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Hongkong | Ramadan | Wirtschaft
Jun 26th, 2015 by Gao

China’s plans for Hong Kong backfire (Washington Post)

For 79 days last year, thousands of protesters occupied major roads in Hong Kong in an attempt to force Chinese authorities to grant the territory genuine democracy. They failed. Local leaders and their overlords in Beijing refused to negotiate over an electoral plan that would allow for a popular vote for Hong Kong’s next leader but would limit candidates to nominees approved by the Communist regime. That left opposition representatives in Hong Kong’s legislature with an unappealing choice this month: Sign off on the inadequate reform or block it at the risk of freezing the current, even less democratic, system in place. “To kowtow, or to veto,” was the way opposition leader Alan Leong summed up the dilemma.
In the end, the opposition voted down the electoral system, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass the legislative council. The rebuff to the regime was amplified when pro-Beijing legislators walked out in a failed attempt to delay the vote; the final tally was 28 to 8. It was a moral victory for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which has made clear it won’t accept China’s attempt to gut its promise to allow universal suffrage.

Tom Phillips: Hong Kong parliament defies Beijing’s insistence and rejects ‚democracy‘ plan (Guardian)
Sad moment for Hong Kong democratic process (Global Times)

According to Beijing’s August 31 decision, if the reform plan fails to pass, Hong Kong will maintain the current election system and its chief executives will be elected by the 1,200-member election committee.
The pan-democratic lawmakers must accept this fact since they have rejected the reform. If they don’t stop but organize more drastic street demonstrations, they will push Hong Kong to a dead end and mean a life and death struggle with the Basic Law. In that case, Hong Kong will face dismal prospects.
We are concerned that a Pandora box is being opened in Hong Kong and various devils are released to ruin the region’s future. People who love Hong Kong should work to keep the box tightly closed so that Hong Kong won’t degenerate from the capital of finance and fashion to a total mess.
The Hong Kong opposition camp shouldn’t overestimate their power. The high yardstick under which the reform plan needs to win a two-thirds majority has enabled a minority of pan-democrats to kidnap the opinion of the mainstream. They are misguided if they think they represent the mainstream public and can indulge themselves in doing whatever they like.

Dai Weisen, Xin Lin: Last Occupy Central Die-Hards Face Eviction From Hong Kong Street (Radio Free Asia)

China bans Ramadan fasting in mainly Muslim region (AlJazeera)

China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadan and ordered restaurants to stay open.

Shohret Hoshur: At Least 18 Dead in Ramadan Attack on Police Checkpoint in Xinjiang (Radio Free Asia)
Richard Javad Heydarian: China’s illusion of harmony (AlJazeera)

For decades, much of China’s economic boom was concentrated in its south and eastern coastal regions, with mega-cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai experiencing stratospheric growth rates. It didn’t take long before Mao’s China was transformed from one of the world’s most egalitarian nations into a highly stratified capitalist society, with income inequality levels rivalling those in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Recognising the gravity of the country’s growing geographical and class-based divide, China’s Communist Party, beginning in 2006, endorsed a political doctrine, at a closed-door plenary session held by the party’s Central Committee, which focused on the creation of a „harmonious society“…
The problem, however, was that the development of interior regions went hand in hand with growing sociopolitical repression of the Uighur population as well as a massive influx of Han Chinese population into autonomous regions such as Xinjiang.

Qiao Long, Hai Nan: Beijing Police Detain Hundreds of PLA Veterans As Thousands Protest Lack of Pension (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained hundreds of former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers after thousands of them staged a sit-in outside China’s central military command on Tuesday in protest over a lack of pension and other benefits, protesters said.
The protesters, mostly veterans of China’s brief 1979 border war with Vietnam and the Sino-Soviet border conflict of March 1969, converged on the Central Military Commission (CMC) headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday morning.
Zhejiang-based veteran Sun Enwei said he had counted around 3,000 retired PLA soldiers outside the complaints department of the CMC before the authorities took some of them to the Jiujingzhuang unofficial detention center on the outskirts of Beijing.
„More than 800 people have been forcibly taken to Jiujingzhuang,“ Sun told RFA. „They have informed the local governments that … they have to send people to Jiujingzhuang to pick them up.“

Charlotte Middlehurst: Robotics revolution rocks Chinese textile workers (AlJazeera)

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk as manufacturers plan to employ hi-tech gadgetry in factories to cut costs.

