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Ungleichheit, Armut und Armutsbekämpfung
Jul 6th, 2018 by Gao

Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman: Global Inequality Dynamics: New Findings from WID.world (American Economic Review, Mai 2017)

Rising inequality has attracted considerable interest in recent years, as shown by the attention received by an academic book published by one of us (Piketty 2014). Yet we still face important limitations in our ability to measure the changing distribution of income and wealth, within and between countries and at the world level. In this paper, we present new findings about global inequality dynamics from the World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world). We start with a brief history of the WID.world project. We then present selected findings on income inequality, private versus public wealth-to-income ratios, and wealth inequality, with emphasis on the contrast between the trends in the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom…

Rob Schmitz: Xi Jinping’s War On Poverty Moves Millions Of Chinese Off The Farm (NPR, 19. Oktober 2017)

China’s government hopes city life will push tens of millions into the workforce on their way to joining the world’s largest middle class. In the first five years of Xi’s presidency, more than 60 million Chinese have risen above the poverty line; Xi wants to move 70 million more Chinese above that line within the next three years, a goal China’s government is more tightly focused on than ever. …
[O]fficials in Guizhou … plan to move more than 750,000 people off farms by the end of the year from nearly 3,600 villages.

(Es gibt einen Eugene K. Chow, der Redenschreiber für den New Yorker Bürgermeister Bill de Blasio war.)
Eugene K. Chow: China’s War on Poverty Could Hurt the Poor Most (Foreign Policy, 8. Jänner 2018)

The government is pushing people out of rural squalor — and into urban dependence.

Spencer Sheehan: China’s Hukou Reforms and the Urbanization Challenge (The Diplomat, 22. Feber 2018)

China is speeding up hukou reform, but that won’t be enough to solve the migrant worker problem.
China’s government has announced a lofty goal of expanding urban hukou or residency permits to 100 million migrant workers by 2020 as part of its plan to rebalance its economy. However, the government needs to deliver a whole range of supporting policies to achieve this goal and it may not have the financing to provide them.

Philip Alston: Report of the [UN] Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to China (PDF; 28. März 2017)

The achievements that China has made in alleviating poverty have been extraordinary. Its leadership has made a strong and genuine commitment to building a “moderately prosperous society” free of extreme poverty, thus showing political will that is impressive and all too uncommon in today’s world…
While China has done a huge amount to promote economic and social wellbeing, this has not yet been translated into an approach based on treating economic and social rights as human rights.

Javier C. Hernández: Xi Jinping Vows No Poverty in China by 2020. That Could Be Hard. (New York Times, 31. Oktober 2017)

Nearly seven decades after the Chinese Communist Party rose to power on a promise of prosperity for all, President Xi Jinping has vowed to fulfill the Communists’ original intent, staking his legacy on an ambitious plan to complete the eradication of rural poverty by 2020…
Even as Chinese cities have turned into playgrounds for the nouveau riche and the swelling ranks of the middle class, nearly 500 million people, or about 40 percent of China’s population, live on less than $5.50 per day, according to the World Bank.
“The whole idea of socialism was that all Chinese would have a reasonable living standard,” said Kerry Brown, a China scholar at King’s College London. “The nagging concern is that the Communist Party has created billionaires and a strong middle class, and yet there are still a lot of poor people. That seems to be a massive contradiction.”

Ein wichtiger Diskussionsbeitrag in diesem Zusammenhang:
Felix Wemheuer: Auf dem Weg zum Sozialismus? Kritische Anmerkungen zu den Unterstützern der heutigen KP China in der westlichen Linken (Kommunistische Debatte)

