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Walmart | Japan
Jul 11th, 2016 by Gao

Kevin Lin: In China, Walmart Retail Workers Walk Out over Unfair Scheduling (Labor Notes)

About 70 Walmart workers began a wildcat strike July 1 against an unpopular new flexible scheduling system. They are reacting against a campaign of intimidation by Walmart China, which has been trying to coerce store workers to accept the new schedules since May…
From 1996 to the mid-2000s, Zhou says, Walmart workers were comparatively well-paid—making more than three times the average salary of workers in Shenzhen, a factory city created to produce for export.
But with rapid inflation over the past decade, Walmart’s real wages and benefits have fallen to only a third of the Shenzhen average. The same is true elsewhere in China.
Today Walmart wages are not significantly higher than local minimum wages. After paying their social security contributions, worker may even be making less than minimum wage—and certainly way below a decent living wage.

Strikes at Walmart stores in China begin to spread (China Labour Bulletin)

More than 200 workers from at least three Walmart stores in China went on strike over the weekend in protest against the company’s introduction of a comprehensive working hours system. The workers also called for new trade union elections.
On 1 July, at least 130 workers at Store No. 5782 in Nanchang, Jiangxi, began marching through the store, chanting “Walmart Workers Stand Up!” and “No to the Comprehensive Working Hours System!” Workers had discovered the previous day that the company had unilaterally enforced the new working hours system against their wishes. The workers said management might now use the new system to punish activists by cutting their overtime pay.
In solidarity, some 30 workers at Store No. 2039 in the same city and another 60 employees at Store No.0209 in Chengdu, Sichuan, walked out on 2 July and 4 July respectively.

Made in China, 2. Ausgabe (PDF, chinoiserie.info)

A Quarterly on Chinese Labour, Civil Society, and Rights

Lily Kuo: African migrants are returning from China and telling their compatriots not to go (Quartz)

When Lamin Ceesay, an energetic 25-year-old from Gambia, arrived in China last year, he thought his life had made a turn for the better. As the oldest of four siblings, he was responsible for caring for his family, especially after his father passed away. But jobs were few in his hometown of Tallinding Kunjang, outside of the Gambian capital of Banjul. After hearing about China’s rise, his uncle sold off his taxi business and the two of them bought a ticket and a paid local visa dealer to get them to China.

William Nee: China’s Disturbing Detention of Hong Kong Booksellers (Diplomat)

A recently returned bookseller has decided to speak out, with some disturbing revelations.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: World faces deflation shock as China devalues yuan at accelerating pace (Telegraph)

China has abandoned a solemn pledge to keep its exchange rate stable and is carrying out a systematic devaluation of the yuan, sending a powerful deflationary impulse through a global economy already caught in a 1930s trap.
The country’s currency basket has been sliding at an annual pace of 12pc since the start of the year. This has picked up sharply since the Brexit vote, suggesting that the People’s Bank (PBOC) may be taking advantage of the distraction to push through a sharper devaluation.

Alexander Billet: Super Official Marx (Jacobin)

The Chinese Communist Party put out a hip-hop track praising Karl Marx. It’s as bad as you would expect.

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.

Entlassungen | Milliardäre
Mrz 7th, 2016 by Gao

Kevin Yao, Meng Meng: China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in coal, steel sectors (Reuters)

China said on Monday it expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, or about 15 percent of the workforce, as part of efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity, but no timeframe was given.
It was the first time China has given figures that underline the magnitude of its task in dealing with slowing growth and bloated state enterprises.
Yin Weimin, the minister for human resources and social security, told a news conference that 1.3 million workers in the coal sector could lose jobs, plus 500,000 from the steel sector. China’s coal and steel sectors employ about 12 million workers, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics.
„This involves the resettlement of a total of 1.8 million workers. This task will be very difficult, but we are still very confident,“ Yin said.

China schrumpft Industrie und streicht Millionen Jobs (Standard)

China steht vor den größten Massenentlassungen seit zwei Jahrzehnten. Die Regierung will in der Industrie fünf bis sechs Millionen Arbeitsplätze streichen. …
Ende der 1990er-Jahre waren in einem Zeitraum von fünf Jahren 28 Millionen Jobs abgebaut worden. Die damalige Umstrukturierung verursachte Kosten in Höhe von 73,1 Milliarden Yuan (10,25 Mrd. Euro) für die soziale Abfederung. Erst am Montag hatte Arbeitsminister Yin Weimin erklärt, dass allein in der Kohle- und Stahlindustrie 1,8 Millionen Jobs wegfallen sollen.

七问供给侧结构性改革——权威人士谈当前经济怎么看怎么干(《人民日报》~新华社)

去年底召开的中央经济工作会议,对“十三五”开局之年的经济工作进行了全面部署,强调要着力推进供给侧结构性改革,推动经济持续健康发展。如何认真学习、深刻领会、正确贯彻中央经济工作会议精神,围绕推进供给侧结构性改革这条主线,做好新一年经济工作?近日,权威人士接受本报独家专访,对“供给侧结构性改革”作了解读和阐释。

Chris Buckley: Xi Jinping’s Remedy for China’s Economic Gloom Has Echoes of Reaganomics (New York Times)

With the world looking to China for assurance that it can manage its slowing economy and tumultuous stock market, President Xi Jinping has begun pushing a remedy that sounds less like Marx and Mao than Reagan and Thatcher.
Mr. Xi is calling his next big economic initiative “supply-side structural reform,” a deliberate echo of the nostrums of tax cuts and deregulation advocated by those conservative Western leaders in the 1980s.

Johnny Erling: 218 Milliardäre in Chinas Parlamenten (Standard)

Noch nie tummelten sich so viele Milliardäre unter den Volksvertretern. 117 Volkskongressabgeordnete sind im Hauptberuf schwerreiche Unternehmer, Konzernchefs oder Internetbetreiber. Weitere 101 Superreiche sitzen im Beraterparlament [Gemeint ist die Politische Konsultativkonferenz des Chinesischen Volkes, 政協].
Rupert Hoogewerf, Herausgeber der jährlich in Shanghai erscheinenden Hurun-Reichenlisten, hat sie nun auf seiner 2016 erschienen Weltliste zum Ranking von 2188 Dollar- Milliardären und einer weiteren Liste von 1877 chinesischen Superreichen erkannt. Am Samstag veröffentlichte er eine neue Ranking-Liste mit 218 der „reichsten Politiker Chinas 2016“, die in beiden Kammern des Parlaments sitzen. Mitglieder dieses exklusiven Klubs können nur Abgeordnete werden, die mindestens Firmen-, Aktien- oder Immobilienvermögen im Wert von mehr als zwei Milliarden Yuan (300 Millionen Euro) besitzen. Ein Jahre zuvor hatte der Brite 203 Abgeordnete im Volkskongress und im Beraterparlament als Milliardäre gezählt, darunter 106 superreiche Abgeordnete im NPC (3,6 Prozent aller Delegierten) und 97 im CPPCC (4,3 Prozent). Nun stieg der Anteil auf 3,9 und 4,5 Prozent. …
Insgesamt vermehrten die 117 Superreichen im Volkskongress 2015 ihr Vermögen im Durchschnitt um 20 Prozent, die 101 im Beraterparlament um zehn Prozent. Chinas Wirtschaftswachstum stieg dagegen nur um 6,9 Prozent. …
Die meisten darunter dürften sogar Mitglieder der Kommunistischen Partei sein, wie etwa der Wahaha-Getränkegigant Zong Qinghou aus Hangzhou. …
Seit 2001 umarmt die Partei pragmatisch den neuen Geldadel Chinas, solange er patriotisch gesinnt ist, seine Steuern zahlt und den Aufbau des Landes unterstützt. Nirgendwo werden Unternehmer so schnell zu Milliardären wie in China …
Auf der globalen Hoogewerf-Reichenliste sind unter den 2188 Dollar-Milliardären in 68 Ländern auf der ganzen Welt bereits 568 Chinesen.

