SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Jiashi / Jasic
Aug 28th, 2018 by Gao

Shenzhen worker activists determined to unionise despite dismissal (China Labour Bulletin)

A small group of factory workers staged a protest outside the gates of Jasic Technology in Shenzhen early this morning, 24 July, demanding reinstatement after being dismissed and beaten by thugs for trying to set up a union.
“We want to be reinstated! We want to unionise!” the workers chanted as factory security guards prevented them from entering the plant.
This morning’s protest was the latest action in the workers’ campaign for unionisation which began in May after working conditions at the factory in Shenzhen’s Pingshan district had reportedly deteriorated to the point where workers were forced to act just to ensure a living wage.

Mimi Lau: Chinese Maoists join students in fight for workers’ rights at Jasic Technology (Sputh China Morning Post)

Leftists show support for employees of stock market-listed company, who are campaigning for the right to form a trade union

Police raid student group as support for Shenzhen Jasic workers grows (China Labour Bulletin)

A group of more than 50 student activists, who are supporting workers dismissed for trying to set up a trade union at Jasic Technology in Shenzhen, have been detained in an early morning police raid on their rented accommodation in the city.
Sources familiar with the incident which occurred at 5.00.am today, said those detained included Lan Zhiwei, Yu Kailong, and Yu Weiye, three workers who had been released on bail from an earlier mass arrest, as well as student activists Yue Xin, Zhan Zhenzhen, and Feng Ge from Beijing University, and several other students from Renmin University and Nanjing University.

Detained Activist Yue Xin on the Jasic Workers (China Digital Times)

About 50 student activists and workers advocating in Shenzhen for the establishment of an independent trade union have been detained in an early morning raid. Most of those detained are college students from Peking University, Nanjing University, Renmin University, and other schools who have formed an informal coalition with workers at a Jasic Technology factory to support their protests throughout the spring and summer.

Sue-Lin Wong, Christian Shepherd: Student activists disappear in southern China after police raid (Reuters)

Police in riot gear stormed an apartment in southern China on Friday where about 40 student activists and others supporting factory workers seeking to form a labour union were staying, according to activists who said they received a video of the raid as it was taking place.

深圳佳士公司工人“维权”事件的背后(新华)

“组建工会”“改善福利”“支持复工”……7月20日上午,数名原深圳佳士科技公司工人高喊着“维权”口号,冲击佳士公司厂区大门。
  随后的7月24日、7月26日、7月27日,佳士公司发生多次拉标语、喊口号的工人“维权”事件。几名工人一度闯进厂区逼停生产经营,甚至占领派出所值班室扰乱正常办公。
  近期,这起普通的工人“维权”事件,通过互联网特别是境外网站持续发酵,不少工人、学生、网民被裹挟其中,舆情迅速升温。记者采访发现,随着公安机关侦查的深入,潜伏在工人们争取利益诉求背后的真相慢慢浮出水面。

Statement (Worker Empowerment)

WE has never been involved in organizing or financially supporting workers or their supporters. Having been following the rapid developments in the recent JASIC incident, our organization hopes that the rights and safety of all participants are legally and reasonably taken care of as soon as possible.

就《深圳佳士公司工人”维权”事件的背后》一文三问新华社(时代先锋)

8月24日晚11点半左右,新华社就佳士工人维权事件发表评论文,文中写到,”一起普通企业员工维权事件之所以愈演愈烈,是因为有境外势力想利用此次维权事件挑起事端。”文中还提到,维权行为应合法合规。
  然而,此文却经不起丝毫的推敲,陈词滥调早让人生厌,混账逻辑更令人愤慨。
  一问新华社,境外势力利用维权工人有何证据?

China: Release all arrested Jasic Technology workers and solidarity group activists! Drop all charges! (中国劳工论坛)
Brian Hioe: Dozens Arrested After Worker Protests in Shenzhen (New Bloom)
Shannon Tiezzi: Communist China’s Crackdown on Labor Protesters (The Diplomat)

China’s rhetorical embrace of Marx hasn’t prevented th e arrests of activists supporting an independent trade union.

