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Maoisten
Apr 12th, 2017 by Gao

Brian Hioe: A Red Star Over China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:紅星照耀中國?(破土)

Perhaps one of the most significant intellectual formations operating in today’s world, China’s New Left arose in the 1990s in opposition to the turn of China away from a centrally planned economy and a return to free market principles after the Deng Xiaoping period. More broadly, the New Left project emphasizes the growing disparities between rural and urban areas in post-Deng China, the sacrifice of principles of equality in order to drive toward development, and calls for a critical revaluation of China’s Maoist legacy in light of China’s present—inclusive of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
What is “New Left” is hard to pin down. The name “New Left” was a term appropriated from conservative critics who were quick to claim the New Left to be some form of resurgent Red Guard fanaticism. In that sense, “New Left” may be a misleading term, insofar as the Chinese New Left is a contemporary phenomenon, and one with little to do with the western New Left of the late 1960s. The New Left largely consists of academics, many of which have studied abroad and are influenced by forms of western critical theory. The New Left finds itself in opposition to the “Liberals” who welcome China’s capitalization and call for the institution of western style political reforms along the lines of America or of western European powers.

中國的新左派可說是當代世界中最重要的知識分子群體之一,他們在 1990 年代因為反對中國在鄧小平時代過後放棄計畫經濟,轉向自由市場原理而竄起。更大程度上,新左派的研究課題著重於後鄧小平時期城鄉差距的持續擴大,以及為求發展而犧牲平等原則,並呼籲對毛澤東時代的遺產進行批判性再評價以回應當前局勢,其中包括大躍進和文化大革命。
   「新左派」究竟是什麼,其實很難明確定義。「新左派」一名取自於那些急於將新左派定性為某種紅衛兵狂熱再現的保守派批評者。照那樣說來,「新左派」這個詞恐怕會產生誤導,因為中國的新左派是個當代現象,和 1960 年代晚期西方的新左派幾乎毫無關聯。新左派的成員大多是學者,其中很多人都曾出國留學,受到各種西方批判理論影響。新左派與歡迎中國走向資本主義化,呼籲依照美國及西歐強國的路線進行西方式政治改革的「自由派」彼此對立。

Brian Hioe: Anti-Capitalist Within China, Imperialist Outside of China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:中國國內的反資本主義者,出了境外卻是帝國主義者?(破土)

From a left perspective, the Chinese New Left’s critique of capitalism remains quite sympathetic when confined to within China’s borders. With the recent arrest of labor activists in Guangzhou, Chinese New Left publication Ground Breaking, for example, was one of the first to rally for support—even at risk to itself. Ground Breaking has reacted similarly in past incidents in which the Chinese state acts on behalf of capital and against the interests of the working class. Perhaps in this respect, given the threat of state suppression, they are to be praised for their bravery on certain issues. It is the New Left’s international viewpoints, concerning outside of China, which may ultimately be most problematic.

從左翼觀點來看,新左派對資本主義的批判多少還是能引人共鳴的,只要它的適用範圍限於中國國內。比方說,近日多位勞工運動者在廣州被逮捕之後,中國新左派的網刊「破土」(Ground Breaking,GB)是首先發動聲援的,卻不顧自身同樣面臨風險。而在過去幾次中國政府為資本利益護航,侵害工人階級利益的事件之中,「破土」也採取了同樣的行動。或許就這點來說,考慮到國家鎮壓的威脅,他們確實應當為了勇於聲援某些議題而得到讚揚。可是新左派的國際主義觀點一旦涉及境外議題,恐怕就再令人存疑不過了。

Chris Buckley: Maoists for Trump? In China, Fans Admire His Nationalist Views (New York Times) 储百亮:特朗普的出现让中国毛左为之一振(New York Times)

They protest, picket and sing to defend Mao’s memory, yearning for the East to be red again. But lately some of China’s Maoists are finding inspiration in an unlikely insurgent in the West: Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Trump “has torn up the old rules of the ruling elites, not just of the capitalist West,” said Zhang Hongliang, a polemicist who is the loudest proponent of what could be loosely called “Maoists for Trump.” In a recent essay, Mr. Zhang lauded the American president as being alone among national leaders daring “to openly promote the political ideas of Chairman Mao.”
President Xi Jinping of China will be sizing up Mr. Trump during a visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida this week, in the leaders’ first summit meeting. Meanwhile, many ordinary Chinese people have also been taking the measure of the new American president and have been bewildered, incensed and yet, sometimes, inspired.
The global wave of nationalist, anti-establishment sentiment that Mr. Trump rode to power has washed ashore in China, encouraging a hard-left fringe that is hostile to capitalism and Western influence, and that the Communist Party has long sought to cultivate — and contain.

