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Trump und Goldman Sachs in Beijing
Nov 14th, 2017 by Gao

Thomas Hon Wing Polin: China’s Overture to Wall Street (CounterPunch)

For all the pomp and circumstance of Donald Trump’s Beijing trip, its most interesting outcome was a Chinese overture to the titans of global finance, currently ensconced in Wall Street and London…
Specifically, the watershed has two components. The first is the accord between CIC, China’s top sovereign wealth fund, and Goldman Sachs to set up a USD 5-billion fund to invest in US companies exporting to China. The choice of American partner is significant, of course. Goldman is the most powerful bank in the US and probably the world, the quintessential Wall Street player. Its alumni routinely occupy top positions in the US government, including the present Treasury Secretary. Where Goldman goes, the US power structure often follows.
Beijing’s other move is to open financial institutions to 51% ownership by foreign entities — something Western global banks have long been clamoring for. The CPC leadership is only too aware of the potential disruption, even sabotage, that could result from a too-fast opening of the supremely strategic finance sector. Over the years, Beijing has never hesitated to slow or suspend the process whenever circumstances warranted. That it is now taking this step means China is confident that domestic and international conditions are ripe.

EU- und WTO-Forderungen | Atomkraftwerke | Geburtenkontrolle
Mai 31st, 2016 by Gao

Johnny Erling, Andre Tauber, Nina Trentmann: Warum China noch keine Marktwirtschaft ist (Welt)

Die Volksrepublik buhlt um die Anerkennung als WTO-Staat. Doch sie erfüllt nicht alle Bedingungen.
Die EU debattiert über die Anerkennung von China als Marktwirtschaft – eine Entscheidung, die weitreichende Konsequenzen hätte, weil sich nicht mehr so leicht wie bislang Sanktionen verhängen ließen.
Obwohl das Europa-Parlament vergangene Woche in einer nicht bindenden Entscheidung gegen die Anerkennung stimmte, hat die Volksrepublik gute Chancen, im Laufe des Jahres noch den begehrten Titel zu erhalten. Wir zeigen, warum China die Kriterien für eine marktwirtschaftliche Wirtschaftsordnung noch nicht erfüllt.

Kommentar von R.G. dazu:

Was für ein Unfug! Alles was auch hier zur Abwehr der schlimmsten Auswirkungen des neoliberalen Finanzkapitalismus diskutiert wird, soll nach dem Willen der EU in China unterbunden werden: Gezielte Stärkung von Staatsunternehmen, Staatliche Bankenkontrolle, Regulierung des Finanzsystems, kein unbeschränkter Marktzugang für Hedge-Fonds und andere Heuschrecken…..Seien wir froh, dass China sich bisher den größten Segnungen des Finanzkapitalismus widersetzt hat (kleine Bitte: Keine schlaumeirerischen Kommentare derer, die schon immer „wussten“, was China ist und was da laeuft, denn davon gibt’s genug. Danke).

China baut Atomkraftwerk im Sudan (Spiegel)

Saudi-Arabien, Argentinien – und nun Sudan: Die Chinesen wollen mit ihrem Atomkraftwerk Hualong 1 den Weltmarkt erobern. Experten warnen vor Sicherheitsrisiken. …
Der Sudan-Deal ist Teil einer aggressiven Expansionsstrategie. China will ein wichtiger Player auf dem globalen Atommarkt werden. …
Die Volksrepublik hat bereits mit zahlreichen Ländern Verträge zum Bau von Kernkraftwerken unterzeichnet, darunter Rumänien, Saudi-Arabien, Argentinien und Kenia. Der Energiekonzern China General Nuclear Power Corp investiert zudem in den Bau des britischen Atomkraftwerks Hinkley Point C und will später einen Hualong-1-Reaktor in Bradwell in der Grafschaft Essex bauen.

Sudan, China to cooperate in nuclear energy (Xinhua)
Lü Chang: Work to start on 3rd unit of Karachi K3 nuclear plant in Pakistan (China Daily)

Thomas Immervoll: Zwei Kinder für eine Fortsetzung alter Politik (China von links)

Welche Bedeutung hat die Lockerung der Geburtenpolitik, wie sie vom Zentralkomitee der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas angekündigt wurde?