Wolfgang Pomrehn: China: Harsches Vorgehen gegen Arbeiterproteste in Shenzhen (Telepolis)
Peter Nowak: Verbrechen: Gewerkschaftsgründung (Neues Deutschland)
Maoist Labor Campaigner ‚Kidnapped,‘ Believed Detained, in China’s Guangdong (Radio Free Asia)

A Maoist activist who supported a campaign to set up an independent workers‘ union in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong has been „kidnapped“ and is being detained in an unknown location, prompting further protests by labor activists, RFA has learned.
Shen Mengyu, a former employee of the Jasic Technology factory in Guangdong’s Shenzhen city, was taken away by the authorities after she led a campaign for a union to negotiate collectively on behalf of some 1,000 Jasic workers.
Shen was grabbed and forcibly restrained by three unidentified individuals as she ate dinner with her father on Aug. 11, before being bundled into an unmarked vehicle, sources close to the campaign told RFA.

Protest vor der chinesischen Botschaft in Berlin (Labournet)

Walmart | Japan
Jul 11th, 2016 by Gao

Kevin Lin: In China, Walmart Retail Workers Walk Out over Unfair Scheduling (Labor Notes)

About 70 Walmart workers began a wildcat strike July 1 against an unpopular new flexible scheduling system. They are reacting against a campaign of intimidation by Walmart China, which has been trying to coerce store workers to accept the new schedules since May…
From 1996 to the mid-2000s, Zhou says, Walmart workers were comparatively well-paid—making more than three times the average salary of workers in Shenzhen, a factory city created to produce for export.
But with rapid inflation over the past decade, Walmart’s real wages and benefits have fallen to only a third of the Shenzhen average. The same is true elsewhere in China.
Today Walmart wages are not significantly higher than local minimum wages. After paying their social security contributions, worker may even be making less than minimum wage—and certainly way below a decent living wage.

Strikes at Walmart stores in China begin to spread (China Labour Bulletin)

More than 200 workers from at least three Walmart stores in China went on strike over the weekend in protest against the company’s introduction of a comprehensive working hours system. The workers also called for new trade union elections.
On 1 July, at least 130 workers at Store No. 5782 in Nanchang, Jiangxi, began marching through the store, chanting “Walmart Workers Stand Up!” and “No to the Comprehensive Working Hours System!” Workers had discovered the previous day that the company had unilaterally enforced the new working hours system against their wishes. The workers said management might now use the new system to punish activists by cutting their overtime pay.
In solidarity, some 30 workers at Store No. 2039 in the same city and another 60 employees at Store No.0209 in Chengdu, Sichuan, walked out on 2 July and 4 July respectively.

Made in China, 2. Ausgabe (PDF, chinoiserie.info)

A Quarterly on Chinese Labour, Civil Society, and Rights

Lily Kuo: African migrants are returning from China and telling their compatriots not to go (Quartz)

When Lamin Ceesay, an energetic 25-year-old from Gambia, arrived in China last year, he thought his life had made a turn for the better. As the oldest of four siblings, he was responsible for caring for his family, especially after his father passed away. But jobs were few in his hometown of Tallinding Kunjang, outside of the Gambian capital of Banjul. After hearing about China’s rise, his uncle sold off his taxi business and the two of them bought a ticket and a paid local visa dealer to get them to China.

William Nee: China’s Disturbing Detention of Hong Kong Booksellers (Diplomat)

A recently returned bookseller has decided to speak out, with some disturbing revelations.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: World faces deflation shock as China devalues yuan at accelerating pace (Telegraph)

China has abandoned a solemn pledge to keep its exchange rate stable and is carrying out a systematic devaluation of the yuan, sending a powerful deflationary impulse through a global economy already caught in a 1930s trap.
The country’s currency basket has been sliding at an annual pace of 12pc since the start of the year. This has picked up sharply since the Brexit vote, suggesting that the People’s Bank (PBOC) may be taking advantage of the distraction to push through a sharper devaluation.

Alexander Billet: Super Official Marx (Jacobin)

The Chinese Communist Party put out a hip-hop track praising Karl Marx. It’s as bad as you would expect.

