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Alternativen zum US-Dollar?
Dez 29th, 2017 by Gao

Pepe Escobar: China plans to break petrodollar stranglehold (Asia Times)

Petrodollars have dominated the global energy markets for more than 40 years. But now, China is looking to change that by replacing the word dollars for yuan.
Nations, of course, have tried this before since the system was set up by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud back in 1974
Vast populations across the Middle East and Northern Africa quickly felt the consequences when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein decided to sell oil in euros. Then there was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi’s pan-African gold dinar blueprint, which failed to create a splash in an oil barrel.
Fast forward 25 years and China is making a move to break the United States petrodollar stranglehold. The plan is to set up oil-futures trading in the yuan, which will be fully convertible into gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong foreign exchange markets.

(Andere Version dieses Artikels: The Petro-Yuan Bombshell, CounterPunch)

Arbeitsplätze | Inselstreit
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Michael Schuman: Is China Stealing Jobs? It May Be Losing Them, Instead / 中国抢走美国人的工作?如今情况或已逆转 (New York Times)

As its economy has expanded, creating opportunities in many sectors, assembly line jobs are not as attractive as they once were. That has caused managers to raise wages to attract workers. At the same time, local governments in Shenzhen, a coastal trading hub that abuts Hong Kong, and other industrial centers have steadily increased the mandated minimum wage to improve the welfare of working families and pressure companies to produce more expensive, high-value products.
That combination has pushed wages for Chinese factory workers higher. Their monthly pay now averages $424, 29 percent more than just three years ago, the Japan External Trade Organization has estimated. Labor costs in China are now significantly higher than in many other emerging economies. Factory workers in Vietnam earn less than half the salary of a Chinese worker, while those in Bangladesh get paid under a quarter as much.

Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers? (chuang)
Christian Vits: Chinas langer Arm ins Meer (Standard)

Militärisches Säbelrasseln und Kriegsrhetorik – kaum ein Tag vergeht, an dem der Konflikt um Gebietsansprüche im Südchinesischen Meer in Asien ohne Schlagzeilen bleibt. Der Streit drohe zu einer „Wiege des Krieges“ zu werden, warnte etwa der chinesische Vizeaußenminister Liu Zhenmin Mitte Juli.

Xi Jinping gegen Liu Yunshan? | Qi Benyu | Wirtschaftskrieg | Chang Ping
Apr 24th, 2016 by Gao

雷斯:千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔谔(《中国纪检监察报》 – immer noch on-line!)| Übersetzung von Eleanor Goodman: A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor (ChinaFile)

一些领导干部因违纪违法受到处罚,几乎都谈到班子内部监督不够,说没人提醒我,如果当年有人咬咬耳朵,也不至于犯这么大的罪。小问题没人提醒,大问题无人批评,以致酿成大错,正所谓“千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔谔”啊!
——习近平总书记在参加河北省委常委班子专题民主生活会时的讲话

  “千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔谔”,见于《史记·商君列传》,是战国策士赵良对秦相商鞅的谏言。赵良要投入商鞅帐下,提出了一个前提条件:“终日正言而无诛”,换句话说,就是整天说真话但不被打击报复。赵良还举了前代的两个典型例子,周武王身边不乏谔谔之士,最后能够成就大业;殷纣王周围都是趋炎附势之徒,最后亡国亡身。商鞅欣然接受了这个条件,并且进一步引申出“貌言华也,至言实也,苦言药也,甘言疾也”的道理。不过,后世对此理解最透彻的,就是唐太宗李世民和魏徵了。

忠诚党员促习近平辞职的公开信 | Loyal Party Members Urge Xi’s Resignation(无界新闻~China Digital Times)
Peter Lee: Battle between Xi Jinping and propaganda chief plays out in Chinese media (Asia Times)