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.

Währung
Dez 1st, 2015 by Gao

Prabhat Patnaik: The Devaluation of the Yuan (MRzine)

The Chinese central bank’s decision last week to let the yuan depreciate, in three stages by almost 4 percent against the US dollar, was officially explained as a move towards greater market determination of its exchange rate. Though this explanation pacified stock markets around the world, China’s devaluation of the currency portends a serious accentuation of the world capitalist crisis.

Patrick Bond: China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink (Telesur)

On Monday November 30, the Chinese currency – the yuan – will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen as the world’s official reserve currencies, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Are we reaching the fabled new era of multipolarity, and will it bring stability to a chaotic world economy – “a win-win result for China and the world,” as the People’s Bank of China claims?
Or instead, will this herald the amplification of extreme uneven development, worsening financial crises, and the abuse of Chinese economic surpluses, yet again, for the purpose of bailing out the corrupt, fragile world financial institutions and their elites?

Marlies Linke, Thomas Sablowski, Klaus Steinitz (Hrsg.): China. Gesellschaftliche Entwicklung und globale Auswirkungen (PDF, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung)

Um die Entwicklung in China richtig verstehen und beurteilen zu können, ist es unerlässlich, sich den geschichtlichen Kontext und einige herausragende Besonderheiten der politischen und sozialökonomischen Entwicklung Chinas seit dem Sieg der chinesischen Revolution 1949 zu vergegenwärtigen.

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)

Nationaler Volkskongress | Reform der Staatsbetriebe
Jun 7th, 2015 by Gao

Li Keqiang: Report on the Work of the Government (2015) (China.org.cn)

We have set the main targets for China‘ s economic and social development for this year as follows:

  • increase the GDP by approximately 7%;
  • keep the increase in the CPI at around 3%;
  • create over ten million jobs in urban areas;
  • ensure that the registered urban unemployment rate does not rise above 4.5%;
  • increase imports and exports by around 6%;
  • achieve a basic balance of payments;
  • ensure that personal incomes increase in step with economic development; and
  • cut energy intensity by 3.1%, and continue to reduce the emissions of major pollutants.

Zhang Lulu: China SOE reform back on track amid concerns (China.org.cn)
China’s state-owned firms generated a total of gross revenue of 48 trillion yuan (around US$7,680 billion) in 2014, up 4 percent year on year, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance.
But the return on assets, an indicator gauging asset performance, was around 6 percent lower than their private peers, … The SOEs also have a higher liability rate than their private counterparts…
Mixed ownership, which means inviting private investment into SOEs, is one of the most talked about reforms and is nothing new for the state sector. … [S]ome 45 percent of China’s SOEs are already „of mixed ownership,“ but 92 percent of all the SOEs hold more than 50 percent of their own stock, meaning that most of the SOEs have a controlling stake…
Xu Guoping, chief of the Jiangsu SASAC, thinks that the private and even foreign firms can take a controlling stake, as long as it is within the „competitive industry.“
Susanna Bastaroli: Ökonom: „Es drohen interne Machtkämpfe“ (Presse)

Viele China-Beobachter aus dem Westen hoffen, dass Xi derzeit parteiintern seine Macht festigt, um den Weg für spätere Reformen zu ebnen. Das ist eine gefährliche Illusion. Wenn Macht auf eine einzige Person konzentriert ist, werden die Dinge schiefgehen – das hat unsere Geschichte bereits mehrmals bewiesen. Denn Gewaltenteilung sowie eine gewisse Einschränkung der Macht der Exekutive sind Voraussetzungen für Stabilität. Xi bedient sich derzeit der Antikorruptionskampagnen, um seine Gegner auszuschalten, da geht es um mehr als nur um bestechliche Kader. Die Gefahr ist, dass die Kampagnen die parteiinternen Machtkämpfe verschärfen werden.

Hendrik Ankenbrand: China an der Schwelle (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Ob China das Problem seiner maroden Staatskonzerne ernsthaft anpacken will, könnte sich an der Geldpolitik zeigen. Gibt die Zentralbank, wie sie mehrfach, zuletzt im März, angekündigt hat, tatsächlich die Zinsen frei?