Sex | Streiks | Staatsbetriebe
Mrz 1st, 2016 by Gao

Alexandria Icenhower: What China’s sexual revolution means for women (Brookings)

While Chinese women today have increased freedoms, there is still a long way to go before gender equality is realized. Civil unrest concerning gender inequality recently made headlines in China and abroad when a group of five female protesters in China were arrested and jailed for publicly demonstrating against gender inequities, such as inequality in higher education and domestic violence. …
China’s first and leading sexologist, Li Yinhe, delivered a keynote address that emphasized that when it comes to sex, China is in the midst of an “era of important changes.” Li explained that all sexual activities before marriage were illegal in China before 1997 because of a “hooliganism law,” and a woman could be arrested for having sex with more than one man. Thus, premarital sex was forbidden. In surveys in 1989, only 15% of citizens reported having premarital sex—and “most of them were having sex with their permanent partners,” Li said. That law was overturned in 1997, and recent surveys show that 71% of Chinese citizens admit to having sex before marriage. This is a dramatic change in a short period of time, and marks what Li asserts is a sexual revolution for Chinese citizens. …
Pornography isn’t considered to be protected as it is in the U.S. In contrast, Chinese law strictly prohibits creating and selling porn. …
Prostitution is another activity affected by outdated laws in China, where any solicitation of sex is strictly illegal. In the early-1980s through late-1990s the punishment for facilitating prostitution was severe. In 1996, a bathhouse owner was sentenced to death for organizing prostitution. Now, prostitution is widely practiced and the most severe punishment for organized prostitution is that those managing sex workers are ordered to shut down their businesses. …
In regards to homosexuality, Li was quick to note that China’s view of homosexuality is historically very different from Western views. For example, in some U.S. states, laws “criminalized or deemed homosexual activities illegal.” But throughout China’s history, there were not severe repercussions or the death penalty for homosexuality, and it “was never illegal.” However, this is not the case for same-sex marriage. Li thinks it will be “hard to predict” when same-sex marriage might be legalized.

Sarah Buckley: China’s high-speed sexual revolution (BBC)

Over the last 20 years, Chinese attitudes to sex have undergone a revolution – a process carefully observed, and sometimes encouraged, by the country’s first female sexologist, Li Yinhe.
„In the survey I made in 1989, 15.5% of people had sex before marriage,“ says Li Yinhe. „But in the survey I did two years ago, the figure went up to 71%.“
It’s one of many rapid changes she has recorded in her career. She uses the word „revolution“ herself and it’s easy to see why. Until 1997, sex before marriage was actually illegal and could be prosecuted as „hooliganism“.

Simon Denyer: Strikes and workers’ protests multiply in China, testing party authority (Washington Post)

Strikes and other labor protests have spiked across the country as manufacturing plants lay off workers and reduce wages in the face of mounting economic head winds. But the unrest is particularly intense in the southern province of Guangdong, the vast urban sprawl bordering Hong Kong that is the heart of China’s export industry — and its economic success story.

Exklusives Gerücht von „zwei zuverlässigen Quellen mit Verbindungen zur Führung“:
Benjamin Kang Lim, Matthew Miller, David Stanway: China to lay off five to six million workers, earmarks at least $23 billion (Reuters)

The hugely inefficient state sector employed around 37 million people in 2013 and accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s industrial output and nearly half of its bank lending.
It is China’s most significant nationwide retrenchment since the restructuring of state-owned enterprises from 1998 to 2003 led to around 28 million redundancies and cost the central government about 73.1 billion yuan ($11.2 billion) in resettlement funds.
On Monday, Yin Weimin, the minister for human resources and social security, said China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, but he did not give a timeframe…
The government has already drawn up plans to cut as much as 150 million tonnes of crude steel capacity and 500 million tonnes of surplus coal production in the next three to five years.
It has earmarked 100 billion yuan in central government funds to deal directly with the layoffs from steel and coal over the next two years, vice-industry minister Feng Fei said last week.

Arbeiterbewegung
Jan 30th, 2016 by Gao

Daniel Reineke, 
Christoph Plutte: Chinas unruhige Arbeiter (Neues Deutschland)