北京——他们用抗议、纠察和歌唱来捍卫对毛泽东的记忆,渴望再现东方红。但最近,让中国的一些毛派人士为之一振的,是西方世界里的一个出人意料的叛逆者:唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)。
   特朗普“不仅撕裂了西方资本主义世界的旧有规则,还撕裂了统治精英的旧有规则,”能言善辩的“拥护特朗普的毛派”中坚力量张宏良说。在前不久的一篇文章里,张宏良称赞特朗普是唯一一位“敢于公开宣传毛主席政治理念”的国家领导人。
   中美首脑首次峰会于下周在佛罗里达州马阿拉歌庄园举行之际,到访的中国国家主席习近平将对特朗普作出评估。与此同时,很多普通的中国人也在掂量新上台的美国总统的斤两,他或许让他们困惑,或许激起了他们的怒火,但有时也能让他们感到振奋。
   把特朗普送上了权力巅峰的民族主义和反建制情绪正在全球泛滥,中国也不例外。这种潮流让敌视资本主义和西方影响的中国极左派人士受到了鼓励,他们是共产党一直在培育——以及限制——的一个边缘群体。

Kulturrevolution – Fellner, Brown, Wemheuer, Mai/Chou, Rittenberg, Wasserstrom
Mai 15th, 2016 by Gao

Hannes Fellner: »Rebellion ist gerechtfertigt« (junge Welt)

Die »Große Proletarische Kulturrevolution« war ein Zeitabschnitt in der Geschichte der Volksrepublik China, der widersprüchlicher nicht sein konnte. Die Kulturrevolution stand und steht gleichzeitig für Voluntarismus und diktatorische Maßnahmen von den um Mao Zedong versammelten Kadern der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas (KPCh), aber auch für eine partizipative und demokratische Massenbewegung. Sie stand und steht gleichzeitig für gesellschaftliches Chaos und Not, aber auch für ökonomischen, sozialen und kulturellen Fortschritt, welcher die Grundlagen für den Wirtschaftsboom des Landes ab den späten 1970er Jahren legte. Sie stand und steht gleichzeitig für Chinas Besinnung nach innen und seine internationale Isolation, aber auch für den Beginn seines Aufstiegs zur Weltmacht.

Ian Johnson: Jeremy Brown on the Cultural Revolution at the Grass Roots | 50周年纪念之外,被忽略的文革历史 (New York Times)

Jeremy Brown, 39, a history professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, studied in Harbin and did research in Tianjin, focusing especially on the rural-urban divide in China under Mao Zedong. Most recently, he helped edit “Maoism at the Grassroots: Everyday Life in China’s Era of High Socialism.” In an interview, he discussed the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, what we miss in elite-focused narratives from that time and his pursuit of flea-market historiography.

Felix Wemheuer: 50 Jahre Kulturrevolution: Der Kampf geht weiter (Deutsche Welle)

50 Jahre nach dem Ausbruch der „Großen Proletarischen Kulturrevolution“ [hat] die chinesische Gesellschaft noch immer keinen Konsens gefunden, wie Maos Massenbewegung zu beurteilen ist.

Felix Wemheuer: Kulturrevolution und die Neue Linke im Westen (Deutsche Welle)
Jun Mai, Oliver Chou: Cultural Revolution, 50 years on (South China Morning Post)

Fifty years ago today, China issued a top directive calling on its people to rid society of “members of the bourgeoisie threatening to seize political power from the proletariat” – marking the start of a decade-long violent class struggle.
For 10 tumultuous years from 1966, the country underwent massive sociopolitical upheaval that saw countless politicians and intellectuals driven to their deaths, civilians killed in armed conflicts, and cultural relics and artefacts destroyed. The official death toll numbered more than 1.7 million.

Wen Liu: Sidney Rittenberg on Cultural Revolution 50 years later, its violence, its lessons (WA China Watch Digest)

This website was not meant to be this political. But one cannot watch China and skip a historic date, May 16, the 50th anniversary of the official start of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976, which served as perhaps more than anything dark, scorched, bloody yet fertile soil for, as well as a huge rear-view mirror of, today’s China of skyscrapers, bullet trains, Xi Jinping, and even Internet censorship. One cannot also watch China and forget that it was in 1972, during the Cultural Revolution, that President Nixon went to meet Mao in Beijing. To help us reflect on the Cultural Revolution, its meaning, its violence, its lessons, there is no better person than a great fellow Washingtonian, journalist, scholar, a participant as well as a prisoner of not only the Cultural Revolution, but for 35 years Mao’s revolution: Sidney Rittenberg.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom: How Will China Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Cultural Revolution? (Nation)

This month marks the anniversary of two surges of youth activism in China. One, the May 4 Movement, began with student protests 97 years ago. The other is the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, which is sometimes said to have begun with the first Red Guards putting up wall posters in late May of 1966. May 4 and Red Guard activists were once seen as part of related movements, but now they tend to be regarded as radically dissimilar.

Panama-Papiere
Apr 6th, 2016 by Gao

Matthias Müller: Sprachlos in Peking (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Staatschef Xi Jinping ist Korruption ein Dorn im Auge. Die Enthüllungen der «Panama Papers» wird er deshalb mit Argusaugen verfolgen. Auch Mitglieder seiner Familie nutzen jedoch «Briefkastenfirmen». …
Welche Chinesen Briefkastenfirmen gründeten, bleibt im Dunkeln. Deren Namen dürften für eine breite chinesische Öffentlichkeit jedoch keine grosse Überraschung darstellen. Im Fokus steht Deng Jiagui , der seit 1996 mit der älteren Schwester von Staats- und Parteichef Xi Jinping, Qi Qiaoqiao, verheiratet ist. Das Ehepaar war bereits 2012 in Visier westlicher Medien geraten, als die Nachrichtenagentur «Bloomberg» enthüllte, dass es über Vermögenswerte in Höhe von mehreren Hundert Millionen Dollar verfüge.

Huang Zheping: China’s elite—including Xi Jinping—are linked to offshore deals that hid millions of dollars (Quartz)

At least eight top Chinese officials are linked to offshore deals through associates, an investigation into 11 million leaked documents from one of the world’s largest offshore law firms shows. They include the brother-in-law of Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose offshore firms went dormant before Xi came into power, and the granddaughter of a former top leader who bought an offshore company for just $1.

Juliette Garside, David Pegg: Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility (Guardian)

The eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers.
The documents show the granddaughter of a powerful Chinese leader became the sole shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies while still a teenager. Jasmine Li had just begun studying at Stanford University in the US when the companies were registered in her name in December 2010. Her grandfather Jia Qinglin was at that time the fourth-ranked politician in China…
Also in the data are Hu Dehua, the businessman son of Hu Yaobang, the Communist party’s general secretary ousted in 1987…

Johnny Erling: Der Panama-Skandal erreicht Chinas Führung (Standard)
Panama Papers – The Power Players: Deng Jiagui | Li Xiaolin (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
Powerful force is behind Panama Papers (Global Times)

A huge leak of confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm alleged to have been a facilitator of money laundering for its clients has shocked international public opinion. Over 11 million documents were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. These documents have been reportedly investigated by some 300 global journalists for a year.
The Western media soon collected the most eye-catching information from the documents and leaders of non-Western countries have been scrutinized. Most media led with the allegations that a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin had laundered $1 billion. The Western media has opaquely described it as „Putin’s money laundering.“ …
The Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it. Information that is negative to the US can always be minimized, while exposure of non-Western leaders, such as Putin, can get extra spin.
In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West. In the long-run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations.

In den Medienberichten weniger prominent platziert:
Tsai Ing-wens Bruder hatte Beziehungen zu Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca (Radio Taiwan International)

Tsai Ying-yang, der Bruder der kommenden Präsidentin Tsai Ing-wen, hatte Beziehungen zur Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca. Das wird aus den kürzlich veröffentlichten Dokumenten der im Rahmen der Steuerhinterziehung genutzen panamaischen Anwaltskanzlei deutlich. …
Die Kanzlei [Mossack Fonseca] wurde 1977 von Jürgen Mossack, dem Sohn des Waffen-SS Rottenführers Erhard Mossack gegründet. Der US-Auslandsgeheimdienst CIA führte seinen Vater nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg für Spionagezwecke in Panama. Dort gründete der Sohn Jürgen Mossack die in die Schlagzeilen geratene Kanzlei zusammen mit dem panamaischen Anwalt Ramón Fonseca Mora.

Mia Lamar, Ned Levin: Five Things to Know About Hong Kong and the ‘Panama Papers’ (Wall Street Journal)

Hong Kong features prominently in a massive trove of documents allegedly leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., according to reports published by international media outlets…
Hong Kong Was Mossack Fonseca’s Busiest Office…
China Laws Help Drive Hong Kong Offshore Activity… Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which went public in New York in 2014 in a record-beating $25 billion offering, is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for instance.

Peter Wolter, Ernst Wolff: »Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt« (junge Welt)

Vom Skandal um die Panama-Konten profitieren in erster Linie die US-amerikanischen Steueroasen…
Es ist ganz offensichtlich ein Manöver der USA, sich selbst als weltweit beste Steueroase zu präsentieren. Wenn man die bisher vorliegenden Informationen über diese Panama-Papiere heranzieht, fällt auf, dass dort vor allem Gegner der USA angeschwärzt werden – die USA selber bleiben aber außen vor. Banken dieses Landes werden überhaupt nicht erwähnt, ebenso wenig Konzerne. Soweit ich weiß, werden auch keine Privatpersonen aus den USA genannt.
Das Interessante dabei ist, was nicht veröffentlicht wurde. Durch die Publizierung von Teilen dieser Papiere wird nämlich Druck auf Steuerhinterzieher aller Länder ausgeübt, ihr Schwarzgeld anderswo in Sicherheit zu bringen – niemand von ihnen kann wissen, ob nicht auch er in der Liste steht. Diese Leute werden sich vorsichtshalber eine neue Steueroase suchen: die USA. …
[Die USA] haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren – weitgehend unbemerkt von der breiten Öffentlichkeit – als neues Steuerparadies etabliert. Seit der Jahrtausendwende haben Regierung und Finanzkreise in Washington einen Krieg zum Beispiel gegen die Schweiz geführt: Deren Banken wurden genötigt, das Bankgeheimnis aufzuweichen. …
Parallel dazu wurden aber die US-Bundesstaaten Nevada, Delaware, South-Dakota und Wyoming als Standorte für derartige Konten etabliert. Dort gilt das Bankgeheimnis ohne Einschränkungen, den Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt. …
Natürlich ist es gut, dass einige dieser Schiebereien jetzt an die Öffentlichkeit kommen. Aber letzlich versucht doch nur ein Übeltäter, andere Bösewichte zu beschmutzen, um von sich selbst abzulenken. Die wahren Schuldigen am Finanzchaos, die ganz großen Firmen und die Finanzinstitute der Wallstreet, bleiben mit Sicherheit ungeschoren.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak (Craig Murray)

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

  • Ford Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment
  • Rockefeller Family Fund
  • W K Kellogg Foundation
  • Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Clifford Coonan: Panama Papers: China describes revelations about its leaders as ‘groundless’ (Irish Times)

Und anderswo:
Self-censorship sensed as Japan’s TV stations replace outspoken anchors (Japan Times)

Hosts Ichiro Furutachi of TV Asahi’s influential “Hodo Station” and Shigetada Kishii of the TBS evening news program “News 23″ will both be replaced in April. NHK, too, is considering pulling longtime anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya from its “Close-up Gendai” news and features program.
Furutachi has often been criticized by the government and its supporters for his commentaries…
Kuniya’s departure has long been whispered about as she is known for asking big-name politicians tough questions. However, she has survived until now.
Similarly, Kishii expressed opposition to contentious security bills before they cleared the Diet last September and called on fellow opponents to speak up.

Siegfried Knittel: Beschneidung der Pressefreiheit in Japan nimmt zu (Standard)

Journalisten beklagen ein zunehmend repressives Klima in Japan. Der Rücktritt dreier bekannter Fernsehmoderatoren sorgt für Unruhe…
Ins Blickfeld der ausländischen Presse geriet Furutachi, Macher der abendlichen Nachrichtensendung „Hodo Station“ des linksliberalen Asahi TV, im vergangenen Jahr, nachdem der Kommentator Shigeaki Koga in Furutachis Nachrichtensendung bekanntgemacht hatte, dass der Sender ihn auf Druck der Regierung zum Rücktritt gedrängt habe. Nun traf es Furutachi wegen seiner in „Hodo Station“ geäußerten Zweifel an der Verfassungskonformität der im vergangenen Jahr verabschiedeten Verteidigungsgesetze selbst.

TTP | Klimawandel | Hongkong
Mai 4th, 2015 by Gao

Patrick L. Smith: The real story behind Shinzo Abe’s visit: China, TPP and what the media won’t tell you about this state visit (Salon)

In agreements reached as soon as they met Monday, Abe and President Obama have taken defense ties to an intimacy unprecedented in history. As it stands now, this breaches Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, the “no-war” clause barring Japan from military activities other than those in direct defense of its shores.
On the White House steps Tuesday, Abe confirmed his conscription as a commissioned officer in Washington’s campaign to get its ambitious trade pact, the corporate-drafted Trans-Pacific Partnership, signed this year. “We will continue to cooperate to lead the TPP talks through their last phase,” Abe said in one of those side-by-side tableaux commonly staged for the press and the television cameras…
You will hear 55 times over the next little while that, no, the escalation of defense ties has nothing to do with containing the mainland. And no, the TPP may happen to exclude China but is not intended to exclude China.

Reuters: Climate change threatens major building projects, says Chinese expert (Guardian)

Zheng Guoguang, head of China’s meteorological administration, told Monday’s issue of state newspaper the Study Times that the increase in recent weather disasters such as floods, typhoons, droughts and heat waves had a “big connection” to climate change.
Such catastrophes were a threat to big schemes such as the Three Gorges Dam and a high-altitude railway to Tibet, he said.

Liu Qin: China govt cancels green festival as public consciousness on environment grows (China Dialogue)

Chinese authorities last week ordered the last-minute cancellation of an environmental festival in Beijing that was planned to mark Earth Day, a global event aimed at raising awareness of climate change and the Paris summit at the end of the year.
China’s best-known environmental group, Friends of Nature, asked people not to turn up to its Beijing Earth Day Environmental Protection Festival after Beijing police said the event was not permitted to go ahead and that the „online impact“ of the event be toned down.

Suzanne Sataline: What Happened to Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Movement? (Foreign Policy)

The activists from last year’s massive democracy occupation have splintered. Nowhere is this clearer than on college campuses represented by the Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the architects of the fall 2014 pro-democracy protests that roiled the Chinese territory. Students at three local universities have voted to quit the league of university students; more vote drives are underway. Critics, some swayed by rising nativist anger, say student leaders’ insistence on passive resistance at the height of the protests doomed the push for open elections for the city’s chief executive, instead of a slate of candidates pre-vetted by Beijing. As the wounded student group tries to shore up its membership, its allies worry that the loss of a united student front will push the already anemic pro-democracy camp closer to irrelevance.

Conal Urquhart: Chinese workers in Israel sign no-sex contract (Guardian)

Chinese workers at a company in Israel have been forced to agree not to have sex with or marry Israelis as a condition of getting a job…
The labourers are also forbidden from engaging in any religious or political activity. The contract states that offenders will be sent back to China at their own expense.
About 260,000 foreigners work in Israel, having replaced Palestinian labourers during three years of fighting. When the government first allowed the entrance of the foreign workers in the late 1990s, ministers warned of a „social timebomb“ caused by their assimilation with Israelis.
More than half the workers are in the country illegally…
Advocates of foreign workers, who also come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania, say they are subject to almost slave conditions, and their employers often take away their passports and refuse to pay them.

Michael Forsythe: Who Owns Shares in Wang Jianlin’s Empire? Names Are Just a Start (New York Times)

James Palmer: Forced Disappearances, Brutality, and Communist China’s Politics of Fear (Vice)

Militär | Korruption
Feb 16th, 2015 by Gao

Michael S. Chase, Jeffrey Engstrom, Tai Ming Cheung, Kristen A. Gunness, Scott Warren Harold, Susan Puska, Samuel K. Berkowitz: China’s Incomplete Military Transformation. Assessing the Weaknesses of the People’s Liberation Army (PDF; Rand Corporation)

[T]he new core missions of the PLA are ones that received official recognition under the rubric of former President Hu Jintao’s “New Historic Missions” concept. These missions call on the PLA to perform internal and external missions in peacetime and include “participating in emergency rescue and disaster relief,” both internally in China and increasingly internationally; “subduing subversive and sabotage attempts and cracking down on separatist forces” to support antiterror efforts; “accomplishing security provision and guarding tasks,” both at home and abroad through involvement in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations (PKOs); “merchant vessel protection” from nonstate actors and possibly state actors; “evacuation of Chinese nationals” for the hundreds of thousands of overseas workers in countries where security has significantly deteriorated; and “security support for China’s interests overseas,” such as protecting maritime commerce through antipiracy operations.
These broad new missions focus specifically on the CCP’s evolving conceptions of how the PLA can “support China’s peaceful development,” on which CCP legitimacy is largely based…
[T]he PLA enjoys an almost absolute immunity from external oversight, budgetary transparency, and/or accountability to the legislature for how it spends its funds and operates. As a consequence, the PLA is believed to be riddled with corruption (…). Examples of such corruption abound, from the 2000 arrest of Ji Shengde, Director of Military Intelligence in the PLA’s General Staff Department (GSD); to the 2012 detention of the former deputy director of the General Logistics Department (GLD), Lieutenant General Gu Junshan; and culminating in the 2014 arrest and expulsion from the Party of former CMC Vice Chairman Xu Caihou. Xu’s co–Vice Chairman, General Guo Boxiong, is also widely rumored to be under investigation for personal and family members’ corruption (…).
Another tendency is to avoid training sufficiently or under challenging conditions. Often, exercises are seen as failures if “red” (i.e., the PLA) does not win, so exercises are not seen as a chance to identify problems during training that can be remedied before actual wartime operations commence. Additionally, political pressures and a culture of treating exercises and training as opportunities to impress one’s superiors further erode the utility of exercises as tools to surface and address problems in military organization, planning, and execution…
The cornerstone of China’s approach to nuclear weapons, ever since its first nuclear test in 1964, has been its no-firstuse policy. Chinese writings on military strategy and missile force campaigns are generally consistent with this approach… Although its nuclear force is relatively small, China is not standing still.

Katie Hunt: China’s military not ready ‚to fight and win future wars,‘ new report says (CNN)
Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga: U.S. Suggestion For Japanese Patrols in South China Sea Prompts ADIZ Threat (Jamestown China Brief)

A recent U.S. suggestion for Japanese patrols in the South China Sea has elicited a sharp rebuttal by the Chinese government and reignited Chinese media discussion of a South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Willy Wo-Lap Lam: Growing Power of Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection Brings Questions of Politically-Motivated Purge (Jamestown China Brief)

[T]he CCDI, which is a secretive Party organ outside the purview of both the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the courts, seems to be an extra-legal institution that derives its authority from just one person: President and Commander-in-Chief Xi…
The CCDI is the only Party or government organ that has its own Organization and Propaganda offices, which were set up in March 2013. This means, for example, that the CCDI leadership can recruit cadres outside the established channels of the CCP Organization Department…
Starting late last year, the CCDI has stationed sub-offices in a number of top Party and government units. These include the CCP Central Committee’s General Office, the Organization Department and the Propaganda Department…
Studies conducted by Ren Jianming, Head of the Clean Governance Research Center at Beijing’s Beihang University, have shown that up to one third of cadres with the rank of ministers or above have accepted bribes and commissions or helped their close relatives and cronies profit in commercial deals. This figure is similar to a 2014 report that quoted an internal document as saying that “more than 30 percent of party, government and military officials were found to be involved in some form of corruption”…
According to the official media, the CCDI last year detained for investigation 42 officials with the rank of vice-ministers and vice-governors or above. This was substantially more than the 17 officials of similar ranks nabbed in 2013—and the comparable annual figure of six to eight during the Jiang and Hu administrations… Senior cadres incriminated in 2014 included a former Politburo Standing Committee member (Zhou Yongkang), a former Politburo member and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission (General Xu Caihou) and two former vice-chairmen of the CPPCC (Ling Jihua and Su Rong). Questions have been asked, however, as to whether Xi and Wang have used the anti-corruption campaign as a weapon to bring down political foes. For example, Zhou, Ling, General Xu and former Politburo member Bo Xilai—who are described as “the new Gang of Four” by the Hong Kong and overseas-Chinese media—are rumored to be leaders of an “anti-Xi Jinping cabal” within the Party (…). It is perhaps not surprising that the two previous Politburo members who went to jail for corruption—former Beijing Party secretary Chen Xitong and former Shanghai Party boss Chen Liangyu—were political foes of ex-presidents Jiang and Hu, respectively…

全国政协原副主席苏荣严重违纪违法被开除党籍和公职(中央纪委监察部)

日前,经中共中央批准,中共中央纪委对全国政协原副主席苏荣严重违纪问题进行了立案审查。

Top China official to face prosecution for corruption (BBC)

Former senior official Su Rong has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party for corruption and faces prosecution, said the country’s top anti-corruption body.

Celia Hatton: The case against Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (BBC)

Pu Zhiqiang’s blunt weibo messages, many of them expressing frustration with the ruling Chinese Communist Party, are forming the state’s case against him.
Police supplied a short list to Pu Zhiqiang’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping.
„From top to bottom, the Communist Party can’t get through a single day without telling lies,“ he posted on 24 July, 2012.
A few months earlier, on 5 February 2012, he wrote: „We should give Liaoning province and Shandong province to Japan, give some land in the south to Vietnam.
„Control of Beijing can be handed directly over to Washington. I’m willing to guide our guests to these places. As long as I can live better than I am now, I’ll be satisfied“.
Other messages criticise the Chinese government’s policies towards Uighurs, the mainly Muslim minority living in Xinjiang in China’s far west.
„They claim Xinjiang belongs to China. So they shouldn’t treat it like a colony. Don’t be a predator and a conqueror. You treat them as your enemy,“ he wrote on 7 May 2014, referring to strict government restrictions placed on Uighurs…
Mr Pu has been charged with creating a disturbance, inciting ethnic hatred and separatism.

Maoisten
Feb 10th, 2015 by Gao

Eli Friedman: The Primary Contradiction (Jacobin)

“It’s a golden period to be a leftist in China.” At least that was the assessment of Minzu University of China professor and well-known Maoist Zhang Hongliang in a recent New York Times article. The article went on to suggest that “leftist voices are back in vogue,” while other media outlets have reported widely on President Xi Jinping’s call for more Marxism in the universities. And the Politburo has been holding study sessions to brush up on their dialectical materialism.
But unfortunately, there are more than enough reasons to doubt this analysis.
To begin with, Xi Jinping’s originally ambiguous slogan, the “China Dream,” has come to be officially defined as the “great revival of the Chinese race.” The imperial yearning implicit in this phrase has ominous implications for its neighbors as well as ethnic minorities within China.
Economically, the government is preparing another round of marketization to prop up the flagging debt-fueled growth that China has heavily relied on in recent years. These reforms will include a major wave of privatization of state-owned firms, further commodification of land, reduction in pensions for public employees, and an extension of free trade.
The working class and peasantry remain politically excluded and are viewed with deep suspicion by the state…
Leading Maoist Han Deqiang recently wrote, “The China Dream is the dream of Chinese people. It will inevitably have strong characteristics of nationalism rather than universal values.”

Chris Buckley, Andrew Jacobs: Maoists in China, Given New Life, Attack Dissent (New York Times)

China’s Maoist ideologues are resurgent after languishing in the political desert, buoyed by President Xi Jinping’s traditionalist tilt and emboldened by internal party decrees that have declared open season on Chinese academics, artists and party cadres seen as insufficiently red…
“It’s a golden period to be a leftist in China,” Zhang Hongliang, a prominent neo-Maoist, said in an interview. “Xi Jinping has ushered in a fundamental change to the status quo, shattering the sky.”