Staat zieht sich aus dem Pharmamarkt zurück (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Chinas Regierung treibt marktwirtschaftliche Reformen voran und liberalisiert ab Juni die Handelspreise zahlreicher Medikamente. Die für diesen Schritt massgebliche Entwicklungs- und Reformkommission (…) setzt damit eine Vorgabe von Regierungschef Li Keqiang um, der Anfang März bei der Vorstellung des Tätigkeitsberichts seiner Regierung bereits angedeutet hatte, die Handelspreise der meisten Medikamente freigeben zu wollen.

Ein Artikel vom 29. Mai:
Marcel Grzanna: China macht seine Konzerne fit (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

China hat damit begonnen, seine großen Staatsbetriebe zusammenzulegen. Das soll die internationale Wettbewerbsfähigkeit erhöhen – und könnte Konkurrenten wie Siemens und Bombardier ernsthaft Probleme bereiten.
Viele dieser Konzerne waren ursprünglich unter einem gemeinsam Dach – wurden dann aber vor ein paar Jahren zerschlagen.
Der Plan, auf dieser Weise ihre Innovationskraft zu erhöhen, ging aber offenbar nicht auf.

Arbeitsmigration | Verschuldung
Apr 27th, 2015 by Gao

Bernice Chan: How modern-day Chinese migrants are making a new life in Italy (South China Morning Post)

Work Tensions Rise in China, Despite Calls for Harmony (Wall Street Journal)

Labor disputes continued to swell in China over the first three months of this year, government data showed Friday, as slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy puts more pressure on workers.
Roughly 190,300 labor-arbitration cases were filed from January to March, up 16.8% from the same period a year earlier, said Li Zhong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, in a news briefing. Those cases involved some 275,600 people, up 24.8% from a year earlier, he added.
The first-quarter increase in arbitration cases outpaced the 12.6% on-year rise logged in the previous three months, according to ministry data. The rise in the number of affected workers was also faster than the 15.5% on-year increase seen in the fourth quarter.

Neil Gough: China’s Economy Puts New Pressure on Its Lopsided Job Market (New York Times)

趙平復:「萬隆會議精神」實際內涵和當代意義(苦勞網)

Geoffrey Crothall: Is Li Keqiang more at home in Davos than in Beijing? (China Labour Bulletin)

Mr Li was in his element at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this January where he gave a keynote address, and in the interview with the Financial Times on 31 March, in which he outlined his vision of China as an integral part of the global financial and economic system. The Davos crowd speak the same language as Mr Li; they are concerned with same issues, and basically want to see the same thing – stable and balanced global economic growth led by innovation and free markets.

„Youwei“: The End of Reform in China (Foreign Affairs)

Since the start of its post-Mao reforms in the late 1970s, the communist regime in China has repeatedly defied predictions of its impending demise. The key to its success lies in what one might call “authoritarian adaptation”—the use of policy reforms to substitute for fundamental institutional change. Under Deng Xiaoping, this meant reforming agriculture and unleashing entrepreneurship. Under Jiang Zemin, it meant officially enshrining a market economy, reforming state-owned enterprises, and joining the World Trade Organization. Under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, it meant reforming social security. Many expect yet another round of sweeping reforms under Xi Jinping—but they may be disappointed.

Ian Johnson: Lawsuit Over Banned Memoir Asks China to Explain Censorship (New York Times)

Though China’s censorship of the Internet is widely known, its aggressive efforts to intercept publications being carried into the country have received less notice.

Mike Bird: China just let part of a state-owned company default for the first time ever (Business Insider)
Enda Curran, Lu Lianting: China Has a Massive Debt Problem (Bloomberg)

China has a $28 trillion problem. That’s the country’s total government, corporate and household debt load as of mid-2014, according to McKinsey & Co. It’s equal to 282 percent of the country’s total annual economic output.

Christopher Langner, Lu Lianting: We’re Just Learning the True Cost of China’s Debt (Bloomberg)
Mia Tahara-Stubbs: China bad debt spikes by more than a third (CNBC)
Laura He: China government firm’s default shocks market — Is more to come? (Markte Watch)

Russell Flannery: China Now Has A Record 400 Billionaires And Billionaire Families; Greater China 500+ (Forbes)

P S Ramya: China’s Myanmar Conundrum ()

Myanmar’s domestic politics are central to China’s strategic interests, and are testing Beijing’s core principles.