Die Nachrichten aus China über Verhaftungen regierungskritischer AktivistInnen, Streiks und Börseneinbrüche reißen nicht ab. Die Zahl der Arbeitskämpfe in den Weltmarktfabriken im »Reich der Mitte« ist im vergangenen Halbjahr deutlich gestiegen und mit ihnen die staatliche Repression: Seit Anfang Dezember wurden mindestens 40 ArbeiteraktivistInnen und UnterstützerInnen von Arbeiterorganisationen vorübergehend in Polizeigewahrsam genommen und verhört. Gegen vier von ihnen wird nun strafrechtlich ermittelt, die Anklagen lauten auf »Aufruf zur Versammlung und Störung öffentlicher Ordnung« bzw. »Veruntreuung«.
Die jüngste Verhaftungswelle richtete sich gegen das Dagongzu Arbeiterzentrum in Guangzhou und drei ähnliche Einrichtungen, die insbesondere WanderarbeiterInnen in Rechtsstreits, im Falle von Arbeitsunfällen und bei Lohnkämpfen im Perlflussdelta unterstützen. Die Festnahmen stellen hinsichtlich der Anzahl der Betroffenen und der Schwere der Vorwürfe die bisher schärfste Repression gegen unabhängige Arbeiterorganisationen und Labour-NGOs dar. Was aber sind die Hintergründe für diese Verschärfung der Klassenkämpfe?

Petra Kolonko: Streikverbot in der Werkhalle der Welt (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Nach den Verhaftungen von Menschenrechtsanwälten im vergangenen Jahr geht die chinesische Regierung nun auch gegen Arbeiterrechtler vor. Am Sonntag wurde bekannt, dass Anklage gegen fünf Arbeiteraktivisten in Südchina erhoben wurde, darunter auch gegen Zeng Feiyang, den Leiter des privaten Panyu-Wanderarbeiter-Zentrums. Vier Aktivisten wird vorgeworfen, die soziale Ordnung gestört zu haben, ein fünfter wird der Unterschlagung beschuldigt. Ende vergangenen Jahres hatten die Sicherheitsbehörden in der südchinesischen Metropole Guangzhou Aktivisten von vier verschiedenen Nichtregierungsorganisationen festgenommen, die Arbeitern bei Disputen und Arbeitskämpfen unterstützten. Bislang wurde den Beschuldigten jeder Kontakt mit Anwälten mit der Begründung verboten, es handle sich um Fälle, in denen die „nationale Sicherheit“ gefährdet sei. …
Die Verhaftung der vier prominenten Aktivisten sendet nun eine deutliche Warnung an Mitstreiter. Die Nachrichtenagentur Xinhua hat noch vor der Anklageerhebung den Aktivisten vorgeworfen, vom Ausland gesteuert zu sein und die Arbeiter zu Streiks angestiftet zu haben.

Workers in a Workers’ State (Jacobin)

The Chinese state has dramatically escalated repression against workers organizations.
On December 3, four workers organizations in the southern manufacturing hubs of Guangzhou and Foshan came under attack from Chinese authorities. Dozens of staff, family members, and affiliated workers were questioned, and seven remained in custody for over a month. Four have now been formally charged: three of them for “assembling a crowd to disrupt social order” and one for “embezzlement.” …
The repression represents a deliberate response to a cluster of economic and social contradictions confronting the ruling Communist Party: the economic challenge of managing an economy increasingly plagued by capitalist dynamics of crisis (as manifested in the 2015 stock market crash, which occurred despite significant state control and regulation); the political challenge of rescuing the party from a legitimation crisis (which has sparked the expulsion of tens of thousands of party leaders and government bureaucrats); and the social challenge of containing popular movements…
The authorities are doing their best to present the latest crackdown as entirely lawful. Instead of harassing and arbitrarily detaining activists as it has done in the past, the state is trying to build airtight legal cases against them.
This change in tactics — reminiscent of how liberal democratic states sometimes handle militant trade unionists — risks setting a dangerous legal precedent. It not only criminalizes otherwise lawful activities, but normalizes such criminalization.
The thinly veiled abuse of the legal process has been complemented by a not-so-subtle smear campaign in the state media. While disgraced celebrities and officials have been on the receiving end of such tactics before, targeting labor activists constitutes a new level of repression.
Broadcast on the main state television station in late December, the smear campaign alleged financial and moral misconduct as well as ulterior political motives, specifically against Zeng Feiyang.

