the American president as being alone among national leaders daring “to openly promote the political ideas of Chairman Mao.”
President Xi Jinping of China will be sizing up Mr. Trump during a visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida this week, in the leaders’ first summit meeting. Meanwhile, many ordinary Chinese people have also been taking the measure of the new American president and have been bewildered, incensed and yet, sometimes, inspired.
The global wave of nationalist, anti-establishment sentiment that Mr. Trump rode to power has washed ashore in China, encouraging a hard-left fringe that is hostile to capitalism and Western influence, and that the Communist Party has long sought to cultivate — and contain.

北京——他们用抗议、纠察和歌唱来捍卫对毛泽东的记忆,渴望再现东方红。但最近,让中国的一些毛派人士为之一振的,是西方世界里的一个出人意料的叛逆者:唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)。
   特朗普“不仅撕裂了西方资本主义世界的旧有规则,还撕裂了统治精英的旧有规则,”能言善辩的“拥护特朗普的毛派”中坚力量张宏良说。在前不久的一篇文章里,张宏良称赞特朗普是唯一一位“敢于公开宣传毛主席政治理念”的国家领导人。
   中美首脑首次峰会于下周在佛罗里达州马阿拉歌庄园举行之际,到访的中国国家主席习近平将对特朗普作出评估。与此同时,很多普通的中国人也在掂量新上台的美国总统的斤两,他或许让他们困惑,或许激起了他们的怒火,但有时也能让他们感到振奋。
   把特朗普送上了权力巅峰的民族主义和反建制情绪正在全球泛滥,中国也不例外。这种潮流让敌视资本主义和西方影响的中国极左派人士受到了鼓励,他们是共产党一直在培育——以及限制——的一个边缘群体。

Amazon
Apr 12th, 2017 by Gao

Working for Amazon in China, where the global giant is a dwarf (chuang)

Amazon has long been in the news – for its giant size, its rapid growth, its silly new inventions of drones and talking buttons for placing orders. Amazon’s employees have shifted the spotlight from the consumer perspective to their own working conditions. They’ve moved from quietly sweating away behind the walls of Amazon’s massive “fulfillment centers” to speaking out and eventually fighting back against the monotony of picking and packing, of being bullied around and treated like children by managers, against low wages and long hours, against changing shifts and short breaks and so on. Workers in Germany, Poland and France have gone on strike or used other collective actions, such as slowdowns, to assert their demands and resist intimidation by this seemingly all-powerful exploiter.
A lot of goods that Amazon ships to American, European and Japanese customers are made in China. And here too, Amazon has been trying to establish roots. However, in China, Amazon is a dwarf and light years away from the dominating position it holds elsewhere. Still, Amazon’s global reach coupled with its workers’ struggles and networking efforts elsewhere make it a particularly interesting case for comparing work conditions and for exchange among workers in different parts of the world.

THAAD
Mrz 20th, 2017 by Gao

Mel Gurtov: Diplomatic Remedies for THAAD Madness: The US, China and the Two Koreas (Japan Focus)

The US decision, supported by the South Korean government, to deploy an antimissile system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) may be one of the most thoughtless strategic moves in a generation. The official US justification is that close-in defense against North Korean missiles is necessary to protect South Korea. But the deployment is having more than a few negative repercussions: an argument in China for increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile; an incentive in North Korea for continuing to develop its long-range missile capability; a deep fissure in China-South Korea relations; a roiling of South Korean politics at a time when its corrupt president has been impeached; and a new source of tension in already fraught Sino-US relations.

U.S. Deploys Missile System Amid Rising Tensions with N. Korea (Democracy Now)

Tensions are rising between the United States, North Korea and China, threatening to create the first significant national security crisis of the Trump presidency. This week, the United States began deploying a missile defense system to South Korea, sparking warnings from Chinese officials who say the U.S. is escalating a regional arms race. The U.S. says the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, known as THAAD, seeks to protect South Korea amid a series of recent missile tests launched by North Korea…
The deployment of the U.S. missile system is widely opposed by both South Koreans, who have been protesting against U.S. militarization, and by Chinese officials, who say the missile system actually aims to counter China’s military power in the region, not to contain North Korea.
Chinese officials are calling for both an end to North Korea’s nuclear program and an end to joint U.S. and South Korean military drills.

Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: North Korea Timed Recent Missile Test to Take Place During Trump-Abe Dinner (Democracy Now)

North Korea tested a ballistic missile last month, sparking widespread international condemnation. The test was a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. North Korea claimed the test was a successful launch of an intermediate-range missile. The test came while Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Christine Ahn, Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: China Warns U.S. & North Korea Are Set for „Head-On“ Collision Amid Rising Tensions & Provocations (Democracy Now)

The political upheaval in South Korea comes shortly after North Korea test-fired several ballistic missiles. In response, the Trump administration announced it would deploy a missile defense system to South Korea. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops, backed by warships and warplanes, are currently engaging in a massive military exercise. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that the U.S. and North Korea are like two „accelerating trains coming toward each other.“ He called on both sides to de-escalate tensions.

David E. Sanger, William J. Broad: Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles (New York Times) / 트럼프가 물려받은 유산: 북한 미사일에 대응하는 비밀 사이버戰 / 特朗普接手的秘密计划:网络攻击破坏朝鲜导弹?

Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds…
An examination of the Pentagon’s disruption effort, based on interviews with officials of the Obama and Trump administrations as well as a review of extensive but obscure public records, found that the United States still does not have the ability to effectively counter the North Korean nuclear and missile programs…
In two meetings of Mr. Trump’s national security deputies in the Situation Room, the most recent on Tuesday, all those options were discussed, along with the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to South Korea as a dramatic warning…
The White House is also looking at pre-emptive military strike options, a senior Trump administration official said, …

Millionäre
Mrz 13th, 2017 by Gao

Sui-lee Wee: Chinese Lawmakers’ Wallets Have Grown Along With Xi’s Power / 习近平时代,人大代表的财富迅速增长 (New York Times)

Mao once branded capitalists enemies of the Chinese people. In the era of President Xi Jinping, those capitalists are billionaire lawmakers — and they’re getting even wealthier.
The combined fortune of the wealthiest members of China’s Parliament and its advisory body amounts to $500 billion, just below the annual economic output of Sweden. Among that group of 209 entrepreneurs and business tycoons, the 100 richest saw their net worth rise 64 percent in the four years since Mr. Xi took power, according to the Hurun Report, an organization based in Shanghai that tracked the wealth of the delegates, ahead of their annual joint sessions that start on Friday in Beijing.
Since he was anointed leader, Mr. Xi has pledged to tackle income inequality, alleviate poverty and crack down on corruption. Warning that graft could bring down the ruling Communists, Mr. Xi has ordered an end to alcohol-fueled banquets and bribery, which often takes the form of red packets filled with cash or luxury handbags.
The increasing wealth of lawmakers “tells us that political power and money have remained tightly intertwined in China: this is a structural issue that Xi cannot solve,” but only hide, said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of Chinese politics at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Hurun Global Rich List 2017 (胡润百富)

The Hurun Global Rich List 2017 ranked 2,257 billionaires from 68 countries and from 1811 companies in another record-breaking year for the world’s billionaires.
Total wealth increased by 16% to US$8.0 trillion equivalent to 10.7% of global GDP, and up from 7% of global GDP five years ago. Hoogewerf said, “Global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth.” …
Chinese billionaires led the USA for the second year running, with 609 compared with 552. Hoogewerf said “China and the USA have half the billionaires in the world.” …
The ‘Big Two’ are Greater China and the USA with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, amounting to half of the billionaires on the planet. It has been a good year for Germany, which surged past India into third place. UAE and Indonesia broke into the Top 20 for the first time. Bangladesh contributed a billionaire for the first time, to take the countries that the billionaires reside in to 68 countries…
Greater China: No 1 with 609 billionaires, 41 more than last year. The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires is US$1.6 trillion, 2.1% of the global GDP. Real Estate has generated most number of billionaires (120), followed by Manufacturing and TMT with 115 and 78 respectively. Led by Beijing, 5 Chinese cities make the top 10 cities and 7 the Top 20. Average age is 58, six years younger than the average of the list. China is the number 1 in the world in terms of generating self-made billionaires akin to “rags to riches” and is home to two-thirds of the world’s self-made female billionaires. A February IPO propelled Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express to third spot, with a five-fold growth in his wealth to US$27bn, just behind Wang Jianlin and Jack Ma. Corporate raider Yao Zhenhua of Baoneng saw the fastest growth on the list, rising almost eight-fold to US$15bn, but in February was barred from the insurance industry for ten years by the regulator…
New Entrants to Top 100. There were 23 new entrants to the Top 100, led by Chinese Express Delivery King Wang Wei of SF Express, whose February IPO saw his wealth shoot up five-fold to US$27bn, straight into 25 in the world. Others of note include former China Number One Ding Lei, 46, of Netease, and Elon Musk, who broke into the Top 100 for the first time. Lakshmi Mittal, 66, won back most of his losses from last year, on the back of a recovery in the global steel market…
Women. 15% of the list are women. Of the 152 self-made women, Chinese led the way with 121 (a staggering 79.6%), followed by 14 from the USA and 8 from the UK. The richest women are Liliane Bettencourt, 94, of L’Oreal with US$28bn, followed by Alice Walton of Wal-mart, Jacqueline Mars of Mars and Maria Franca Fissolo of Ferrero Rocher. The richest self-made woman in the world is Beijing Real Estate Queen Chen Lihua of FuHua with US$7.2bn. Hoogewerf said, “China is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.”…
Others include 115 Chinese billionaires with senior political appointments to the NPC and CPPC…
29% of billionaires are of Chinese origin, up 22 to 652 this year, and 252 new Chinese billionaires five years ago.