If my understanding of the current censorship crackdown in PRC is correct, western commentators focused on the deepening of Xi Jinping’s control over the media may have missed the point somewhat. It appears likely that Xi Jinping is primarily concerned with neutralizing control of a rival, Liu Yunshan, over the PRC propaganda apparatus, and Xi’s heightened control over media messaging is a consequence, rather than cause, of the current uproar.
To recap, there have been three relatively high-profile censorship kerfuffles involving PRC media in the last few weeks: the “resignation letter” posted on an obscure Xinjiang website; the higher profile Caixin report/spiking/report of spiking concerning an NPC delegate’s complaints concerning heavy-handed government messaging; and the big one, the so called “Yes Man” commentary posted on the website of the anti-corruption “Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.” …
The resignation letter is probably a piece of psyops, possibly abetted by the US. Nobody believes that the website’s managers knowingly put this thing up, it doesn’t read write like a genuine cadre whinge, and a focus of the investigation has been interrogation of the site’s technical personnel…
The most interesting item on the current agenda is the “Yes Man” piece. It is one of those densely argued historical analogy pieces that is trotted out in CCP-land when politics is about to get very, very serious. The essay was posted on March 1 and is clearly a response to the campaign against billionaire gadfly Ren Zhiqiang, whose Weibo account got axed after he made some pointed criticisms of restrictions on free speech…
The fact that this piece has been posted on the CCDI website has elicited a lot of excited commentary, since the head of the CCDI, Wang Qishan, is the standard bearer of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive and is seen as one of Xi’s key assets and supporters…
Observers should find even more puzzling that, over three weeks after this apparently incendiary piece was posted on the CCDC website, it is still there.
Let me repeat. It. Is. Still. There.
Rather odd treatment for a piece that is supposedly a stinging rebuke to Xi Jinping…

Emily Rauhala, Xu Yangjingjing: Chinese website publishes, then pulls, explosive letter calling for President Xi’s resignation (Washington Post)

Andrew J. Nathan, Rana Mitter, Dominic Meagher, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel Leese, Kristin Shi-Kupfer: Cracks in Xi Jinping’s Fortress? (ChinaFile)

Two remarkable documents emerged from China last week: the first is the essay “A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor”—available here in Chinese and translated here into English—which appeared on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The second is an open letter calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation, penned by a group describing themselves as “loyal Party members.” What, if anything, do these documents suggest about the stability of Xi’s regime?

Michael Schoenhals: Qi Benyu, last surviving member of Central Cultural Revolution Group goes to see Karl Marx (H-NET)

Qi Benyu (戚本禹), the last surviving member of the Central Cultural Revolution Group, passed away this morning, 20 April 2016. Qi hailed from Weihai in Shandong province, but had been born in Shanghai in 1931. He joined the CCP in 1949. … To historians, what has to count as one of the most interesting pieces penned by Qi is a report《关于“调查研究”的调查》dating from 12 May 1961. It amounted to a highly critical description of how intermediate and lower-level officials were supposedly perverting the Maoist policy of ”investigation and research.”

Alastair Crooke: The ‘Hybrid War’ of Economic Sanctions (Consortium News)

U.S. politicians love the “silver bullet” of economic sanctions to punish foreign adversaries, but the weapon’s overuse is driving China and Russia to develop countermeasures.

Edward Wong: Chinese Writer in Germany Says 3 Siblings Are Detained Over Xi Letter | 旅德作家长平称家人因公开信事件被扣押 (New York Times)

A liberal Chinese writer living in Germany has said security officers in China detained three members of his family in connection with a mysterious online letter that denounced the iron-fisted rule of President Xi Jinping.

Chang Ping: Targeting Beyond China | 我为什么拒绝与中国政府交易 (New York Times)

On March 27, Chinese police crashed my father’s 70th birthday party in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province. They accused my family of causing a forest fire the day before by lighting incense and burning paper as part of the annual tomb- sweeping festival to honor deceased relatives. Three of my siblings were summoned to the police station and found out quickly that they were not being detained over an arson charge.
As an exiled Chinese journalist living in Germany, I had written an article in mid-March for Deutsche Welle criticizing the Chinese government for “secretly kidnapping” a journalist, Jia Jia, in connection with a widely distributed open letter calling for the resignation of President Xi Jinping.

Sanktionen gegen Korea
Apr 6th, 2016 by Gao

Beijing kündigt Handelsrestriktionen mit Pjöngjang an (China Internet Information Centre)

Beijing hat den Import von Eisenerz aus Pjöngjang verboten, ebenso wie den Export von Treibstoffen für Flugzeuge und andere Ölprodukte, die zur Herstellung von Raketentreibstoff erforderlich sind. Das sind die Eckpunkte von Chinas Handelsrestriktionen gegen Nordkorea, die am Dienstag bekannt gegeben wurden. Das Handelsministerium hat eine entsprechende Liste auf der Webseite veröffentlicht. Diese gab weiters bekannt, China würde den Import von Gold und Seltenen Erden aus Nordkorea verbieten. Dies geschieht in Einklang mit den UN Sanktionen. Die Mehrheit der nordkoreanischen Exporte nach China sind Mineralien. …
Chinas Embargoerklärung zeige, dass Beijing die Resolution des UN-Sicherheitsrates uneingeschränkt anerkenne, sagte Shi Yongming, ein Wissenschaftler am chinesischen Institut für internationale Studien.

USA und China gemeinsam gegen Nordkorea (Zeit)
China announces trade sanctions against North Korea over nuclear tests (RT)

Beijing has banned imports of gold, coal, iron ore and rare earths from Pyongyang, in line with UN sanctions on North Korea. The world’s second-biggest economy will also stop selling jet fuel and other oil products used to make rocket fuel to its neighbor.
In March, the UN Security Council unanimously expanded sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang made a fourth nuclear test and launched a long-range rocket.
China’s participation is crucial to the sanctions, as it buys about two-thirds of North Korean exports, mostly coal, iron ore, gold, titanium, vanadium and rare earths…
However, the Chinese ban exempts coal from third countries through the North Korean port of Rason.
Beijing will also allow jet and rocket fuel exports to Pyongyang for „basic humanitarian needs“, which includes civilian passenger planes.

Svati Kirsten Narula: After North Korea’s nuclear testing, China will impose sanctions—with a major loophole (Quartz)

China says it is banning North Korean coal, gold, iron ore and other mineral imports and will stop exporting jet fuel to the country.
The loophole in this arrangement, however, is that trade of coal and minerals is permitted as long as the proceeds from such are for the “livelihood” of North Korean citizens and will not be put toward the government’s nuclear activities.

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.

Geostrategisches | Wanderarbeiter
Jun 21st, 2015 by Gao

Rückschlag für US-Dollar als Leitwährung: China zahlt Gazprom künftig in Yuan (RT)

China und die Russische Föderation machen Ernst mit ihrer Ankündigung, bei ihrer Geschäftsabwicklung den US-Dollar so weit wie möglich außen vor zu lassen. Sowohl die Exporte der Gazprom aus der Östlichen Sibirisch–Pazifischen Pipeline nach China als auch das Öl-Geschäft aus der Arktis werden in Zukunft in der Landeswährung Yuan getätigt.

Kenneth Shortgen jun.: There are now two reserve currencies as petro-yuan joins petro-dollar (Examiner)

Ever since Henry Kissinger forged the global petro-dollar agreement with Saudi Arabia and OPEC in 1973, the U.S. currency has remained the singular global reserve for over 40 years. However, on June 9 that sole monetary reign has come to an end as Russian gas giant Gazprom is now officially selling all oil in Chinese Yuan, making the petro-Yuan a joint global reserve, and ending America’s sole control over the world’s reserve currency.

Bart Gruzalski: An Economic Reason for the US vs. China Conflict (CounterPunch)

There are many reasons that the US is pushing on China in the South China Sea. Two articles have been published on Counterpunch in recent weeks exploring “why?” None mention an important economic reason that has, at least in part, motivated the US to go to war and is very much at stake in the growing dispute with China: the value of the dollar.

Steve LeVine: China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history (Quartz)

Much has been made of Beijing’s “resource grab” in Africa and elsewhere, its construction of militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea and, most recently, its new strategy to project naval power broadly in the open seas.
Yet these profiles of an allegedly grasping and treacherous China tend to consider its ambitions in disconnected pieces. What these pieces add up to is a whole latticework of infrastructure materializing around the world. Combined with the ambitious activities of Chinese companies, they are quickly growing into history’s most extensive global commercial empire.