Marc Bain: US fashion companies are starting to look beyond China for sourcing apparel (Quartz)

China’s clothing manufacturing capabilities are so advanced, and still so relatively cheap for US fashion labels, that right now there are few good substitutes for producing there. But as Chinese production costs begin to creep up, American brands are scouting out other options, primarily in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and even the US itself.

Christoph Jehle: Elektronikfertigung in Thailand (Telepolis)

Elektronische Produkte kommen in der allgemeinen Wahrnehmung heute mehrheitlich aus der Volksrepublik China (PRC). So steht es auch vielfach auf den Typenschildern der Produkte, weil die Endmontage oft im Reich der Mitte stattfindet und die großen chinesischen Auftragsfertiger bei ihren Auftraggebern einen guten Ruf besitzen. Die Fertigung vieler Baugruppen und Einzelkomponenten wurde jedoch inzwischen in Länder verlagert, die mit günstigeren Löhnen, größeren Steuervorteilen, geringerer Organisierung ihrer Arbeitskräfte und nach Möglichkeit auch staatlicher Unterstützung bei der Werksansiedelung noch attraktiver sind als Mainland China.

Michael Lelyveld: China Pushes Production Abroad With ‚Capacity Cooperation‘ Initiative (Radio Free Asia)
Carrie Gracie: The village and the girl (BBC)
Trying to hit a moving target: The Lide shoe factory workers’ campaign for relocation compensation (China Labour Bulletin)
Noch immer lesenswert:
Eli Friedman: China in Revolt (Jacobin, 2008)

The Chinese working class plays a Janus-like role in the political imaginary of neoliberalism. On the one hand, it’s imagined as the competitive victor of capitalist globalization, the conquering juggernaut whose rise spells defeat for the working classes of the rich world. What hope is there for the struggles of workers in Detroit or Rennes when the Sichuanese migrant is happy to work for a fraction of the price?
At the same time, Chinese workers are depicted as the pitiable victims of globalization, the guilty conscience of First World consumers. Passive and exploited toilers, they suffer stoically for our iPhones and bathtowels. And only we can save them, by absorbing their torrent of exports, or campaigning benevolently for their humane treatment at the hands of “our” multinationals.
For parts of the rich-world left, the moral of these opposing narratives is that here, in our own societies, labor resistance is consigned to history’s dustbin. Such resistance is, first of all, perverse and decadent. What entitles pampered Northern workers, with their “First World problems,” to make material demands on a system that already offers them such abundance furnished by the wretched of the earth? And in any case, resistance against so formidable a competitive threat must surely be futile.

Feng Zhang: Beijing’s Master Plan for the South China Sea (Foreign Policy)

China has far greater ambitions for the region than just reclaiming some tiny islands. In late 2013, Beijing started taking a very different approach to sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea — although few outside China noticed the change. Instead of directly confronting the other regional claimant states, Beijing began the rapid consolidation of, and construction on, the maritime features already under its control. And it did so on a scale and pace befitting China’s impressive engineering prowess.

Heather Timmons: Russia’s importance to China is overblown (Quartz)

Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s largest source of oil in May, shipping a record 3.92 million metric tons, a 20% increase from April.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened (although the last time was more than 10 years ago), and Russia isn’t the only country to ship more oil to China than the Saudis. Angola also sold more oil to China than Saudi Arabia in May.
Still, it is the latest sign of the growing ties between Russia, suffering under sanctions and increasing international isolation, and China, which is investing heavily to bolster its slowing economy, namely by building a global infrastructure network.