Illegale Leiharbeit bei VW in China
Mrz 6th, 2017 by Gao

Hundreds of Volkswagen workers in northeast China demand equal pay (China Labour Bulletin)

More than 500 FAW-Volkswagen workers in the northeast city of Jilin held a demonstration demanding an end to unequal pay last week Thursday.
The workers, employed indirectly by an agency, gathered at the local labour arbitration committee offices, protesting official inaction over their case after months of campaigning through official channels. Workers have rallied under the slogan of “equal pay for equal work”, claiming that agency workers are paid significantly less than full employees, despite years of service to the factory. One Volkswagen worker reported making just half the pay of a full employee (60,000 vs 120,000 annually)…
According to workers themselves, the joint venture employs around 1,500 agency workers, many have worked at the factory for over ten years. Workers have demanded compensation for the discrepancy in wages, benefits and bonuses.

VW China mit illegaler Leiharbeit? (Rolf Geffken / Rat & Tat)

Tatsächlich verstößt die Verweigerung der gleichen Bezahlung sowohl gegen chinesisches Recht wie auch gegen die zitierte „Charta der Zeitarbeit“: 1. Wir zitieren aus unserem Kommentar zum Chinesischen Arbeitsvertragsgesetz: „Die Arbeitnehmerüberlassung soll in der Regel lediglich für vorübergehende Tätigkeiten…..vorgenommen werden (Art. 66). In der Novellierung… wurde der Begriff…. so definiert, daß damit nur solche Stellen gemeint seien, die nicht länger als 6 Monate (!) existieren. Im Ergebnis bedeutet dies, daß die Weiterbeschäftigung eines Leiharbeitnehmers auf einem Arbeitsplatz für länger als 6 Monate zur Begründung eines Arbeitsverhältnisses mit dem Entleiher (also: VW, R.G.) führt. In Art. 66 stellt das Gesetz klar, daß …. die Leiharbeit nur sekundär eingesetzt werden darf….. In Art. 63 der neuen Fassung wurde zudem der Grundsatz gleicher Bezahlung für gleiche Arbeit präzisiert.“ (Geffken/ Cui, „Das Chinesische Arbeitsvertragsgesetz“, 4. Auflage 2016, S. 26). In Art. 63 heißt es ausdrücklich: „Der Leiharbeitnehmer hat einen Anspruch darauf, für die gleiche Arbeit auch das gleiche Entgelt zu erhalten wie die Festangestellten des Entleihers“ (a.a.O., S. 50). Danach ist die Beschäftigung der meisten Betroffenen in Changchun als Leiharbeiter illegal. Die Arbeiter haben einen Anspruch auf Festanstellung u n d unabhängig davon auch auf gleiche Bezahlung … Der Konflikt in China zeigt, daß die Lage der Leiharbeiter und „Kontraktarbeiter“ dort strukturell absolut vergleichbar ist mit der Lage der Leiharbeitnehmer und Werkvertragsbeschäftigten in Deutschland. Allerdings: Die Rechtslage in China ist – absurd genug ! – noch eindeutiger als in Deutschland. Umso unverständlicher ist es aber, daß sich offenbar bis heute weder der „Weltbetriebsrat“ noch der Konzernbetriebsrat in Wolfsburg oder die IG Metall der Sache angenommen haben.

