Lehrer | Zhou Yongkang | Australien | China Airlines
Jun 20th, 2016 by Gao

China’s teachers: The unsung heroes of the workers’ movement (China Labour Bulletin)

Images of worker activism in China tend to be dominated by factory workers and, more recently, coal miners and steel workers. However, some of the largest, best organized and most determined worker protests of the last few years have been staged by teachers.
Teachers make up less than two percent of China’s overall workforce but they account for about four percent of the strikes and protests recorded on China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map. Moreover, unlike workers in privately-owned factories, most teachers are employed by the state and their protests often pose a direct challenge to local government officials and administrators.

Xinhua: Son of Zhou Yongkang sentenced to 18 years in prison (China Daily)

A court in central China’s Hubei Province on Wednesday sentenced Zhou Bin, son of Zhou Yongkang, to 18 years in prison for taking bribes and illegal business operations.
Zhou Bin was also fined 350.2 million yuan (53 million U.S. dollars) and all of his illegally obtained assets will be confiscated, according to the verdict of Yichang City Intermediate People’s Court.

Liam Ward: Radical Chinese labour in Australian history (Marxist Left Review)

Flick through any mainstream book on Australian history and chances are you’ll find some version of the phrase “cheap Chinese labour”. Historians usually employ it to explain the alleged centrality of the organised working class in establishing racist anti-Chinese immigration laws, particularly the cluster of federal government legislation broadly known as the White Australia policy. This competition from pliant non-union labour was interpreted through the racial supremacist ideas of the time and, so the argument goes, prompted unionists to respond with vociferous calls for the total exclusion of non-white immigrants.
But a subtle shadow tracing through the history books suggests a problem with the argument. Time and again, often without any significant conclusions being drawn, we see passing reference to Chinese workers in Australia organising, striking and generally giving hell to their employers. These are fleeting glimpses of a neglected history of class struggle waged by Chinese workers whose memory continues to be dismissed as both separate from and somehow a threat to the workers’ movement.

Nele Husmann: China Airlines darf nicht nach Athen fliegen (AeroTelegraph)

Die griechische Regierung hat China Airlines eine Absage erteilt: Ihre Flugzeuge dürfen nicht in Athen landen. Das angespannte Verhältnis zwischen Taiwan und der Volksrepublik China ist wohl der Grund.

Bergarbeiterproteste in Heilongjiang
Mrz 14th, 2016 by Gao



Jane Perlez, Huang Yufan: Mass Layoffs in China’s Coal Country Threaten Unrest (New York Times)
Peter Symonds: Thousands of coal miners protest over unpaid wages (WSWS)

Thousands of Chinese coal miners protested last week in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang after provincial governor Lu Hao boasted to the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing that wages at the huge state-owned Longmay Mining Group were being paid in full and on time.
The unrest follows the announcement earlier this month by employment and welfare minister Yin Weimin that 1.3 million coal miners and 500,000 steel workers will lose their jobs as the government slashes overcapacity in basic industry. The protests are a sign of the acute social tensions building up as the Chinese economy continues to slow.

Lucy Hornby: China provinces rail against Beijing plan to tackle overcapacity (Financial Times)

[A]t the annual session of the National People’s Congress, … a central government plan to tackle crippling industrial overcapacity has met a chorus of complaints over who is to foot the bill.
For the past two weeks, Beijing has openly acknowledged that solving the problem will involve job losses — almost 6m, by some estimates. Beijing has proposed that the central government establish a Rmb100bn ($15bn) fund to retrain workers but specified that local governments and the companies themselves must foot part of the bill. In return, banks would be expected to provide new loans.
“Enterprises should be the major actors, local governments should play a co-ordinating role and the central government should provide due support, while the responsibility for making sure that overcapacity reductions happen in a locality will be on the relevant provincial-level government,” the finance ministry said in its annual report released on Saturday.
The problem with this cost-sharing solution is that local governments in coal, oil or steel-dependent regions are seeing their revenues hit as their local champions go broke. While apparently supportive of Premier Li Keqiang’s plan, regional representatives have been using the National People’s Congress to suggest Beijing should be shouldering more of the burden.
Lu Hao, governor of resource-dependent Heilongjiang province on the border with Siberia, is one of them. In the past two years the province has weathered protests by unpaid teachers and angry retirees of China National Petroleum Corp, the national oil company. In October state-owned enterprise Longmay Coal announced it would have to lay off 100,000 of its bloated 248,000 workforce.

Chris Buckley: Official Admits He Gave Misleading Account of Chinese Miners’ Plight (New York Times)
Zhuang Pinghui: Miners’ protest: ailing Chinese coal firm Heilongjiang Longmay told to pay workers (South China Morning Post)


David Stanway: China’s failing state firms need to reform themselves: governor (Reuters)
Twin meetings, mass layoffs and failed reforms (Chinaworker)
Schwieriger Abbau von Überkapazitäten (Deutsche Welle)

Feb 1st, 2015 by Gao

AP: Coal Production Drops in China for 1st Time in 14 Years (New York Times)

China recorded its first drop in coal production since 2000 last year, as the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter pulls back on its use of the fossil fuel and switches to cleaner energy sources.
According to the country’s national coal association, China produced 3.5 billion tons of coal in the first 11 months of 2014, 2.1 percent less than the same period in 2013. The association estimates the drop for the entire year will reach 2.5 percent.

The Guardian view on coal in China: digging down (Guardian)

The People’s Republic appears to be mining and burning less fuel than before. Excellent news for the planet – if it’s true.

Jamil Anderlini, Lucy Hornby: China moves to limit coal glut (Financial Times; Link via Google News)

China has slapped a moratorium on new coal mines in its eastern regions as it battles an enormous supply glut.
As with swaths of Chinese industry, coal production is racked by overcapacity and falling prices, contributing to the slowdown that saw the economy expand 7.4 per cent last year, the slowest annual pace in nearly a quarter of a century.

China’s miners take a stand as coal production falls for first time in 14 years (China Labour Bulletin)

While environmentalists are hailing the drop in China’s coal production last year, it is the country’s miners who are feeling the immediate impact, with mines closing down and wages withheld for months on end…
[M]ore and more miners have staged protests demanding payment of wages, social security and redundancy pay. And it is not just coal miners, iron ore miners, who are also affected by the economic slowdown, have staged protests as well. In the final quarter of 2014, CLB’s Strike Map recorded a total of 17 protests by miners across the country, compared with just a handful of protests in the whole of the previous year.

AFP: China manufacturing shrinks for the first time in two years, survey shows (Guardian)

China’s manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in more than two years in January, an official survey showed on Sunday, signalling further downward pressure on the world’s second-largest economy.
The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released by the national bureau of statistics came in at 49.8 last month, down from the 50.1 recorded in December.
The index, which tracks activity in factories and workshops, is considered a key indicator of the health of China’s economy. A figure above 50 signals expansion, while anything below indicates contraction.

AFP: China says no room for ‚western values‘ in university education (Guardian)

China’s education minister has vowed to ban university textbooks which promote “western values”, state media said, in the latest sign of ideological tightening under President Xi Jinping.
“Never let textbooks promoting western values appear in our classes,” minister Yuan Guiren said, according to a report late Thursday by China’s official Xinhua news agency.
“Remarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China” and “smear socialism” must never appear in college classrooms, he added according to Xinhua.

Goldabbau in Ghana | Jin Wei über Tibet | Interview mit Wang Hui
Jul 9th, 2013 by Gao

Yang Jiao: Chinese Illegal Gold Miners in Ghana (China in Africa)

This is not the first time Chinese illegal miners were detained in Ghana, but certainly the most intense since Ghana’s last election. Large influx of Chinese miners in mineral-rich African countries is rare. But the incident in Ghana points to vulnerabilities in the governance of resources and state control of transnational capital and migration as China and many African countries embrace neoliberal economic policies.

紀碩鳴:中共中央黨校社科教研部靳薇教授 重啟談判解決涉藏問題《亞洲週刊》/毕研韬)


Bold new proposals (Economist)

Welcome signs that some officials are at last starting to question policies on Tibet

pra: „Instrumentalisierte“ Selbstverbrennungen in Tibet (Standard)
Gabriele Battaglia: China, a new equality and the world. A conversation with Wang Hui (Asia Times)

We all know [in China] there is a crisis of equality, but how to define it? At the end of the ’70s, China’s socialism was in crisis, so some people attacked equality, especially the state-owned enterprises, by suggesting a new liberal agenda: privatization, property rights and so on.
At the same time they suggested a new kind of equality, calling it „equality of opportunities“ and the legal frame followed. But this came to be the legitimation of an unequal process. Everybody can see how the workers suffered from privatization, which started in the mid-’90s when they became unemployed and the compensation was very low or none at all. On behalf of the market we had deprivation, they took away rights and property from the hands of labor while arguing for equality of opportunities.

Foxconn | Ghana | Nikaraguakanal
Jun 11th, 2013 by Gao

Rutvica Andrijašević, Devi Sacchetto: China may be far away but Foxconn is on our doorstep (Open Democracy)

Drawing on support from permissive governments, multinational manufacturer Foxconn has set up shop in Central Europe. Yet the transitory nature of the many migrant workers employed in these factories will have serious consequences for the future of labour in Europe.

Jonathan Kaiman, Afua Hirsch: Ghana arrests 168 Chinese nationals in illegal mining crackdown (Guardian)

The arrests follow a series of pit collapses in which dozens of Ghanaian illegal miners have died, raising concern about the prevalence of the practice in Africa’s second-largest gold producer after South Africa. … The South China Morning Post estimates that more than 50,000 Chinese goldminers have been to Ghana since 2005, two-thirds of them from Shanglin, an impoverished county in southern Guangxi province where news of the gold rush spread by word of mouth.

Jonathan Watts: Nicaragua gives Chinese firm contract to build alternative to Panama Canal (Guardian)

Nicaragua has awarded a Chinese company a 100-year concession to build an alternative to the Panama Canal, in a step that looks set to have profound geopolitical ramifications. The … project … will reinforce Beijing’s growing influence on global trade and weaken US dominance over the key shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. … Under the initial plans for the project, the government was expected to be the majority shareholder, with construction taking 10 years and the first ship passing through the canal within six years. It is unclear if this is still the case.

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