Außerdem:
AP: Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner attacked for ‚racist‘ Chinese joke (Guardian)

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner caused a furore on Wednesday by joking about her hosts’ accents while on a state visit to China seeking badly needed investment.

APA: Argentiniens Präsidentin spottet über chinesische Aussprache (Standard)

3. Plenum des XVIII. ZK | Ungleichheit
Nov 30th, 2013 by Gao

Peter Main: Neue Führung verstärkt die Kontrolle ‍‍(Arbeitermacht)

Nach einem Jahr der Säuberung der Führung – symbolisiert durch die Inhaftierung des ehemaligen Politbüromitglieds Bo Xilai – sicherten Xi und Li nicht nur die Annahme ihres politischen und Wirtschaftsprogramms, sie schufen auch zwei neue Institutionen, um ihr Programm durchzusetzen.
Der Fraktionskampf und die Vorbereitung auf künftige Konflikte verweisen auf die strategische Bedeutung des Programms, dessen Zweck die Beseitigung größerer Hindernisse auf dem Weg Chinas zur vollen Durchsetzung des Wertgesetzes, der Dynamik des Kapitalismus ist. …
„Der Brennpunkt der Umgestaltung des Wirtschaftssystems (…) ist es, dem Markt eine entscheidende Rolle zu gestatten bei der Bereitstellung von Ressourcen“ sowie „öffentliche und private Sektoren sind gleichrangige Bestandteile einer sozialistischen Marktwirtschaft und die wichtige Grundlage unserer nationalen Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftsentwicklung.“
Der erste Satz richtet sich gegen Überbleibsel aus der bürokratischen Planung, als Ressourcen nach politischen Kriterien bereitgestellt wurden und die Profitabilität nicht an erster Stelle der Überlegungen stand. In den Firmen, gleich ob staatlich oder nicht, sollen die Manager nun v.a. von Profitmotiven geleitet sein. …
Der zweite Satz „öffentliche und private Sektoren sind gleichrangige Bestandteile einer sozialistischen Marktwirtschaft“ hat ebenfalls weitreichende Auswirkungen, aber auch hier sind gewisse Grenzen gesetzt. An anderer Stelle bestätigt das Kommunique den Staatssektor als „Standbein der Wirtschaft“. Das ist ein Widerspruch in sich, denn wenn beide Bereiche gleichrangig sein sollen, kann nicht der eine wichtiger sein als der andere.
Die Bedeutung dieser Formel ist v.a. darin zu suchen, dass für die Amtsdauer der Führung, also für die nächsten neun Jahre, der Staat, d.h. die herrschende Bürokratie und ihre Partei weiterhin die Kernindustrien und -institutionen kontrollieren wird. Das könnte durch eine Aktienmehrheit in einer ansonsten privaten Firma geschehen. Das ist ein Signal an die Mitglieder der bürokratischen Schicht, dass sie auch in Zukunft weiter bestehen bleiben soll. Natürlich unterhalten auch alle anderen imperialistischen Mächte einen Riesenapparat an Bürokratie, der in Ökonomie und Staat sitzt und deren Verflechtung sichert. Praktisch bedeutet die Formel aber, dass die systematische Benachteiligung von privaten Unternehmungen in allen Bereichen verschwinden soll. Das wäre ein bedeutsamer Wandel, weil er die Klasseninteressen der keimenden Bourgeoisie in China selbst offenbart und ihnen einen größeren Spielraum eröffnet.

Agatha Kratz: Réduction des inégalités : prendre au sommet pour distribuer tout en bas / Reducing Inequality: Taking from the top to distribute at the bottom (China perspectives)

Rede vom 18. August und „Dokument Nr. 9“
Okt 22nd, 2013 by Gao

Joseph Fewsmith hat gestern einen Vortrag in Wien gehalten. Hier ist einer seiner jüngsten Artikel:
Joseph Fewsmith: Debating Constitutional Government (China Leadership Monitor)

Rather than pull public opinion together, Xi Jinping’s 习近平 call for realizing the “China Dream” seems to have revealed the depth of cleavage among China’s intellectuals. The newspaper Southern Weekend set off a drama when it responded by writing a New Year’s editorial calling the China Dream the dream of constitutional government, only to have provincial propaganda authorities rewrite it beyond recognition before publication. Subsequently, Xi Jinping authorized a sharp attack on “Western values,” including constitutionalism. This internal talk, written into the now infamous “Document No. 9,” prompted several publications to run articles against constitutionalism, provoking liberal intellectuals to defend the idea. This deep divide suggests there is increasingly little middle ground left among China’s intellectuals, while the backing of different views by different officials reflects a politicization of seemingly intellectual debates. These debates are ultimately about the legitimacy of the government and thus reflect fragility in the political system.

Wikipedia über das vielzitierte „Dokument Nr. 9“:
关于当前意识形态领域情况的通报 (Wikipedia)

关于当前意识形态领域情况的通报,簡稱9號文件,是2013年5月由中共中央办公厅印发的一份旨在通报意识形态领域情况的文件。

《明鏡月刊》獨家全文刊發中共9號文件(墙外楼)
《明鏡月刊》獨家全文刊發中共9號文件(拉清單)

今年春天以來,國內和海外即盛傳中共高層下發文件, 要求“七不講”,一些網絡活躍人士並披露了“七不講”的具體內容,但是一直沒有得到官方權威證實。是真是假?衆說紛紜。於2013年8月上旬最新出版的 《明鏡月刊》43期,獨家全文刊發了中共中央9號文件,人們才得知“七不講”的源頭——雖然措辭和文意在坊間流傳過程中,已經與原來的論述有了出入。

Zur ebenfalls vielzitierten Rede Xi Jinpings vom 19. August 2013:
学习贯彻习近平总书记8·19重要讲话精神(人民网)

Urteil gegen Bo Xilai
Sep 26th, 2013 by Gao

李毅:点评左中右对薄熙来审判的不同看法(美国侨网) / Different Views On the Bo Xilai Verdict (EastWestNorthSouth)

全球华人瞩目的薄熙来案件庭审结束。两百多页的庭审记录,几十篇英文报道评论,几百篇中文报道评论,令人眼花缭乱。这里从社会学界角度,分析五篇文章,从中展示左中右对薄熙来审判的不同看法。这五篇文章分别是:1。韩德强, “韩德强谈薄熙来案济南公审”。 2。陈有西,“成功的审判 遗憾的侦查”。3。贺卫方,“薄案审理点评”。4。张千帆,“薄熙来的政治遗产”。5。李毅,“有关重庆模式的三点看法”。

Matt Schiavenza: What Bo Xilai’s Rise and Fall Says About China (Atlantic)
Steffen Richter: Xi Jinping gnadenlos (Zeit)

Lebenslang für Bo Xilai: Das harte Urteil gegen den Expolitstar ist eine Warnung an all jene, die die kommenden Wirtschaftsreformen torpedieren könnten. Das Volksgericht in der ostchinesischen Stadt Jinan hat ein hartes Strafmaß gegen Bo Xilai verkündet: lebenslang – soweit absehbar, wird der 64-jährige das Gefängnis nicht mehr verlassen. Bo wurde der Korruption, des Machtmissbrauchs und der Vertuschung eines Mordes seiner Frau an einem britischen Geschäftsmann für schuldig gesprochen. Damit endet der spektakulärste Justizfall Chinas seit den Prozessen gegen Maos Witwe Jiang Qing und ihre Viererbande im Jahr 1980. Was den Prozess so besonders machte: Bo Xilai war als Politiker das Gegenmodell zum vorherrschenden Typus des immer dezent auftretenden Spitzenfunktionärs. Er verstand sich zu inszenieren, war populistisch und schillernd.

Andrew Jacobs, Chris Buckley: Chinese Official at Center of Scandal Is Found Guilty and Given a Life Term (New York Times)
Tania Branigan: China tries to draw line under political scandal with life sentence for Bo Xilai (Guardian)
Tania Branigan: Bo Xilai, the insider brought down by his tendency to break rules (Guardian)
AP: Bo Xilai appeals against guilty verdict and life imprisonment (Guardian)
AP: Chinese street vendor executed despite calls for leniency (Guardian)

Case of Xia Junfeng, executed for murder of two city officials, contrasted with wife of Bo Xilai whose death sentence was suspended

„Westliche Werte“ | Auslandsstudium
Sep 9th, 2013 by Gao

Chris Buckley: China Takes Aim at Western Ideas (New York Times)

Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society.
These seven perils were enumerated in a memo, referred to as Document No. 9, that bears the unmistakable imprimatur of Xi Jinping, China’s new top leader. The first was “Western constitutional democracy”; others included promoting “universal values” of human rights, Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation, ardently pro-market “neo-liberalism,” and “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.

Roland Soong (宋春舫) kündigt an, wieder auf Englisch zu schreiben, und stellt die Artikel vor, die er für die 《南方都市报》 geschrieben hat:
Roland Soong: My long absence (EastWestNorthSouth)

Ein längerer, recht negativer Artikel über Mo Yan und seine Werke:
Nikil Saval: White Happy Doves (London Review of Books)

Chinesische Studierende in den USA (speziell an der Purdue-Universität im Bundesstaat Indiana):
Paul Stephens: International Students: Separate but Profitable (Washington Monthly)

China ist nicht Indien, doch der Artikel ist durchaus relevant für weite Teile Asiens:
Jessica Namakkal: Study Abroad as Neo-Colonial Tourism (CounterPunch)

Und dieser Artikel hat gar keinen direkten Bezug zu China:
Bruce Schneider: NSA surveillance: A guide to staying secure (Guardian)

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