Chinesische Wirtschaft
Mrz 1st, 2017 by Gao

Thomas Piketty, Li Yang, Gabriel Zucman: Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015 (PDF; World Wealth & Income Database)

This paper combines national accounts, survey, wealth and fiscal data (including recently released tax data on high-income taxpayers) in order to provide consistent series on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in China over the 1978-2015 period. We find that the aggregate national wealth-income ratio has increased, from 350% in 1978 to almost 700% in 2015. This can be accounted for by a combination of high saving and investment rates and a gradual rise in relative asset prices, reflecting changes in the legal system of property. The share of public property in national wealth has declined from about 70% in 1978 to less than 35% in 2015, which is still a lot higher than in rich countries (close to 0% or negative). Next, we provide sharp upward revision of official inequality estimates. The top 10% income share rose from 26% to 41% of national income between 1978 and 2015, while the bottom 50% share dropped from 28% to 15%. China’s inequality levels used to be close to Nordic countries, and are now approaching U.S. levels.

Cheng Enfu, Ding Xiaoqin: A Theory of China’s ‘Miracle’. Eight Principles of Contemporary Chinese Political Economy (Monthly Review)

China’s rapid economic development in recent years is often characterized as “miraculous.” Talk of a “Beijing Consensus” or “China model” has become commonplace in academic debates. But as we have written elsewhere, “theoretical problems have started to emerge with regards to the very existence, content, and prospects of the China model.” The key question, then, is what kind of economic theory and strategy underpin this “miracle.” China’s model has been variously described as a form of neoliberalism, or as a novel kind of Keynesianism. Against these positions, we hold that the country’s major recent developmental gains are the achievements of theoretical advances in political economy, originating in China itself, while the main problems that have accompanied China’s development reflect the damaging influence of Western neoliberalism. President Xi Jinping has emphasized the need to uphold and develop a Marxian political economy for the twenty-first century, adapted to China’s needs and resources.

Sit Tsui, Erebus Wong, Lau Kin Chi, Wen Tiejun: The Tyranny of Monopoly-Finance Capital. A Chinese Perspective (Monthly Review)

The tyranny of global monopoly-finance capital can be seen in part as monetary geopolitics backed by military power. Through investment schemes, it directly appropriates the production gains made by the physical and resource economies of developing countries. At the same time, it engages in financial speculation by buying long and selling short in capital markets. The end result is the plundering of social wealth. China is not immune to this tyranny. This article analyzes the causes and effects of China’s financial crises, which are in large part the fallout of crises occurring outside China. Crucial here is uncovering how financial capital–both domestic and foreign–has become alienated from the physical economy and “de-localized” in its pursuit of profits.

Erebus Wong, Lau Kin Chi, Sit Tsui, Wen Tiejun: One Belt, One Road. China’s Strategy for a New Global Financial Order (Monthly Review)

In late 2013, Chinese premier Xi Jinping announced a pair of new development and trade initiatives for China and the surrounding region: the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Twenty-First-Century Maritime Silk Road,” together known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR). Along with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the OBOR policies represent an ambitious spatial expansion of Chinese state capitalism, driven by an excess of industrial production capacity, as well as by emerging financial capital interests. The Chinese government has publicly stressed the lessons of the 1930s overcapacity crisis in the West that precipitated the Second World War, and promoted these new initiatives in the name of “peaceful development.” Nevertheless, the turn to OBOR suggests a regional scenario broadly similar to that in Europe between the end of the nineteenth century and the years before the First World War, when strong nations jostled one another for industrial and military dominance. The OBOR strategy combines land power and maritime power, bolstering China’s existing oceanic hegemony in East Asia.