Shen Hong: China’s Plan for Local Debt Amounts to a Bailout (Wall Street Journal)

Beijing had promised to let market play a greater role; banks take bonds in place of higher-rate loans

Melvyn Backman: China’s stock market fell hard this week—really hard (Quartz)
Leslie Shaffer: China manufacturing remains mired in June (CNBC)
China Intensifies Steel Cuts as Iron Bull Market Drives Up Costs (Bloomberg)

Jonathan Fenby: What the West should know about Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao (New Statesman)
Andrew Browne: The Whiplash of Xi Jinping’s Top-Down Style (Wall Street Journal)
Tom Phillips: China’s Xi Jinping says poverty is ’nothing to fear‘ after pesticide deaths (Guardian)

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told villagers in one of the most deprived areas of the country, where four children killed themselves last week by swallowing pesticide, that poverty is nothing to fear.
He made the comments in Huamao, a village in the south-western province of Guizhou, according to China’s official news agency.
The president was quoted as saying: “A good life is created with one’s own hands, so poverty is nothing to fear. If we have determination and confidence, we can overcome any difficulty.”

Anders Hove: What Do Beijing’s Blue Skies Really Mean? It’s Too Soon to Say (Paulson Institute)
Eric Bellman: China’s Air is Much Worse Than India’s, World Bank Report Shows (Wall Street Journal)
Richard Smith: China’s Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse (TruthOut)

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: American Students in China: It’s Not as Authoritarian as We Thought (Asia Society)

For some American students about to embark on a study abroad trip to China, the U.S. media reports of Chinese Internet censorship, jailing of dissidents, and draconian population control laws may dominate their perception of the country. But after more than 30 years of reform and opening, the nominally communist country now combines economic liberalization, lumbering social and legal reforms, and spurts of ideological entrenchment to create a dynamic mix of restriction and freedom that’s hard to parse.

Julian Baggini: Is it OK to eat dogs? (Guardian)

Whenever western meat-eaters get up in arms over barbarous foreigners eating cute animals, it’s easy to throw around accusations of gross hypocrisy. Easy, because such accusations are often true. But responses to the dog meat festival in Yulin, China, which draws to a close today, merit more careful consideration. The double standards at play here are numerous, complicated, and not always obvious.

Hintergrund zu den Protesten in Hongkong
Okt 13th, 2014 by Gao

毛來由:為何英國不早給香港民主?英國檔案提供的答案(《輔仁》)

「我們(英國人)五十年前就可以給予香港民主,但若然這樣做,中國會爆發,甚至入侵香港,這是我們的憂慮。」和黃前董事總經理馬世民(Simon Murray)在一次報章專訪中這樣說。一直以來,親北京的公眾人物和報章評論,甚至一般市民,都質疑英國為何百年來都不給香港民主,要到1984年《聯合聲明》簽署,香港前途確定以後,「才大搞民主」。其實,只要稍讀英帝國歷史,就知道在二次大戰結束後,英國在絕大部份殖民地,都實行政治改革,逐步建立由當地公民普選產生的政府,以達至獨立(如馬來西亞),或自治(如1959年的新加坡、今日的直布羅陀)。這裏所講的自治(Self-Government),是指除了國防外交,有時還包括內部保安繼續由英國負責外,所有事務都交由當地民選政府全權處理。

Gwynn Guilford: The secret history of Hong Kong’s stillborn democracy (Quartz)
Alex Lo: Hong Kong protests expose the real rot in society (South China Morning Post)

Many Hong Kong people are unhappy, but it’s unlikely they were solely driven to fight police because they were upset by Beijing restricting the choice of candidates for the future chief executive. The pan-democrats may insist on that. But people say or do one thing and usually mean something more. It is the fact of widespread social discontent that should trouble our ruling elite. If you want a picture of what’s rotten, visualise a recent newspaper front page which showed a group of ageing tycoons sitting in a semi-circle with President Xi Jinping while another photo depicted young student protesters.
That’s the rich vs poor; the old vs young; the well-connected vs the disadvantaged; those who have power and others who are voiceless. It’s a generational crisis, not just a political one. Extreme inequalities exist in education, job opportunities and social mobility.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, John Garnaut: Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung faces questions over secret $7m payout from Australian firm (Sydney Morning Herald)

Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, CY Leung, has pocketed millions in secret fees from a listed Australian company in return for supporting its Asian business ambitions, a Fairfax Media investigation can reveal.
The arrangement is outlined in a secret contract dated December 2, 2011, before he was elected chief executive, in which Australian engineering company UGL agreed to pay the Beijing-backed politician £4 million (more than $A7 million).