工弩:不许抹黑工人运动!理直气壮捍卫尊严!(红色中国)

讨薪女工周秀云被活活打死的一年后,却发生了又一件打压和抹黑工人抗争的空前事件,仍在全国范围内酝酿着舆论影响。本月3日开始,广东省多家劳工ngo机构多达二十多名劳工工作者与工友先后被警方秘密带走,最新消息是已经增加到多达五名劳工工作者(先后为何晓波、朱小梅、曾飞洋、邓小明、彭家勇)竟遭到刑事拘留,另有两名劳工工作者失联(孟晗、汤建[前劳工机构实习者])。在一贯用高压统治维持资本家血汗工厂的天朝“国情”下,数千万外来工聚集的广东最近五、六年工人运动才初现雏形;作为全国唯一较有组织的工人运动,广东的工人运动其实仍是很初步的阶段。而其实一直是小心翼翼走在广东初生工运最前列的一部分力量,却竟然遭到了史无前例的最严厉打压,已经存在了十几年的劳工机构最基本的生存权第一次遭到了生死存亡的威胁。
可是,更加让我们深深担忧的是,四人中至少有三人(朱、曾、邓)被指控涉嫌“聚众扰乱社会秩序罪”,而他们不过是在最近几年指导了大量工人集体行动——从珠宝厂工人到医院的护工和保安,从大学城环卫工到鞋厂工人——协助过千千万万的工人赢得了集体谈判和应有的利益。无论是罢工、工人集会、集体请愿等工人集体行动本身,还是任何使这些集体行动成为有组织运动的努力,都决不等于“聚众扰乱社会秩序罪”。这样的指控罪名,从一开始就是最耸人听闻、最卑劣可耻的抹黑和污蔑!正如有工友在声援中说的,政府有种就把全国所有罢工的人都抓起来,看看抓不抓得完!一切有斗争觉悟的工人都决不答应这种打压,决不许抹黑工人运动!

Übersetzung ins Englische:
Slandering of the Workers’ Movement Will Not Be Permitted (Chuang)
韩东方:对《人民日报》关于“番禺打工族服务部”主任曾飞洋先生报道的回应(墙外楼)

2015 年 12 月 23 日,贵报发表了记者张璁撰写的一篇新闻报道(责任编辑:曹昆),题为“大量接受境外组织资金,操纵罢工,升级劳资矛盾,玷污公益之名敛财骗色——起底‘工运之星’真面目”……该篇报道的标题及内容所用词句,充满国人早已深恶痛绝的煽动对立、制造仇恨的“文革”话语逻辑。好像“境外组织资金”就是妖魔鬼怪,只要跟境外资金扯上关系,不管是做什么,便其心可诛。难道,贵报从总编辑到记者们的眼里,这个世界,我们的国家,人与人之间,真的已经晦暗到了只剩下“拉拢”和被拉拢的关系,只有骗子、傻子、袖手旁观者和落井下石者这几种人吗?难道,在你们的内心世界,早已不再有志同道合者吗?不再有为了共同理想和精神追求合作奋斗这回事吗?不再有工人阶级的阶级感情这种东西吗?更不再有基于这种阶级情怀,对中国工人阶级所受苦难不忍冷眼旁观,不齿于弥漫于街头巷尾和办公大楼里心口不一的假卫道士,从而愿意坐言起行改变现状的理想主义者吗?难道,在我们这个工人阶级为领导阶级,社会主义为根本制度的国家,“境外资本”可以践踏劳动法律法规,“境外老板”可以肆意侵害我国工人合法权益,并能够得到包括贵报在内的权势者的保驾护航,而包括“中国劳工通讯”在内的“境外组织”,帮助那些遭受境外资本和境外老板剥削的工人,争取合法权益,反倒应该受到打压,甚至遭受牢狱之灾吗?

Übersetzung ins Englische von David Bandurski:
Han Dongfang: A reply to the People’s Daily report on the director of the Panyu Workers Service Centre, Zeng Feiyang (China Labour Bulletin)

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.

Klassenkampf | KDVR
Apr 25th, 2015 by Gao

Ashley Smith, Ellen David Friedman: Contours of the class struggle in China (Socialist Worker)

Since the 2008 and the spread of the global economic crisis, China has experienced a sharp rise in class struggle, both in Hong Kong and on the mainland. Ellen David Friedman, a long-time organizer of the National Education Association in Vermont, founding member of the state’s Progressive Party and member of the Labor Notes Policy Committee, has been working for the last decade with labor and union activists in Hong Kong and the mainland. She spoke with Ashley Smith about the dynamics and nature of these struggles.