Papiertiger Trump
Feb 11th, 2017 by Gao

Tom Phillips: ‚Brutal, amoral, ruthless, cheating‘: how Trump’s new trade tsar sees China (Guardian, 22. Dezember)

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.
Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

The Chinese government is a despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power that reigns over the world’s leading cancer factory, its most prolific propaganda mill and the biggest police state and prison on the face of the earth.
That is the view of Peter Navarro, the man chosen by Donald Trump to lead a new presidential office for US trade and industrial policy, a move likely to add to Beijing’s anxieties over the billionaire’s plans for US-China relations.

Benjamin Haas: Steve Bannon: ‚We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt‘ (Guardian, 2. Februar)
Tom Phillips: Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts (Guardian, 7. Februar)

For the last 18 months a taskforce of prominent China experts, some of whom have dealt with Beijing for more than 50 years, has been formulating a series of recommendations on how the incoming White House should conduct relations with the world’s second largest economy.
The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

AFP: South China Sea: US reports ‚unsafe encounter‘ with Chinese military aircraft (Guardian, 10. Februar)

A Chinese military aircraft had an “unsafe” encounter with a US navy surveillance aircraft near a contested reef in the South China Sea, according to the US Pacific command.
The two planes came within 1,000ft (300 meters) of each other during Wednesday’s incident near the Scarborough shoal, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Und dann löst sich alles in Wohlgefallen auf?

Tom Phillips: Trump agrees to support ‚One China‘ policy in Xi Jinping call (Guardian, 10. Februar)

Donald Trump has held his first telephone conversation with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, since entering the White House, telling the Communist party leader he will not challenge Beijing by upending longstanding US policy towards Taiwan.
In a brief statement the White House said the leaders of the world’s two largest economies had held a “lengthy” and “extremely cordial” telephone call on Thursday evening in which “numerous topics” were discussed…
The cordial encounter follows an “unsafe” one on Wednesday in the South China Sea between a Chinese aircraft and a US Navy patrol plane. US Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said on Friday the “interaction” between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a US Navy P-3C plane happened in international airspace but did not say what was regarded as unsafe.

Simon Tisdall: China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger (Guardian)

Is Donald Trump turning out to be a paper tiger? China’s rulers might be forgiven for thinking so after the US president performed a U-turn on Taiwan, but the shift did not come out of the blue.
Trump’s approach to a range of key international issues has softened significantly since he took office, suggesting a lurch towards conformity and away from disruption. His acceptance of the One China policy, under which Washington does not challenge Beijing’s claim to what it deems a breakaway province, was a stunning reversal, contradicting previous suggestions he would pursue closer ties with Taiwan.

Wukan
Dez 28th, 2016 by Gao

China jails nine over protests in Guangdong “democracy” village (South China Morning Post)

Nine Guangdong villagers have been jail for up to 10 years for taking part in protests in September in a community once seen as a symbol of grass-roots democracy in China.
Villagers in Wukan, 170km northeast of Hong Kong, expressed frustration over the sentencing, which critics said was a warning to others not to stage similar demonstrations.

Wong Lok-to, Ding Wenqi: China Jails Nine Protesters From Guangdong’s Rebel Village of Wukan (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have handed down jail terms of up to 10 years to nine residents of the rebel village of Wukan following months of mass protests earlier in the year.
Wei Yonghan, Yang Jinzhen, Hong Yongzhong, Wu Fang, Zhuang Songkun, Cai Jialin, Li Chulu, Chen Suzhuan, and Zhang Bingchai stood trial on Dec. 17, mostly on a variety of public order charges, former Wukan resident Zhuang Liehong told RFA.
They were handed prison sentences in on Monday ranging from two to 10 years, he said.
Prosecutors said fellow protester Zhang Bingchai had „published false information via WeChat and manufactured rumors, which had a deleterious effect in the community.“
Wei Yonghan and Yang Jinzhen were found guilty of „organizing and inciting the villagers of Wukan to attend illegal meetings, demonstrations.“
Wei was also convicted of inciting villagers and „other members of the public“ to confrontation with police, throwing stones and bricks at them, and injuring police officers on duty.
Meanwhile, protesters Li Chulu, Cai Jialin, and Zhuang Songkun „rode their motorcycles to intercept passing vehicles, causing serious disruption to traffic,“ according to an indictment notice issued by the Haifeng District People’s Court, which tried them.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, David Bandurski: From Diamond Village to Wukan (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Protests broke out again in Wukan a couple of months ago after the democratically elected leader of the village, Lin Zulian, was jailed for corruption. He made a public confession on Chinese state television. When the villagers staged more protests in response to what all signs point to as a spurious prosecution and a forced public confession, riot police moved in, arresting villagers. Anxious to avoid a repeat of events in 2011, the authorities were also far more aggressive in dealing with foreign journalists trying to cover the story. I think this was retribution, four years delayed, against the village of Wukan for an experiment many Communist Party leaders surely saw as a dangerous precedent.
This experiment was, in my view, doomed from the start. How could the elected leaders possibly hope to resolve these land issues when leaders at every level over their heads had been complicit, and not only hoped their experiment would fail but had a clear interest in seeing land deals of this kind continue? The Financial Times reported in 2011 that 40 percent of local government revenue in this part of Guangdong came from land financing, basically the sale of cheap village land to property developers. In many cities, the percentage is even higher, and the incentive to take village land for profit is a huge driver of the kinds of cases of abuse and resistance I document.