Seit dem Ende der Kulturrevolution 1976 und dem Niedergang der westeuropäischen ML-Bewegung haben sich viele Linke lange nicht mehr für die Entwicklung in China interessiert. In den letzten 15 Jahren häufen sich allerdings linke Publikationen zum Charakter der Volksrepublik. Mittlerweile ist China eine politische und wirtschaftliche Großmacht. Während mit dem chinesischen „Wirtschaftswunder“ im Westen lange nur Sweatshops und Billigwaren verbunden wurden, investiert das chinesische Kapital heute auf allen Kontinenten. Selbst in Deutschland kauft es im großen Stil Unternehmen auf. Laut den Plänen der chinesischen Regierung soll die VR zum 100. Jahrestag ihrer Gründung, 2049, ein hochentwickeltes Industrieland sein. „Der Spiegel“ rief sogar die westliche Welt dazu auf, endlich aufzuwachen, da China schon jetzt die Nummer Eins sei. Die gegenwärtige Verschiebung der globalen Machtverhältnisse können auch Linke in Europa nicht ignorieren. Allerdings gehen die Einschätzungen zum Charakter der VR weit auseinander: Theodor Bergmann sieht das Land auf dem Weg zum Sozialismus (…). Der bekannte marxistische Geograph David Harvey hingegen reihte 2005 auf dem Titelbild seines Buches „Kleine Geschichte des Neoliberalismus“ Deng Xiaoping in eine wenig schmeichelhafte Ahnengalerie zusammen mit Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher und dem chilenischen Diktator Augusto Pinochet ein.

Arbeitskämpfe | Sprachenpolitik | Inselstreit
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Tricky Footwork-the struggle of labour rights in the Chinese shoe industry (Globalization Monitor)

Collected in interviews conducted in 2015 for this study, testimonies attest to the fact that labour law violations are still a common phenomenon in the Chinese leather and footwear industry. The people who work at the factories that supply European brands such as Adidas, Clarks and ECCO told us of, among other infringements, salaries that are far below a living wage, involuntary overtime, insufficient protection from health and safety risks, insufficient protection for young workers, disrespectful treatment of workers, no right to assembly, state violence to suppress strikes, unpaid social insurance contributions and insufficient severance payments.
All of the above is happening despite the fact that China has very progressive labour laws, especially in comparison with other producing countries.

Matthew Carney: The Labours of Mr Zhang (ABC)

Zhang Ziru has lost count of how many times he has been arrested. One week he remembers it was five times. He lives under constant police surveillance. He has moved away from his family to keep them safe.
Such are the occupational hazards for the labour activist who has helped organise some of China’s biggest strikes.

Gerald Roche: The politics of language on the Tibetan plateau (Little Red Podcast / Soundcloud)

The South China Sea is an important world energy trade route (U. S. Energy Information Administration)

Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca chokepoint in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one of the most important energy trade routes in the world. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) passes through the South China Sea each year.
The Strait of Malacca is the shortest sea route between African and Persian Gulf suppliers and Asian consumers. The strait is a critical transit chokepoint and has become increasingly important over the last two decades. In 1993, about 7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and petroleum products (20% of world seaborne oil trade) passed through the Strait of Malacca …

Jeremy Bender: The only chart you need to see to know that the South China Sea is one of the most militarized regions in the world (Business Insider)

China, by far, has the largest military force in the region. As such, Beijing could force its claims over the South China Sea against the wishes of the other nations involved in the dispute due to both its economic and military size.

Pepe Escobar: The Real Secret of the South China Sea (Sputnik)

The South China Sea is and will continue to be the ultimate geopolitical flashpoint of the young 21st century – way ahead of the Middle East or Russia’s western borderlands. No less than the future of Asia – as well as the East-West balance of power – is at stake.
To understand the Big Picture, we need to go back to 1890 when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers? (Chuang)

Chinese control over the South China Sea would to some extent entail Chinese control over Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese capital. These three countries are longstanding American allies, and it stands to reason that should China be determined to dominate the South China Sea as a territorial water, thereby dominating one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, an American allied coalition may be dragged into conflict.

Peter Symonds: The Hague ruling: A dangerous step toward war (World Socialist Website)

In the wake of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s sweeping ruling on Tuesday in The Hague, negating all Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea, there has been a chorus of US-led condemnations of China’s “illegal activities,” demands that Beijing abide by the court decision and calls for US diplomatic and military action to enforce the verdict.

Robert Fitzthum: Der Konflikt in der South China Sea im geostrategischen Kontext (PDF, Labournet Austria)

Mehr als 11.000 km vom amerikanischen Festland entfernt proben US-Flugzeugträger, Lenkwaffenkreuzer sowie EP-3 Spionageflugzeuge in der South China Sea die ‚Freedom of Navigation‘. Erstaunlicherweise passieren jährlich ca. 100.000 Transportschiffe und viele Verkehrsflugzeuge dieses Gebiet, ohne dass man bisher von Problemen in der Freiheit der Passage durch die South China Sea gehört hatte. Die USA werfen China aggressives Verhalten im Zusammenhang mit der Schaffung von künstlichen Inseln und ziviler und militärischer Einrichtungen vor. Ein Jahrzehnte alter, regional allseits bewusst niedrig gehaltener Konflikt über die Hoheits- und Nutzungsrechte an Inseln, Riffen, Felsen, Meeresgebieten u.ä. wird derzeit als großes Problem hochgekocht und man fragt sich, warum ist das der Fall.

Jacques deLisle: The South China Sea Arbitration Decision: China Fought the Law, and the Law Won….Or Did It? (Foreign Policy Research Institute)

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague issued its unanimous decision on July 12 in the case that the Philippines had filed against the People’s Republic of China two and a half years earlier, the Court set forth: a stunning repudiation of several of China’s key legal arguments and much of its real-world behavior in the disputed South China Sea; a remarkable affirmation of the core elements of US policy and strategy toward the contested maritime region and China’s claims and actions therein; and a striking assertion of the reach and capacity of international law and formal dispute resolution procedures. Yet, as with so much else concerning the South China Sea, China’s relations with its neighbors, US policy toward China, and international law, the implications of the decision are a good deal more ambiguous and ambivalent. In the aftermath of the decision, China is faced with difficult choices, the US with complex dilemmas, and international law with substantial peril.

Minxin Pei: Why China’s elites worry about the country’s future (Nikkei Asian Review)

[I]f you meet Chinese businessmen, academics or government officials who are willing to share their candid opinions in private, most will tell you they have no idea where China is going. Several recent important developments create the same sense of bewilderment about China’s overall direction.

Kulturrevolution
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Grassroots Factionalism in China’s Cultural Revolution: Rethinking the Paradigm (H-PRC)

Discussants: Felix Wemheuer (University of Cologne), Andrew Walder (Stanford University), Jonathan Unger (Australian National University), Joel Andreas (Johns Hopkins University), Yiching Wu (University of Toronto)
Notes from a roundtable at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Seattle March 2016
In the 1980s, Western scholars developed a powerful paradigm to explain mass political factionalism in Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-69) in rational terms, rather than portraying the movement as mere “madness.” They explained mass factionalism as the escalation of latent conflicts between groups from different social backgrounds and with different political interests in the period before the Cultural Revolution. This influential paradigm has since been challenged from several angles, most prominently by Andrew Walder in his book Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement (Harvard University Press, 2009). Walder and several other scholars have argued that the roles of social background and ideological differences in explaining factional divisions have been exaggerated, and that contingent events and instrumental interests were far more important. The aim of this discussion is to bring new light to this debate. How was grassroots factionalism linked to conflicts at higher levels? How did the social and political backgrounds of participants impact factional participation? Did different interpretations of Maoist ideology matter? Were ordinary participants fighting mainly to avoid the consequences of defeat?

Paul Clark: What is cultural about the Cultural Revolution? Creativity Amid Destruction (SupChina)

Paul Clark discusses the films, plays, operas, ballets, architecture and other creative works in China during the Cultural Revolution.

Dikötter und der Große Sprung
Aug 5th, 2016 by Gao

Frank Dikötter: Looking back on the Great Leap Forward (History Today)

Frank Dikötter explains how the gradual opening of Chinese archives has revealed the appalling truth about Chairman Mao’s genocidal rule…
What comes out … is a tale of horror in which Mao emerges as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962.

Dikötter wiederholt sein Lieblingszitat:

As the minutes of leadership meetings show, Mao was aware of the extent of the famine. At a secret gathering that took place in Shanghai on March 25th, 1959, Mao specifically ordered the party to procure up to one third of all grain. He announced that: ‘When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.’

Hier das Zitat mit etwas mehr Kontext:

要完成计划,就要大減项目。1078个项目中还应該堅決地再多削減,削到500个。平均使用力量是破坏大跃进的办法。大家吃不飽,大家死,不如死一半,給一半人吃飽。
Um den Plan zu erfüllen, müssen wir die Zahl der Projekte drastisch verringern. Von den 1078 Projekten müssen wir rigoros noch einmal viele streichen, bis auf 500. Die Kräfte gleichmäßig zu verteilen ist eine Methode, den Großen Sprung Vorwärts zu sabotieren. Wenn sich nicht alle sattessen können, sterben alle; es ist besser, wenn nur die eine Hälfte stirbt und sich die andere Hälfte dafür sattessen kann.

Máo spricht also nicht von Menschen, sondern von Industrie- und Bauprojekten, die man „sterben“ lassen soll; man kann es gar nicht anders verstehen. Dass dieses Zitat aus dem Zusammenhang gerissen und der Sinn völlig entstellt ist, stört Dikötter offenbar wenig, und obwohl bereits mehrere Historiker_innen darauf hingewiesen haben (vgl. Looking for Great Leap „smoking gun“ document, H-NET), bringt er es immer wieder.
Und so geistert das gefälschte Zitat auch weiter in den Medien herum:
Ilya Somin: Remembering the biggest mass murder in the history of the world (Washington Post)

Who was the biggest mass murderer in the history of the world? Most people probably assume that the answer is Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust. Others might guess Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who may indeed have managed to kill even more innocent people than Hitler did, many of them as part of a terror famine that likely took more lives than the Holocaust. But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded…
The basic facts of the Great Leap Forward have long been known to scholars. Dikötter’s work is noteworthy for demonstrating that the number of victims may have been even greater than previously thought, and that the mass murder was more clearly intentional on Mao’s part.

Die Phrase “more clearly intentional” ist natürlich entscheidend. Und Somins conclusio?

The horrendous history of China, the USSR, and their imitators, should have permanently discredited socialism as completely as fascism was discredited by the Nazis.

Nachsatz – kleiner Sprung nach Lateinamerika:

Just recently, the socialist government of Venezuela imposed forced labor on much of its population… Venezuela’s tragic situation would not surprise anyone familiar with the history of the Great Leap Forward.

Inselstreit | Liu Wencai | Geschichte
Aug 4th, 2016 by Gao

Alfred Gerstl: Südchinesisches Meer: Friedliche Lösung im Interesse aller (Reispapier)

Der Spruch des Internationalen Schiedshofes über den Streit zwischen den Philippinen und China hat weitgehende Folgen für die Territorialkonflikte im Südchinesischen Meer. An einer diplomatischen Lösung führt jedoch kein Weg vorbei – sie liegt im Interesse aller Beteiligten.

Vanessa Piao: Grandson of China’s Most-Hated Landlord Challenges Communist Lore (New York Times)

Sorghum and Steel. The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China (chuang)

The story we tell below explains the century-long creation of China as an economic entity. Unlike the nationalists, we do not hope to uncover any secret lineage of culture, language or ethnicity in order to explain the unique character of today’s China. Unlike many leftists, we also do not seek to trace out the “red thread” in history, discovering where the socialist project “went wrong” and what could have been done to achieve communism in some alternate universe. Instead, we aim to inquire into the past in order to understand our present moment. What does the current slowdown in Chinese growth bode for the global economy? What hope, if any, do contemporary struggles in China hold for any future communist project?
Our long-term goal is to answer these questions—to compose a coherent communist perspective on China not muddied by the romance of dead revolutions or the hysteria of rapid growth rates. Below we offer the first in a three-part history of the emergence of China out of the global imperatives of capitalist accumulation. In this issue we cover the explicitly non-capitalist portion of this history, the socialist era and its immediate precursors, which saw the development of the first modern industrial infrastructure on the East Asian mainland…
This first section covers the non-capitalist period, in which the popular movement led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) succeeded in both destroying the old regime and halting the transition to capitalism, leaving the region stuck in an inconsistent stasis understood at the time to be “socialism.”