‚No way North Korea‘ — DPRK refused entry to China-led AIIB (Emerging Markets)

North Korea approached China to join the new Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) only to be summarily rebuffed by its chief economic and financial ally, Emerging Markets can reveal.
A senior envoy from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) approached the presumptive inaugural president of the AIIB, Jin Liqun, probably in Beijing in February, only to be spurned, senior Chinese diplomatic sources said.
China’s message to North Korea was a straight-and-simple “no way”, the diplomat said, adding that China had asked for, and had failed to secure, a far more detailed breakdown of North Korea’s financial and economic picture, seen by the new China-led development bank as a basic first step in admitting the hermit state to its fold.

Sneha Shankar: China Clueless About Rejecting North Korea’s AIIB Application (International Business Times)

China said Tuesday it was not aware of rejecting North Korea’s offer to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A report last week had alleged that China let down Pyongyang’s intention to join the bank, citing the country’s fragile economy.

Andray Abrahamian: How North Korea’s hushed-up economy is hindering its development (Guardian)
Eric Talmadge: North Korea’s creeping economic reforms show signs of paying off (Guardian)

North Korea is trying to invigorate its hidebound economy by offering more control and possibly more personal rewards to key sectors of its workforce in the country’s biggest domestic policy experiment since leader Kim Jong-un assumed power.
The measures give managers the power to set salaries and hire and fire employees, and give farmers more of a stake in out-producing quotas. Some outside observers say they’re a far cry from the kind of change the North really needs, but they agree with North Korean economists who say it is starting to pay off in higher wages and increased yields.

Streik bei Cuiheng | Mindestreservesatz | Dokument Nr. 9
Apr 20th, 2015 by Gao

At the sharp end of the workers’ movement in China: The Zhongshan Cuiheng strike (China Labour Bulletin)

A month-long strike at a Japanese-owned bag manufacturer in the Pearl River Delta town of Zhongshan has been characterized by police violence, arrests and intimidation, and the absolute refusal of the boss to negotiate. Welcome to the sharp end of the workers’ movement in China.
The strike broke out in mid-March. The roughly 200 workers at Cuiheng Co. were unhappy at low-pay and the refusal of the company to pay social security and housing fund contributions, year-end bonuses and other benefits.

Tom Barnes, Kevin Lin: China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally (Conversation)

Reuters: China’s central bank cuts reserve ratio (Guardian)

China’s central bank has cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves on Sunday, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world’s second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth.
The People’s Bank of China lowered the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for all banks by 100 basis points to 18.5%, effective from Monday, the central bank said in a statement on its website.

Angus Grigg: China frees up $200b to stoke economy (Financial Review)

The RRR cut is expected to release around 1 trillion yuan ($208 billion) of capital into the economy.

China Steps Up Economy Help With Reduced Bank Reserve Ratios (Bloomberg)

The reserve-requirement ratio was lowered 1 percentage point Monday, the People’s Bank of China said. While that was the second reduction this year, the new level of 18.5 percent is still high by global standards. The cut will allow banks to boost lending by about 1.2 trillion yuan ($194 billion)…
The reserve ratio will be reduced by another percentage point for rural financial institutions, two additional percentage points for Agricultural Development Bank and a further 0.5 percentage point for banks with a certain level of loans to agriculture and small enterprises.
Those extra reductions give the move a “reformist flavor,” wrote Bloomberg economists Tom Orlik and Fielding Chen. Still, with growth weak and small companies most at risk, it’s understandable banks see state-owned firms as safer bets.
“As ever, the price of stronger growth is slower progress on structural reform,” they wrote.

Document 9: A ChinaFile Translation (ChinaFile)

This weekend, China’s leaders gather in Beijing for meetings widely expected to determine the shape of China’s economy, as well as the nation’s progress, over the next decade. What exactly the outcome of this Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will be remains shrouded in no small measure of secrecy, like most matters of high politics in China. President Xi Jinping has signaled that a significant new wave of economic liberalization may be in the works. But in the realm of political reform, Xi also has signaled a deep reluctance. In fact, many of the actions taken and techniques used under his year of leadership suggest a return to ideas and tactics that hark back to the days of Mao Zedong.
One such signal came during this past spring, when reports began to appear that the Party leadership was being urged to guard against seven political “perils,” including constitutionalism, civil society, “nihilistic” views of history, “universal values,” and the promotion of “the West’s view of media.” It also called on Party members to strengthen their resistance to “infiltration” by outside ideas, renew their commitment to work “in the ideological sphere,” and to handle with renewed vigilance all ideas, institutions, and people deemed threatening to unilateral Party rule. These warnings were enumerated in a communiqué circulated within the Party by its General Office in April, and, because they constituted the ninth such paper issued this year, have come to be known as “Document 9.”