Mel Gurtov: Rules and Rocks: The US-China Standoff Over the South China Sea Islands (Asia-Pacific Journal)

The long-running, multi-party dispute over control of islets in the South China Sea (SCS) is worsening both in rhetoric and provocative activity. Meeting in late May at the Shangri-La Dialogue on regional security, US and Chinese defense officials sparred over responsibility for the increased tension, though they stopped short of issuing threats. In fact, all sides to the dispute say they want to avoid violence, prefer a diplomatic resolution, and support freedom of navigation. Both the US and China insist that the dispute notwithstanding, their relationship overall is positive and enduring. But China, citing its indisputable sovereignty over the SCS, is backing its claim in ways that alarm the US and several Asian governments: construction of an air strip on the Spratly Islands, a land reclamation project that has artificially expanded its claimed territory, and most recently emplacement of two mobile artillery vehicles.
Accompanying these latest Chinese actions are acknowledgments by the foreign ministry of their military purposes. The original explanation of China’s expanding presence on the islands was that they were intended for search-and-rescue operations, environmental protection, and scientific work. Now the explanation is the need to protect Chinese territory. The Pentagon has responded by publicly discussing US options such as flyovers and navigation in Chinese-claimed air and sea space. A US navy surveillance aircraft has already challenged China’s sovereignty claim by overflying Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratlys, prompting a Chinese order (which the aircraft ignored) to leave the area. In the meantime, US military assistance to other claimants, including Vietnam and the Philippines, has enabled their coast guards to at least keep an eye on Chinese activities.

John Bellamy Foster: Marxism, Ecological Civilization, and China (Monthly Review)

China’s leadership has called in recent years for the creation of a new „ecological civilization.“ Some have viewed this as a departure from Marxism and a concession to Western-style „ecological modernization.“ However, embedded in classical Marxism, as represented by the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, was a powerful ecological critique. Marx explicitly defined socialism in terms consistent with the development of an ecological society or civilization — or, in his words, the „rational“ regulation of „the human metabolism with nature.“
In recent decades there has been an enormous growth of interest in Marx’s ecological ideas, first in the West, and more recently in China. This has generated a tradition of thought known as „ecological Marxism.“
This raises three questions: (1) What was the nature of Marx’s ecological critique? (2) How is this related to the idea of ecological civilization now promoted in China? (3) Is China actually moving in the direction of ecological civilization, and what are the difficulties standing in its path in this respect?

Lynette H. Ong: Breaking Beijing? (Foreign Affairs)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is leading one of the most vigorous campaigns against corruption and dissent since the Mao era. In fact, it appears that his campaign has extended as far as Canada; Beijing is attempting to extradite the Vancouver-based businessman Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching for alleged corrupt business dealings in the mid-1990s. Ching is the son of Cheng Weigao, a senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official who was charged with corruption in 2003. Some view these campaigns as the key to restoring the CCP’s strength and legitimacy. Others predict that they will be destabilizing because of the scale, opaqueness, and intensity—by attacking both “tigers” and “flies” (that is, high- and low-level officials), Xi is striking at the core of the patronage networks that hold the political system together, weakening the party from within. And by tightening the reins on public discourse through an increasingly centralized censorship apparatus, Xi is further diminishing his party’s legitimacy.

Chasing Shadows: Policing Migrants in Guangzhou’s Urban Villages (Chuang)
Patti Waldmeir: China’s rural migrants: life as a trashpicker in a Shanghai hole (Financial Times)

AP: Chinese women’s rights group collapses under official pressure (Guardian)

Suzanne Sataline: ‘Hong Kong Is Quite Seriously Divided’ (Foreign Policy)

Democracy — even a half-cooked version with Chinese characteristics — will not be coming soon to Hong Kong. On June 18, the city’s legislature, the Legislative Council, vetoed a constitutional amendment that would have let Hong Kong voters cast ballots for their chief executive — albeit for a maximum of 3 candidates, restricted and vetted by Beijing — in 2017.