Jonathan Kaiman: Hong Kong pro-democracy activists reinforce barricades at protest site (Guardian)

Pro-democracy demonstrators in central Hong Kong have used cement to reinforce the barricades defending a protest site after being attacked by counter-protesters on Monday afternoon, raising the stakes in a student-led movement which has paralysed huge swaths of the city for the past 16 days.
Hours after police began removing barricades across the city on Monday morning, hundreds of men – some of them wearing surgical masks to hide their faces – stormed various protest sites, assaulting protesters and dragging away remaining barricades themselves. Some were armed with crowbars and cutting tools, according to media reports. “Open the roads,” they chanted. Police at one point formed a human barrier to keep the two sides apart.

AFP: Hong Kong leader says pro-democracy protests will not change Beijing’s stance (Guardian)
Cindy Sui: Watching Hong Kong: Taiwan on guard against China (BBC)

While improved ties with China in recent years have been welcomed by many here, others worry about Beijing’s growing influence.
Its recent refusal to let Hong Kong decide who can run for chief executive confirms Taiwanese suspicions that China would never allow Taiwan to govern itself if the two sides reunified.

Alan Yu, Kathy Gao, Clifford Lo, Jeffie Lam, Raquel Carvalho, Samuel Chan, Timmy Sung, Ng Kang-chung, Ernest Kao: A battle for the streets: clashes between Occupy activists and opponents intensify (South China Morning Post)

Hundreds of Occupy Central opponents converged on Admiralty at around lunchtime yesterday in what appeared to be a well-orchestrated and carefully timed operation to remove road barriers that had paralysed traffic for more than two weeks.
Tense confrontations and scuffles with Occupy protesters ensued, and at least 22 people were arrested.
The chaotic scenes were the first to break out at the Admiralty protest site since police backed down after using tear gas to clear the sit-in on September 28.

Suzanne Sataline: Hong Kong Protesters Are Digging In (Foreign Policy)

Outside of the Admiralty subway station in downtown Hong Kong, about 30 young people sat on the pavement near a large and dusty pile of plaster, plasterboard, and wood, which someone had scrounged from an office renovation nearby. Wearing cotton gloves and safety masks, the young men and women pulled nails from thin slats. Some used bricks to nudge the iron from the slats. The dust rose and the sound glanced off steel beams overhead. The building of new barricades had begun.

汪洋批外国图掀港“颜色革命”(《文汇报》~《大公報》)

占领中环”被西方传媒形容为“雨伞革命”,又被指有外国势力操纵。国务院副总理汪洋上周六在出访俄罗斯期间指出,西方国家目前正支持香港反对派,试图在香港发动所谓“颜色革命”。汪洋强调中国反对西方借助制裁施压,认为在目前复杂的形势下,中国与俄罗斯应该集中精力,致力于发展两国的战略互利合作,以此作为对西方国家的回应。

李文、蕭爾:中共黨報發文首次形容「佔中」是「動亂」(BBC)

《人民日報》海外版周六(11日)發表了一篇署名評論文章,文中多次以「動亂」形容已經進入第14天的香港「佔中」示威抗議行動。
這篇評論文章發表在人民日報的《望海樓》專欄裏,題為《香港還有多少家底可供糟蹋?》,作者是中國商務部研究院研究員梅新育。
文章認為「在公民黨等泛民陣線製造的一場又一場武力無聊政治惡斗」中,香港付出的顯性經濟成本和隱性損失已經太多。
文章指出,,「『佔中』動亂的顯性經濟成本主要是特區政府為應付動亂增加的開支、香港股市下跌蒸發的市值、餐飲零售旅遊行業在國慶黃金周損失的營業收入」,而隱性損失則是「讓香港居民、特別是香港青年失去賴以安身立命和向上流動的機會」。