Gray Tuttle: China’s Race Problem (Foreign Affairs)

Nick Davies: Vietnam 40 years on: how a communist victory gave way to capitalist corruption (Guardian)

After the military victory, Vietnam’s socialist model began to collapse. Cut off by US-led trade embargos and denied reconstruction aid, it plunged into poverty. Now its economy is booming – but so is inequality and corruption

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank | Südchinesisches Meer | Arbeiterbewegung
Apr 2nd, 2015 by Gao

Norbert Hellmann: China setzt multilaterale Entwicklungsbank AIIB auf (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

China hebt eine neue multilaterale Entwicklungsbank aus der Taufe. Die von 21 Mitgliedsländern unterstützte Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) soll mit 50 Mrd. $ Kapital Infrastrukturprojekte in asiatischen Schwellenländern anstossen.
Die am Freitag mit einer Zeremonie in Peking ins Leben gerufene Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) soll sich primär mit Finanzierungen für Infrastrukturvorhaben in strukturschwachen asiatischen Ländern hervortun. Chinas Finanzminister Lou Jiwei und Delegierte von 21 asiatischen Ländern, die als vorläufige Gründungsmitglieder das Unterfangen unterstützen, unterzeichneten eine Absichtserklärung, die am Entstehen einer neuen multilateralen Entwicklungsbank nun keinen Zweifel mehr lässt. Bis zur Hälfte des auf 50 Mrd. $ veranschlagten Kapitals der Bank soll von China eingebracht werden, das sich damit eine weitgehend uneingeschränkte Führungsrolle sichern würde. …
Laut Medienberichten in den USA und Australien soll der amerikanische Aussenminister John Kerry zuletzt heftigen Druck ausgeübt haben, um dafür zu sorgen, dass US-Bündnispartner der AIIB-Gründung fernbleiben.

Patrick Welter: Wettstreit zwischen China und den USA (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Mit Südkorea schliesst sich ein weiterer amerikanischer Verbündeter der von China initiierten neuen Entwicklungsbank in Asien an. Die Regierung in Seoul verspricht sich davon mehr Einfluss in der Region, aber auch mehr Aufträge für koreanische Unternehmen.

Nikolaus Jilch: USA isolieren sich: China mischt die Weltordnung auf (Presse)

Die Welt hat eine neue Abkürzung: AIIB. Die Asiatische Infrastruktur-Bank, vor zwei Jahren vom chinesischen Präsidenten, Xi Jinping, vorgeschlagen, hat sich für China zu einem erstaunlichen Erfolg entwickelt. Wenn Dienstag die Deadline für die Anmeldung zu dieser neuen Kreditinstitution ausläuft, werden mindestens 44 Nationen dabei sein – möglicherweise sogar mehr, wenn noch ein paar Spätentschlossene dazukommen.

Deutschland als Gründungsanwärter für die AIIB genehmigt (China.org.cn)
András Szigetvari: Lockruf aus China für Österreich unwiderstehlich (Standard)
Thomas Fuster: Die Schweiz will in die AIIB (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
Thomas Fuster: Amerikas einsamer Kampf in China (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Den USA ist die AIIB ein Dorn im Auge. Vordergründig wird dies mit Bedenken gegenüber den Standards bei der Entwicklungsfinanzierung begründet, zumal eine von China orchestrierte Bank bezüglich Good Governance oder Umweltschutz kaum allzu penibel auftreten dürfte. Letztlich geht es aber vor allem um die Wahrung politischer Interessen: Weder eine schleichende Verdrängung der Weltbank und ADB noch die stete Ausdehnung von Chinas Einflusssphären liegen im Interesse Washingtons. Der Appell zu kritischer Distanz gegenüber dem neuen Prestigeprojekt von Pekings Machthabern stösst bei Amerikas Verbündeten aber auf taube Ohren. So will sich nicht nur Grossbritannien der AIIB anschliessen; laut Medienberichten planen auch Frankreich, Deutschland und Italien den Schritt.