Daniel A. Bell: Teaching ‘Western Values’ in China (New York Times)

Nobody is surprised that the Chinese government curbs “Western-style” civil and political liberties. But it may be news to some people that the government has recently called for the strengthening of Marxist ideology in universities and a ban on “teaching materials that disseminate Western values in our classrooms.” On the face of it, such regulations are absurd. It would mean banning not just the ideas of John Stuart Mill and John Rawls, but also those of such thinkers as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Reporters Without Borders reveals state secrets in reaction to Gao Yu’s sentence (Reporters Without Borders)

Brian Eyler: China’s new silk roads tie together 3 continents (China Dialogue)

China recently unveiled an action plan for its controversial One Belt, One Road initiative to link its economy with the rest of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Known as the ‘new silk roads’, it combines new infrastructure networks of roads, railway lines, ports to strengthen trade, investment, and people-to-people cooperation.

Streiks | Việt Nam
Apr 11th, 2015 by Gao

Didi Tang: Strikes proliferate in China as working class awakens (Yahoo/AP)

In March, workers returning from the Chinese New Year break to the thousands of factories in the Pearl River delta region near Hong Kong staged three dozen strikes at companies such as Stella Footwear, Meidi Electronics and Hisense Electronics.
In this image taken from APTN video shot on March 26, 2015, Shi Jieying talks from her sickbed after …
Some fight for mandated severance pay, some for back social security payments and some for equal pay for out-of-town workers who typically earn less than local city residents. All of these actions have been on factory grounds because workers have grown impatient with government mediation rooms or courts.

Việt Nam kennt ähnliche Probleme wie China:
Thousands on strike in Vietnam over insurance law (BBC)

The ongoing strike in Ho Chi Minh City is one of the largest and longest that has ever happened in Vietnam. It is also unusual as the protesters are rallying against the government’s labour policies rather than working conditions or pay…
The dispute is over the government’s move to effectively convert an unemployment welfare scheme into a retirement savings scheme.
Currently, workers pay a monthly premium into a central fund, and when they become unemployed they receive a lump sum payout equivalent to premiums paid.
Under the new law, workers will only receive payouts when they retire, and the amount will be given on a monthly basis rather than as a lump sum. Only a small minority will be eligible for unemployment payouts.

Streik bei Yue Yuen und Solidaritätsstreiks
Apr 22nd, 2014 by Gao

Biggest Strike In China’s History Enters 6th Day (Revolution News)

The largest strike in China’s history has entered the sixth day, defying state attempts to repress workers struggling against economic and social injustice. Police arrested several organizers of the strikers at the Yue Yuen factory, which produces shoes for Nike and Adidas.
As the situation deteriorates, the thousands of workers are ever angrier after the management of the factory completely denies any violations in the payment of their social security. Workers in Dongguan, where exists the largest labor rights movement, have taken solidarity actions with the strikers of Yue Yuen. Large numbers of workers in Dongguan – apparently in thousands – took it to the streets to protest wage injustice and the government’s oppression of migrant workers, and to demand the government pay the social security it owned to the workers.

裕元鞋廠工潮蔓延至江西廠房(網易~星島日報)

台資的裕元鞋廠繼東莞廠房持續多日有員工罷工之後,工潮亦蔓延至集團在江西安福市的廠房。消息指,18日江西安福的廠房有2000名工人罷工,大批工人聚集在廠房外,部分女工仍身穿橙色的圍裙。東莞裕元鞋廠被指剋扣工人福利,以臨時工標準繳納社保,東莞廠房的工人上星期一開始大罷工,要求廠方補繳養老保險和公積金,並補簽正規勞動合同以及加薪。

AP: Chinese government trade union to mediate shoe factory strike by tens of thousands of workers (Fox News)

The Guangdong Federation of Trade Unions urged the workers to act rationally, but said it was „taking a clear-cut stand“ that the workers‘ rights must be protected. The federation said it had instructed its municipal agency in the southern city of Dongguan — where the factory complex is located — to mediate.

