Jan 3rd, 2016 by Gao

The Guangdong Six and the rule of law (of value): Preliminary theses on the December 3 crackdown (Chuǎng)

Why should we focus on supporting “reformist NGO staff” when workers and peasants are regularly arrested, beaten and sometimes killed for participation in forms of resistance more likely to improve their conditions or lead to more transformative movements? Also, how could we support these detainees in ways that might hasten their release, affect the legal precedent being set by this crackdown, or increase international solidarity among workers—as opposed to the merely symbolic actions proposed so far? …
1. This crackdown is unprecedented in the number of workers’ organizations and individuals targeted at the same time, and in the severity of criminal charges being brought against them. …
2. While both the mainstream media and initiators of the solidarity campaign have been calling the detainees “labor rights NGO staff,” these groups must also be understood as workers’ organizations, mainly formed and run by workers to support workers’ struggles. …
3. However, these organizations’ relationships with the state have been typical of NGO-type organizations in their ambiguity, at times collaborating in certain ways, while at other times encountering repression—not only now, but repeatedly over the past few years. …
4. Among possible reasons for the crackdown, crucial determining factors were the slowing of economic growth (in China and globally) and industrial relocation away from the PRD (Pearl River Delta). At the same time, the militancy of workers has been growing in this region, with the number of recorded strikes doubling since last year. …
5. Many commentators have emphasized the role of Xi Jinping’s distinctively authoritarian mode of governance, but that mode itself might be better understood as a response to these changing economic and social conditions. In contrast, we would rather highlight similarities between this increasing repression in China and developments in so-called “democratic” polities. …
6. Several commentators have described the crackdown as unlawful, or as undermining the rule of law. …
7. The crackdown hurts not only these particular organizations, activists, and the workers whose struggles they have been supporting. If the detainees are pronounced guilty and stay locked up, this could set a precedent for further persecution of other workers’ organizations, and discourage other workers and their supporters. …
8. If the charges are dropped, there is a chance that the channeling of workers’ struggles into reformist directions will increase. … However, this would still be less discouraging for workers and their supporters than the alternative. …
9. The international solidarity campaign to release these detainees is probably the largest international effort to support Chinese workers’ struggles in decades, but so far it hasn’t been framed as such, or surpassed typical activist methods.

Free Chinese labour activists now 馬上釋放中國勞權人士 (auf Facebook)

Christoph Plutte, Daniel Reineke: Weihnachten in Chinas Weltmarktfabriken bedeutet Knast für ArbeiteraktivistInnen (Vice)

Anfang Dezember begann in den Städten Guangzhou und Foshan, im größten Industriegebiet Südchinas, die—geht man nach Anzahl der betroffenen Personen und der Härte der Vorwürfe—bisher schärfste Verhaftungswelle gegen Arbeiterorganisationen und UnterstützerInnen von Arbeitskämpfen. Am 3. Dezember wurden bei Polizeirazzien in vier Organisationen 21 Personen festgenommen und verhört, sowie Büros und Wohnungen durchsucht, Akten und Computer beschlagt. Insgesamt befanden sich bis Anfang Januar mindestens 40 Personen zumindest kurzfristig in Polizeigewahrsam. Sechs AktivistInnen sind weiterhin in Untersuchungshaft, gegen sie wird strafrechtlich ermittelt.

Ellen David Friedman, Ashley Smith: Caught in China’s crackdown on labor radicals (Socialist Worker)
Sweeping the house clean—clean of labor NGOs (Chuǎng)
The criminalization of strikes since 2012 (Chuǎng)
No Way Forward, No Way Back: China in the Era of Riots (Chuǎng)
Labour activists detained for doing the job of the trade union (China Labour Bulletin)
Michelle Chen:  China’s Latest Crackdown on Workers Is Unprecedented (Nation)
China Detains Labor Activists as Authorities Sweep Industrial Hub (Wall Street Journal)

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.

Südchinesisches Meer | Energieabkommen | Korruption
Jun 10th, 2014 by Gao

Eklat um Territorialstreit bei Asiens Dialogkonferenz (Standard)
Gebietsstreitigkeiten in Ostasien – beanspruchte Wirtschaftszonen
Christoph Prantner: Konflikt im Südchinesischen Meer: Die Zeichen stehen auf Krieg (Standard)

Ashley Smith: Russia and China make a deal (Socialist Worker)

An alliance between Russia, the world’s largest energy producer, and China, the world’s largest energy consumer, will remake superpower relations …
Russia’s state-owned energy company, Gazprom, has promised to drill new gas fields in Siberia, construct a new 2,500-mile pipeline and ship 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas each year to the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation. China will invest $20 billion and Russia $55 billion to fund this massive project…
China will pay $350 per 1,000 cubic meters, according to National Public Radio, a bit lower than the European standard and dramatically lower than the average in Asia. China will in turn use the deal with Russia to pressure its other suppliers to lower their prices. By securing gas through an overland pipeline from Siberia, China lessens its dependence on imports of oil and gas through the chokepoint of the Straight of Malacca, which the U.S. polices with its Navy.

Johnny Erling: China verurteilt zwei Konzernchefs zum Tode (Standard)

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