Jonathan Mirsky: China’s Panchen fires a surprise ‚poisoned dart‘ at Beijing (Nikkei Asian Review)

China’s 11th Panchen Lama, Tibet’s second-highest religious leader, „discovered“ and installed by Beijing, recently expressed alarm that Buddhism in Tibet may soon exist in name only because of a shortage of monks — the implication being that the shortage was due to Chinese policy. Will this unexpected criticism be seen as a „poisoned arrow“ by the Chinese Communist Party, like the one for which his predecessor, the 10th Panchen Lama, was punished in the 1960s? And if so, will he, also, face punishment?

David Dawson: No, that trite folklore isn’t Chinese (World of Chinese)

Ignorance of other cultures can be a marvelous thing sometimes. It allows you to attribute whatever you want to that culture, and come off sounding wise.
Chinese wisdom is a popular target here. How many hokey bits of wisdom have been attributed to ancient Chinese philosophers? After all, sometimes it’s pretty easy to confuse them for pop culture pap.

Zhou Dongxu: China Prepares ‚Traditional Culture‘ Textbooks for Its Officials (Caixin)

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.

Urbanisierung | Wachstum | Lateinamerika
Jan 30th, 2015 by Gao

Eli Friedman: The Urbanization of the Chinese Working Class (Jacobin)

China has problems. Not despite thirty-five years of record-breaking growth, but because of it. The country’s dependence on exports and investment-led development has resulted in stark inequality, underconsumption, over-investment, disappearing arable land, exorbitant housing prices, and a looming environmental catastrophe. This leaves China increasingly vulnerable to a number of potential crises: external economic shocks, housing market collapse, mass defaults on public debt, and fits of social unrest.
What, then, might ensure the stability of Chinese capitalism for another generation?
For the state, a big part of the answer is urbanization. In the recently released National New Urbanization Plan (2014–2020), the central government calls for more than 100 million people to move to cities by 2020, pushing China’s urban population to 60 percent. The plan sets out admirable goals such as an expansion of public housing, education, and health services, a reduction in carbon emissions and other environmentally destructive activities, and preservation of agricultural land through limits on sprawl.

Jonathan Kaiman, Heather Stewart: Hard times return as China bids to bring its economic miracle to an end (Guardian)

Beijing insists slow growth is part of a plan to bring years of explosive expansion under control. But the global slowdown may make it hard to soft-land an economy still hooked on exports…
Official figures published last week showed that China’s GDP expanded by 7.4% in 2014. That was a significant drop from the 7.7% seen in 2013, and the weakest rate of growth since 1990…

Ralf Streck: China mischt den „Hinterhof“ der USA auf (Telepolis)

Nicht nur der Brics-Staat Russland treibt im Zuge der Sanktionspolitik der USA und Europas verstärkt Projekte in Lateinamerika voran (…). Den großen Wurf will nun das große Brics-Land China in der Region machen, die in den USA so gerne als „Hinterhof“ bezeichnet wird. In Washington ist man nicht sehr erfreut darüber, dass allein China im kommenden Jahrzehnt rund 250 Milliarden US-Dollar in Mittel- und Südamerika und der Karibik investieren will, womit sich das Handelsvolumen auf eine halbe Billion verdoppeln soll. Wichtigster Handelspartner Brasiliens (ebenfalls ein Brics-Staat) ist schon jetzt nicht mehr die USA, sondern China. Und das gilt auch schon für Chile und Peru. Über diese Entwicklung ist das Imperium im Norden besorgt. Das Tauwetter zwischen den USA und Kuba muss in diesem Zusammenhang gesehen werden.

Nebenbei:
Geoffrey Crothall: People’s Daily tries and fails to understand problem of wage arrears in China (China Labour Bulletin)
Ian Johnson: The Rat Tribe of Beijing (AlJazeera)
APA: Bürgermeister: Peking „wirklich nicht lebenswert“ (Standard)
Reuters: China stellt Milizen an der Grenze zu Nordkorea auf (Standard)
Catherine Phillips: $242 Billion High-Speed Beijing-Moscow Rail Link Approved (Newsweek)
APA: Chinesen bauen Bostoner U-Bahn (Standard)

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