Yue Yuen shoe strike expands from Guangdong to Jiangxi (Want China Times)

A week after 30,000 workers from the Yue Yuen shoe factory in Dongguan in southern China’s Guangdong province took to the streets over invalid contracts, 2,000 workers from another of the company’s factories, located in Ji’an in eastern China’s Jiangxi province, have also joined the strike, reports the Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily.
Operated by the Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, the Yue Yuen factory in Dongguan’s Gaobu township is one of the biggest shoe factories in China and produces footwear for more than 30 top brands such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok. The factory currently employs more than 60,000 workers.

Protest in Taibei | Walmart | Foxconn | Konjunkturpaket
Apr 11th, 2014 by Gao

Zachary Fillingham: Taiwan’s Sunflower Protests Explained (Geopolitical Monitor)

It’s a headline that shocks: Students occupy the national legislature, issue an ultimatum to the ruling government. And for a little while the local Taiwanese media ran with this sense of shock, portraying the occupying students as a motley and misguided crew of beer-swigging firebrands. But it’s clear to anyone present that this initial act of civil disobedience has blossomed into a wider political movement, complete with its very own sentimental branding.
This is Taiwan’s Sunflower Revolution – at least that’s what the protesters will tell you.
It all began in the early hours of March 18, when roughly 250 students stormed the Legislative Yuan in central Taipei. They were quickly joined by 1,000 other students, and since then the number of supporters surrounding the building has grown to over ten thousand, with many staying through the night despite unseasonably cold weather and bouts of torrential rain.
The demands of the main student group in the legislature are simple. They want Taiwan to pull out of a cross-strait service pact that was signed in July of last year; the establishment of an oversight mechanism to monitor future cross-strait negotiations; and for President Ma Ying-jeou to personally respond to their demands.

Chinese Walmart Workers Write to AFL-CIO for Help (China Labour Net)

Liu Jiayi: Workers at samsung supplier win a pay rise following a strike (ZDNet)

More than a thousand workers at the Dongguan-based Shanmukang Technology managed to not only win a better overtime rate on weekdays and weekends, but also double their monthly pay, after a simultaneous strike staged by workers from different depts.

Jennifer Cheung: Criminal Prosecution of Wu Guijun: the China State versus a worker (Union Solidarity International)

It has been nearly 11 months since the workers’ representative, Wu Guijun, was illegally detained by china’s government on the charge of illegal gathering of crowd to disturb transport order, he potentially faces a maximum sentence of a three year imprisonment. The prosecutor believes he planned, organised and instructed the workers’ march that disrupted transport order on May 23 last year in Shenzhen.

Eric Lee: Welcome China’s unions back into the family (Workers’ Liberty)

At the end of March, the International Labour Organisation’s Bureau for Workers Activities (known as ILO-ACTRAV) and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding “to promote Trade unions South-South Cooperation in the Asia- Pacific region”.

Pun Ngai, Shen Yuan, Guo Yuhua, Lu Huilin, Jenny Chan, Mark Selden: Worker-Intellectual Unity: Suicide, trans-border sociological intervention, and the Foxconn-Apple connection (Japan Focus)

What are the implications for global public sociology and labor studies when more than a score of Foxconn workers jump to their death and when a wave of protests, riots and strikes occur in their wake? This article documents the formation of a cross-border sociological intervention project and illustrates how sociological research fueled regional campaigns that gradually developed into a global campaign. This experience confirms the important political contribution that social science can make when linked with grassroots politics. The authors shed light on how social and economic injustice was creatively challenged by combining the strengths of workers, researchers and transnational movement activists. The study uses both quantitative (semi-structured questionnaires) and qualitative (in-depth interviews and participation observation) methods to gain insights concerning the experiences, world views and collective agency of Chinese workers who are struggling to make sense of the global production regime they inhabit and to contest the forces that shape their working and social lives.

Xu Lin: Top 10 Chinese provinces for the well-heeled (China.org.cn)

The latest GroupM Knowledge-Hurun Wealth Report has revealed that Beijing is home to the largest number of wealthy people in China, followed by Guangdong and Shanghai.
By the end of last year, the number of people on the Chinese mainland possessing a wealth in excess of 10 million yuan (US$1.62 million) rose by 3 percent from one year earlier, to 1.05 million. The number of those super-rich, defined as individuals with a personal wealth of 100 million yuan (US$16.2 million) or above, increased by 2 percent—to 64,500, 1,000 more than in 2011.

AP: China puts railways and houses at heart of new stimulus measures (Guardian)

SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
»  Host:Blogsport   »  Code:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa