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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.

Wukan
Dez 28th, 2016 by Gao

China jails nine over protests in Guangdong “democracy” village (South China Morning Post)

Nine Guangdong villagers have been jail for up to 10 years for taking part in protests in September in a community once seen as a symbol of grass-roots democracy in China.
Villagers in Wukan, 170km northeast of Hong Kong, expressed frustration over the sentencing, which critics said was a warning to others not to stage similar demonstrations.

Wong Lok-to, Ding Wenqi: China Jails Nine Protesters From Guangdong’s Rebel Village of Wukan (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have handed down jail terms of up to 10 years to nine residents of the rebel village of Wukan following months of mass protests earlier in the year.
Wei Yonghan, Yang Jinzhen, Hong Yongzhong, Wu Fang, Zhuang Songkun, Cai Jialin, Li Chulu, Chen Suzhuan, and Zhang Bingchai stood trial on Dec. 17, mostly on a variety of public order charges, former Wukan resident Zhuang Liehong told RFA.
They were handed prison sentences in on Monday ranging from two to 10 years, he said.
Prosecutors said fellow protester Zhang Bingchai had „published false information via WeChat and manufactured rumors, which had a deleterious effect in the community.“
Wei Yonghan and Yang Jinzhen were found guilty of „organizing and inciting the villagers of Wukan to attend illegal meetings, demonstrations.“
Wei was also convicted of inciting villagers and „other members of the public“ to confrontation with police, throwing stones and bricks at them, and injuring police officers on duty.
Meanwhile, protesters Li Chulu, Cai Jialin, and Zhuang Songkun „rode their motorcycles to intercept passing vehicles, causing serious disruption to traffic,“ according to an indictment notice issued by the Haifeng District People’s Court, which tried them.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, David Bandurski: From Diamond Village to Wukan (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Protests broke out again in Wukan a couple of months ago after the democratically elected leader of the village, Lin Zulian, was jailed for corruption. He made a public confession on Chinese state television. When the villagers staged more protests in response to what all signs point to as a spurious prosecution and a forced public confession, riot police moved in, arresting villagers. Anxious to avoid a repeat of events in 2011, the authorities were also far more aggressive in dealing with foreign journalists trying to cover the story. I think this was retribution, four years delayed, against the village of Wukan for an experiment many Communist Party leaders surely saw as a dangerous precedent.
This experiment was, in my view, doomed from the start. How could the elected leaders possibly hope to resolve these land issues when leaders at every level over their heads had been complicit, and not only hoped their experiment would fail but had a clear interest in seeing land deals of this kind continue? The Financial Times reported in 2011 that 40 percent of local government revenue in this part of Guangdong came from land financing, basically the sale of cheap village land to property developers. In many cities, the percentage is even higher, and the incentive to take village land for profit is a huge driver of the kinds of cases of abuse and resistance I document.

Qiao Long, Zhuang Liehong: ‚We Called on Trump For Justice in Wukan‘ (Radio Free Asia)
Rammie Chui, Zoe Lai: Behind the scenes: The mainland journalist who writes about China’s human rights (Hong Kong Free Press)

Landwirtschaft | Hongkong | Korea | Philippinen
Okt 19th, 2016 by Gao

Robert B. Marks: Modern China’s agricultural contradictions / 现代中国的农业矛盾 (ChinaDialogue)

The People’s Republic had to overcome massive environmental degradation and poor quality farmland to drive its industrial transformation

Francesco Sisci: Expect a power struggle at China’s next party plenum (Asia Times)

It is a strange situation: Xi sits on all the power—none of his opponents has enough strength to topple him—but the antagonists can muster enough force to slow down or stop Xi’s plans for change. The vested interests in the country and the party are well rooted, widespread, and unwilling to give up all of their privileges and money for the general benefit of the country – or what they may believe are Xi’s personal ambitions. It is almost a political deadlock, and for both Xi and his opponents, it may be a fight to the bitter end.

Tom Phillips: Rebel Hong Kong politicians defy China at chaotic swearing-in ceremony (Guardian)

Pro-democracy politicians cross fingers and make protest signs and subversive references to Beijing’s authoritarian rulers.

Benny Kung: HK pro-independence lawmakers prevented from retaking oath (Asia Times)

Two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers were denied the chance to swear themselves into office on Wednesday after their pro-Beijing peers walked out of the chamber in protest at the duo’s anti-China sentiment.

Hong Kong lawmakers walk out to block swearing-in of democracy activists (Guardian)

Reuters: US and South Korea will ‚pay the price‘ for missile system, China paper says (Guardian)

Noel Tarrazona: Did the US end military drills over Duterte’s China pivot? (Asia Times)

Last Tuesday (Oct 11) was significant for the Philippines. The day marked the early end to the US-Philippines military drills which was supposed to go on till Oct 12…
There may be genuine reasons for this change of plans but many Filipinos and the outside world immediately linked it with Duterte’s recent statement that this would be the last military drill between the two countries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

„Umweltkultur“ und Getreideproduktion
Nov 12th, 2014 by Gao

Zhihe Wang, Huili He, Meijun Fan: The Ecological Civilization Debate in China (Monthly Review)

China is facing many serious environmental issues, including pollution in the air, groundwater, and soil. These problems have increased since China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy—and in spite of the Chinese government’s 2007 proposal to build an “ecological civilization,” and writing “ecological civilization” into the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) constitution in 2012.