Felix Lee: Angst vor Dominanz Chinas (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

AP: US Navy: Beijing creating a ‚great wall of sand‘ in South China Sea (Guardian)

Admiral Harry Harris Jr told a naval conference in Australia that competing territorial claims by several nations in the South China Sea are “increasing regional tensions and the potential for miscalculation”.
“But what’s really drawing a lot of concern in the here and now is the unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted by China,” he said.
“China is building artificial land by pumping sand on to live coral reefs – some of them submerged – and paving over them with concrete. China has now created over 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles) of artificial landmass,” he said.

Echo Hui, Heather Timmons: Workers at China’s largest athletic shoe maker are poised for another historic strike (Quartz)
Manfred Elfstrom: Whither China’s New Worker Militancy? (China Policy Institute)
China’s ageing construction workers and the urgent need for an industry overhaul (China Labour Bulletin)

In the 1980s and 90s, millions of young labourers from the Chinese countryside flooded into the cities to work on construction sites; building roads, bridges, airports, residential and commercial properties, as well as ostentatious new government offices.
During the 2000s, as population growth slowed, fewer and fewer young workers followed and soon the average age of construction workers started to climb. Today, it is virtually impossible to find anyone younger than 30 working on the construction sites of major cities. On some work sites in Shenzhen, for example, more than 90 percent of the workers are reportedly over 50-years-old.

Ian Talley: China Is “One of the Most Unequal Countries in the World,” IMF Paper Says (Wall Street Journal)

Although per-capita income has grown and the number of people living on less than a $1.25 a day has plummeted, income inequality has skyrocketed, the economists said. The top quintile of earners now pull in nearly half of total income while the poorest quintile of earners account for under 5%.
“China’s widening income inequality is largely a reflection of faster income growth among the rich, rather than stagnant living standards among the poor.”

The devil, or Mr Wang [Qishan] (Economist)

Wukan | Shan-Staat | Immobilien
Mrz 16th, 2015 by Gao

Lynn Lee, James Leong: Wukan Votes (AlJazeera)

In late 2011, Wukan, a village in southern China, captured international attention when it rose up against decades of corrupt leadership.
The odds appeared insurmountable – Chinese authorities are not known for tolerating dissent. Still, despite a crackdown and the death of a leading activist, the unthinkable happened.
The Village Committee fell and democratic elections were announced. So what happens after a successful uprising?
This two-part series Wukan Votes begins as the elections get underway and China’s extraordinary experiment in grassroots democracy begins.

China warnt Myanmar vor erneuter Grenzverletzung (Zeit)

China hat mehrere Kampfjets an die Grenze zu Myanmar geschickt, nachdem die Explosion einer Bombe in der südwestchinesischen Provinz Yunnan am Freitag vier Menschen getötet hatte. Die Luftwaffe wolle Flugzeuge aus Myanmar über chinesischem Gebiet „verfolgen, beobachten, warnen und vertreiben“, sagte ein Sprecher. …
Die Bombe schlug in einem Zuckerrohrfeld in der Stadt Lincang ein. Vier Arbeiter wurden getötet, neun weitere verletzt. In die Region sind 60.000 Menschen aus dem nordöstlichen myanmarischen Bundesstaat Shan geflüchtet, seitdem die Streitkräfte dort gegen Rebellen vorgehen. Der Aufstand in Shan begann am 9. Februar. Die Regierung hat inzwischen den Notstand ausgerufen.

David Barboza: In China, a Building Frenzy’s Fault Lines (New York Times)

As the real estate market in the United States was collapsing in the mid-2000s, Wall Street went in search of new terrain, and found it in China. All across the country, from Beijing to Shenzhen, sprawling housing developments and business districts were popping up, seemingly overnight. Real estate prices were soaring. Western banks, hedge funds, private equity firms and other investors wanted a piece of the action.
Billions poured into Chinese real estate, and big foreign financial firms hunted for the next hit — the small bet that investors could ride to great heights.