Qiao Long, Zhuang Liehong: ‚We Called on Trump For Justice in Wukan‘ (Radio Free Asia)
Rammie Chui, Zoe Lai: Behind the scenes: The mainland journalist who writes about China’s human rights (Hong Kong Free Press)

Südchinesisches Meer
Dez 17th, 2016 by Gao

Julian Borger: Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters (Guardian)

The Chinese navy has seized an underwater drone in plain sight of the American sailors who had deployed it in international waters, in a seemingly brazen message to the incoming Trump administration.
According to a US defence official, the unmanned glider had come to the surface of the water in the South China Sea and was about to be retrieved by the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic and surveillance ship, when a Chinese naval vessel that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat in the water…
As China develops a strategic submarine fleet, with the potential to carry nuclear missiles out into the Pacific Ocean, the US has built up a monitoring network designed to spot Chinese submarines as they leave their bases. Drones are key to the network, and there is a race under way between major naval powers to develop drones that can work together in swarms and “see” long distances through the water. Underwater gliders are drones that can stay underwater on the lookout for submarines for long periods of time.

AP: China and US in talks over seized drone, officials say (Guardian)

The device was being operated by civilian contractors to conduct oceanic research, according to the Pentagon.

AP: Philippines to ’set aside‘ South China Sea tribunal ruling to avoid imposing on Beijing (Guardian)

The Philippine president has said he would “set aside” a ruling by an international arbitration tribunal that invalidated Beijing’s claims to most of the South China Sea, because he doesn’t want to impose on China.
“In the play of politics, now, I will set aside the arbitral ruling. I will not impose anything on China,” Rodrigo Duterte said at a news conference on Saturday.

Tom Phillips: Images show ’significant‘ Chinese weapons systems in South China Sea (Guardian)

China appears to have positioned “significant” weapons systems, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, despite vowing it had no intention of militarising the archipelago, a US thinktank has claimed.

Xinhua: China says deployment of defensive facilities on South China Sea islands legitimate (Global Times)
Tom Phillips: ‚Friends forever‘? China wary of Rex Tillerson wooing away Russia (Guardian)

Rex Tillerson’s controversial nomination as secretary of state has delighted Moscow where the Texan oilman has deep and long-standing ties. Donald Trump’s choice of the ExxonMobil chief was “100% good news” for Vladimir Putin, one opposition politician claimed.
But in Beijing, already reeling from Trump’s early forays into foreign policy, the move has inspired no such celebration, instead fuelling fears that the president-elect’s courtship of the Kremlin could be part of a bold strategic bid to isolate China.

Krieg gegen China?
Dez 12th, 2016 by Gao

John Pilger: The Coming War on China (movie; RT)

A nuclear war between the United States and China is not only imaginable but a current ‘contingency’, says the Pentagon. This film by acclaimed filmmaker John Pilger’s is both a warning and an inspiring story of resistance.
The Coming War on China, filmed over two years across five potential flashpoints in Asia and the Pacific, reveals the build-up to war on more than 400 US military bases that encircle China in a ‘perfect noose’.
Using rare archive and remarkable interviews with witnesses, Pilger’s film discloses America’s secret history in the region – the destruction wrought by the equivalent of one Hiroshima every day for 12 years, and the top secret ‘Project 4.1’ that made guinea pigs of the population of the Marshall Islands.

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