Zhun Xu, Wei Zhang, Minqi Li: China’s Grain Production. A Decade of Consecutive Growth or Stagnation? (Monthly Review)

Some progressive writers have argued that while China’s agricultural privatization achieved short-term gains, it did so by undermining long-term production facilities such as the infrastructure and public services built in the socialist era. Environmental scholars have questioned the sustainability of the Chinese agriculture. In a report published in 1995, Lester R. Brown raised the question: “Who will feed China?” He argued that the Chinese population’s changing diet, shrinking cropland, stagnating productivity, and environmental constraints would lead to a widening gap between China’s food supply and demand, a gap the world’s leading grain exporters would not be able to fill.

Ältere Artikel:
Zhihe Wang: Ecological Marxism in China (Monthly Review)
Wen Tiejun, Lau Kinchi, Cheng Cunwang, Huili He, Qiu Jiansheng: Ecological Civilization, Indigenous Culture, and Rural Reconstruction in China (Monthly Review)
Zhihe Wang, Meijun Fan, Hui Dong, Dezhong Sun, Lichun Li: What Does Ecological Marxism Mean For China? Questions and Challenges for John Bellamy Foster (Monthly Review)

Gewerkschaften | „Bodenreform“
Feb 9th, 2014 by Gao

Forum Arbeitswelten: Gewerkschaften und gewerkschaftliches Handeln der Lohnabhängigen in China – Wo zeigen sich emanzipatorische Perspektiven?

Ein Diskussionsworkshop am 14./15. März 2014 des Forum Arbeitswelten e.V. in Bochum in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Forum Eltern und Schule (FESCH)

Luigi Tomba: A New Chinese Land Reform? (Japan Focus)

On 3 April 2013, the People’s Daily published a commentary on the violent death of two protesting farmers in Henan, crushed in two separate incidents by vehicles used to clear their land for development. ‘Besides the open questions about the administrative violations,’ wrote the author, ‘there remain other things to be asked: has the expropriation followed the appropriate procedures? Is it legal to build a hotel or any permanent structure on basic agricultural land? And if there are problems, who is going to evaluate them, who is taking responsibility?’ For people to feel that they have obtained justice, the article argued, ‘the greatest efforts should be made to protect the life of every citizen’. These episodes were followed just a few days later by a major incident in which 300 employees of Bureau No.13 of the Ministry of Railways attacked farmers who were picketing land earmarked for expropriation.

Entkollektivierung | China und Indien
Jun 21st, 2013 by Gao

Zhun Xu: The Political Economy of Decollectivization in China (Monthly Review)

Decollectivization of China’s rural economy in the early 1980s was one of the most significant aspects of the country’s transition to a capitalist economy. Deng Xiaoping praised it as an “innovation,” and its significance to the overall capitalist-oriented “reform” process surely cannot be overstated. The Chinese government has repeatedly referred to the supposed economic benefits of decollectivization as having “greatly increased the incentives to millions of peasants.” Nevertheless, the political-economic implications of decollectivization have always been highly ambiguous, and questionable at best. Individual or small groups of peasants were frequently portrayed in mainstream accounts as political stars for initiating the process, but this served to obscure the deep resistance to decollectivization in many locales. Moreover, the deeper causes and consequences of the agrarian reform are downplayed in most writings, leaving the impression that the rural reform was in the main politically neutral.

Amartya Sen: Why India Trails China (New York Times)

Inequality is high in both countries, but China has done far more than India to raise life expectancy, expand general education and secure health care for its people. India has elite schools of varying degrees of excellence for the privileged, but among all Indians 7 or older, nearly one in every five males and one in every three females are illiterate. And most schools are of low quality; less than half the children can divide 20 by 5, even after four years of schooling. India may be the world’s largest producer of generic medicine, but its health care system is an unregulated mess. The poor have to rely on low-quality — and sometimes exploitative — private medical care, because there isn’t enough decent public care. While China devotes 2.7 percent of its gross domestic product to government spending on health care, India allots 1.2 percent.

Landwirtschaft, Staatskapitalismus, Globalisierung
Mai 3rd, 2013 by Gao

Samir Amin: China 2013 (Monthly Review)

In fact the question, “Is China capitalist or socialist?” is badly posed, too general and abstract for any response to make sense in terms of this absolute alternative. In fact, China has actually been following an original path since 1950, and perhaps even since the Taiping Revolution in the nineteenth century. I shall attempt here to clarify the nature of this original path at each of the stages of its development from 1950 to today—2013.

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