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.

Kulturrevolution – Familie Crook, Dikötter
Mai 16th, 2016 by Gao

Paul Crook: Growing up a foreigner during Mao’s Cultural Revolution (BBC)

Paul Crook’s Communist parents met in China in 1940 and brought up their three sons in Beijing. In the 1960s, Paul was caught up in the Cultural Revolution, a chaotic attempt to root out elements seen as hostile to Communist rule…
In the autumn of 1967, I joined a bunch of foreign kids and went to a commune just outside Beijing, where we harvested sweet potatoes and pears.
It was a very happy time, but then when I came home three weeks later my brothers said, ‚You’ll never guess what has happened, they’ve arrested a spy at the university among the foreigners, can you guess who it is?‘
I thought of a few relatively dodgy characters. But it turned out to be my father…
We were constantly going to different government departments to find out where he was locked up, so we could deliver reading material to him or food that he liked.
My mother was repeatedly summoned for questioning and eventually she too disappeared…
My father was released from prison after five years, much of it spent in solitary confinement.
He and my mother were later exonerated of any wrongdoing, and received an official apology.
My parents were never physically abused in all the time they were locked up, but it was a trying time, to say the least.
They were sustained by their belief that all this upheaval was part of an attempt to create a better society.

Neil Connor: ‚We thought Mao was doing a wonderful thing,‘ says British Red Guard 50 years after China’s Cultural Revolution (Telegraph)

Michael Crook, a Briton whose Communist father moved to China before the Second World War, was one of a handful of foreigners living in the country when Mao launched an all-out class war…
Far from worrying that he too could come under suspicion because of his Western background, he was among the first of his classmates to sign up for the Red Guard …

Michael Crook: Cultural Revolution (Video, Western Academy of Beijing)
Comrade Isabel Crook: 100 years old and still fighting for communism (Lalkar)
Oren Root: Crook Asserts West Distorts Chinese ‘Cultural Revolution’ (Columbia Daily Spectator, 15. Dezember 1966)

David Crook, an English professor now teaching in Communist China, last night accused the Western press of deliberately distorting news of the current Chinese “Proletarian Cultural Revolution.”

Terry Gross, Frank Dikötter, Dave Davies: Newly Released Documents Detail Traumas Of China’s Cultural Revolution (NPR)

Our guest, historian Frank Dikotter, has plumbed newly-opened Chinese archives to get a deeper understanding of the Cultural Revolution – the motives of its leaders, the scale of the violence and its lasting effects on the country. Dikotter argues in his new book that the turmoil destroyed the credibility of the Communist Party and laid the basis for economic reforms that transformed the country. … FRESH AIR contributor Dave Davies spoke to him about his new book, „The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History.“

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.

Alltag in China unter Mao
Jan 30th, 2016 by Gao

Tong Lam: Everyday Life in Mao’s China: A Q&A with Historian Covell Meyskens (Los Angeles Review of Books)

In the early 20th century, Paul Valery predicted that one day in the not too distant future, it would be possible for someone to access information from all over the world without having to travel anywhere. With the arrival of the digital age, this prediction has become our reality. The possibilities that this condition has opened up for contemporary scholarship are truly exciting. A few months ago, I began my first venture into this realm, when I created the website Everyday Life in Mao’s China.
The website came about largely by accident. Over the past few years, I had collected a number of digital photos of the Maoist period, but I had not made much of them, except as illustrations in my dissertation. Then, last fall, I began to show some in my courses to spur discussions. A few lively class sessions later, I realized how useful it would be to have a website where people could access all sorts of images of China under Mao.

Blog/Website: Everyday Life in Mao’s China

This website is dedicated to photos and paintings of everyday life in China from roughly the 1930s to the 1980s.

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

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