Didi Kirsten Tatlow: Relatives of People Detained for Supporting Hong Kong Protests Appeal for Their Freedom (New York Times)
可樂:佔領旺角可能分裂(獨立媒體) / Holok Chen: Hotpot, Gods, and „Leftist Pricks“: Political Tensions in the Mong Kok Occupation (Libcom)

事緣前日(9/10)在旺角佔領區發生了一個名為「旺角新村」的活動,內容包括 乒乓球、打邊爐、綿花糖等,位置遠離亞皆老街帳篷,在與山東街交接的一段較空曠的彌敦道上。同場有人策劃了名為佔領小屋設計比賽的活動,有人用紙皮建造小屋,並冠上「彌敦一號」等名號供人休息。活動的照片迅速在社交平台及網上媒體傳開,引起十分大的反應。
在Whatsapp群組也有流傳消息,第一波的消息,是指策劃者是「藍絲帶」,應立即制止及清場,而第二波,就製圖指是「左翼廿一」滋事,到了第三波,網上有輿論領袖以安全為由呼籲制止打邊爐後,流傳的訊息就比較強調是明火危險及聚賭對運動形象有損。據稱一開首有人過去勸止時,仍是可以討論的,但很快就有更多人圍住打邊爐的人叫囂,最後爐具和打球的設備都被收起。而佔領小屋設計比賽一邊,反應不俗,吸引了很多佔領的公眾,但亦有被批評為「阻街」,雖然小屋是位於路障之內。……
這場正在發酵中的衝突仍然持續。在爭普選運動的主題下,我認為公民社會都應該留意旺角的事態發展。因為這場衝突很可能決定未來公民社會的質地。

Kristine Kwok: Never retreat, a Mong Kok state of mind (South China Morning Post)

Mong Kok was blocked by barricades at the intersection of Nathan Road and Argyle Street. … Thirteen days on, the site has evolved from just a few barricades to a fully furnished settlement with self-made marquees, tents, beds and religious shrines.
Its occupants have faced hostility and violence from opponents and what they believe to be „defeatist“ calls for retreat from movement organisers. With a hardline stance that has left them feeling alienated from events across Victoria Harbour, the mission has taken on a life of its own.
Unlike the crowds on Hong Kong Island, this mixture of students, grass-roots underdogs, self-styled rebels and occasional white-collar workers are transforming the site into a highly adaptive and resilient ecosystem. But one thing has not changed. They refuse to be led by anyone, even while in a fight that is ultimately about choosing a leader – just one not vetted by Beijing.

胡平:中共現時的行為邏輯是什麼?(評台)
Andy Xie: Stability will only return when Hong Kong ends its property tyranny (South China Morning Post)

Sky-high property prices are the root cause of the ongoing social instability in Hong Kong. When the average household would have to put aside all their salary for 10 years to afford to buy the space for a bed – never mind eating and drinking, and other living expenses – or that incomes have grown by only 10 per cent in a decade, where is the hope for ordinary people, especially the young? Unless Hong Kong restructures its property market to serve the people, instead of milking them to the last drop, the city won’t see stability again.

Josh Noble: Economic inequality underpins Hong Kong’s great political divide (Financial Times; Text auch verfügbar via [Pen-l])

On Monday CY Leung, Hong Kong chief executive, appeared to confirm protesters’ fears when he warned in an interview with the Financial Times and other foreign media that a fully open voting system would lead to populism by shifting power towards low-earners.
While Hong Kong’s establishment has stressed the importance of protecting the interests of the business community, many in the street believe political change is needed to fix economic imbalances.
“We need to think if Hong Kong should stay an international financial centre and a paradise for global capitalism,” said Rebecca Lai, a 47-year-old NGO worker at a protest site in Mongkok district. “We need to think if this is still good for the citizens.”

Mia Lamar, Fiona Law, Jacky Wong: Hong Kong Police Crackdown Draws Ire (Wall Street Journal)
Emily Tsang, Niall Fraser, Tony Cheung, Jennifer Ngo, Fanny Fung, Jeffie Lam, Lana Lam, Clifford Lo:Image problem for police as video of officers beating protester is beamed around the world (South China Morning Post)

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