Frauentag
Mrz 10th, 2015 by Gao

Edward Wong: China Detains Several Women’s Rights Activists (New York Times)

China detained at least 10 women’s rights activists over the weekend to forestall a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation that was to overlap with International Women’s Day, according to human rights advocates and associates of those detained.
At least five of the detained were still being held on Sunday evening, while the others had been released after being interrogated. All were women…
Most or all of the women were working to mobilize a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on subways and other public transportation, their friends said. People partaking in the campaign were supposed to put antiharassment stickers on transit vehicles.

新婦女協進會關於敦促中國政府釋放女權活動家的聲明 (Google Docs)

香港婦女、性別團體對北京當局在未有充份理據的情況下,跨省拘捕五名知名的女權活動家,包括北京的李婷婷(麥子),韋婷婷,王曼,杭州的武嶸嶸和廣州的鄭楚然(大兔),表示嚴重關注,並敦促北京公安當局,尊重並恪守憲法賦予人民的言論自由,確保各相關人士的司法權利,予以律師及家人會見,確保其人身安全,並在未能查證有違法行為的情況下,立即釋放各人。……
就此,我們呼籲中國政府面對社會種種議題,應以實事求是的態度處理,完善立法、落實執行,才是解決問題的根本;而非拘禁提出問題的人,將其滅聲。我們再次強調對事件的關注,並將繼續跟進,直到上述各人得到釋放。

HKAAF: Signature Campaign to demand the release of the prominent feminists from Mainland (HKAAF / Google Docs)

Women and sexuality groups in Hong Kong express grave concern with the recent arrests by the Beijing authorities of five prominent female activists, including Li Tingting (李婷婷)(also known as Maizi麥子), Wei Tingting (韋婷婷), Wang Man (王曼) in Beijing, Wu Rongrong (武嶸嶸) in Hangzhou, and Zheng Churang (鄭楚然) (also known as Datu) in Guangzhou, but apparently with no solid legal ground. We urge the Beijing police to respect the freedom of speech as prescribed in the PRC Constitution, and ensure that the women’s legal procedural rights including rights to meet with lawyers and families, and rights to personal safety are strictly observed. We urge for their immediate release in so far as no sufficient evidence can be found to accuse them of any illegal act…
[W]e call for the Chinese government to look into the issues of social concerns genuinely, and resolve them with tenability by enhancing the standard of the laws and their implementation, instead of just maneuvering to quell the voice of the whistle blowers. We, the undersigned, would like to reiterate hereby our grave concerns of this recent series of arrests, and we will continue to monitor the situation unless the cases are handled with justice and activists are released.

Calling for Beijing Police to Release Chinese Feminist Activists Detained before International Women’s Day (EverMemo)
Simon Denyer, Xu Yangjingjing (sic): Detention of women’s rights activists casts shadow over China’s parliament meeting (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang quoted Mao Zedong’s famous assertion on Sunday that “women hold up half the sky,” and assured female lawmakers at the NPC that “you should believe that your male counterparts, holders of the other half of the sky, will move forward hand-in-hand with you.” …
[S]tate media continued its stunningly sexist coverage of the NPC sessions, desperately trying to glamorize the stage-managed affair with endless slideshows of the female volunteers employed to show delegates to their seats and pour them tea, and of the “beautiful” female reporters covering events.

Simon Denyer: Battered women in China could finally get a measure of legal protection (Washington Post)
Lily Kuo: China completely flunked International Women’s Day (Quartz)

China celebrated International Women’s Day by locking up at least eight female activists who had been planning a rally against sexual harassment this weekend. Instead of rallies for women’s rights, the holiday was marked by events in shopping malls where men wearing high heels raced through obstacle courses.

Coco Feng, Jane Li, Echo Hui: China’s “factory girls” have grown up—and are going on strike (Quartz)

Yang Liyan, a 30-year-old migrant worker, says she has cried twice in the past year. Once was when she was having her first meal in jail, and again after she was released and talking to her co-workers about her ordeal over dinner.
Yang was waiting for a scheduled meeting with the management of the Xinsheng Shoe Factory in the industrial metropolis of Guangzhou on Nov. 3, 2014, when she was thrown into the back of a police van. A total of 14 workers, including Yang and several other women, had gathered on behalf of 114 co-workers to fight for the severance pay they said they were owed after a three-month strike. They were arrested for “sabotaging production and business operations” (破坏生产经营), and in Yang’s case, jailed for 25 days.

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