潘奕燃:电视剧通则曝光 早恋婚外恋转世等不得出现(中国网~搜狐)

在前天举行的电视剧四大行业委员会的联合年会上,国家新闻出版广电总局电视剧司司长李京盛在谈到电视剧的生产制作规范时,提到了由中广联电视制片委员会和中国电视剧制作产业协会共同制定的《电视剧内容制作通则》。
  新出台的《电视剧内容制作通则》曝出,该通则详细规定了不能在电视剧中出现的具体内容,涉及同性恋、婚外情、未成年人早恋等。该通则对于电视剧制作单位和创作者有“指南”作用。

电视剧通则曝光 早恋同性恋转世不得出现(新浪)

《电视剧内容制作通则》曝出,该通则详细规定了不能在电视剧中出现的具体内容,涉及同性恋、婚外情、未成年人早恋等。

Hannah Ellis-Petersen: China bans depictions of gay people on television (Guardian)

The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”.
Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates the dark side of society” and now deem homosexuality, extramarital affairs, one night stands and underage relationships as illegal on screen.

Josh Horwitz, Zheping Huang: China’s new television rules ban homosexuality, drinking, and vengeance (Quartz)

In the past decade, Chinese society has embraced homosexuality more openly than many neighboring nations in Asia. But a new set of rules from a subdivision of SARFT, one of the main media censorship bodies, go in the other direction. If upheld, Chinese producers can no longer make television shows depicting “abnormal sexual relations or sexual behavior” including “homosexuality” or “perversion.”
That’s not all. The new rules also ban shows that depict smoking, drinking, adultery, sexual freedom or reincarnation, among many other activities.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: How China Won the War Against Western Media (Foreign Policy)

The one-two punch of censorship plus propaganda has discredited Western journalism in the eyes of many Chinese.

Ilaria Maria Sala: Second ‚missing‘ Hong Kong bookseller returns from China (Guardian)

Cheung Chi-ping arrives back home two days after authorities released his boss, Lui Por, but three publishers remain on the mainland.

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

Streik bei Cuiheng | Mindestreservesatz | Dokument Nr. 9
Apr 20th, 2015 by Gao

At the sharp end of the workers’ movement in China: The Zhongshan Cuiheng strike (China Labour Bulletin)

A month-long strike at a Japanese-owned bag manufacturer in the Pearl River Delta town of Zhongshan has been characterized by police violence, arrests and intimidation, and the absolute refusal of the boss to negotiate. Welcome to the sharp end of the workers’ movement in China.
The strike broke out in mid-March. The roughly 200 workers at Cuiheng Co. were unhappy at low-pay and the refusal of the company to pay social security and housing fund contributions, year-end bonuses and other benefits.

Tom Barnes, Kevin Lin: China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally (Conversation)

Reuters: China’s central bank cuts reserve ratio (Guardian)

China’s central bank has cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves on Sunday, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world’s second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth.
The People’s Bank of China lowered the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for all banks by 100 basis points to 18.5%, effective from Monday, the central bank said in a statement on its website.

Angus Grigg: China frees up $200b to stoke economy (Financial Review)

The RRR cut is expected to release around 1 trillion yuan ($208 billion) of capital into the economy.

China Steps Up Economy Help With Reduced Bank Reserve Ratios (Bloomberg)

The reserve-requirement ratio was lowered 1 percentage point Monday, the People’s Bank of China said. While that was the second reduction this year, the new level of 18.5 percent is still high by global standards. The cut will allow banks to boost lending by about 1.2 trillion yuan ($194 billion)…
The reserve ratio will be reduced by another percentage point for rural financial institutions, two additional percentage points for Agricultural Development Bank and a further 0.5 percentage point for banks with a certain level of loans to agriculture and small enterprises.
Those extra reductions give the move a “reformist flavor,” wrote Bloomberg economists Tom Orlik and Fielding Chen. Still, with growth weak and small companies most at risk, it’s understandable banks see state-owned firms as safer bets.
“As ever, the price of stronger growth is slower progress on structural reform,” they wrote.

Document 9: A ChinaFile Translation (ChinaFile)

This weekend, China’s leaders gather in Beijing for meetings widely expected to determine the shape of China’s economy, as well as the nation’s progress, over the next decade. What exactly the outcome of this Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will be remains shrouded in no small measure of secrecy, like most matters of high politics in China. President Xi Jinping has signaled that a significant new wave of economic liberalization may be in the works. But in the realm of political reform, Xi also has signaled a deep reluctance. In fact, many of the actions taken and techniques used under his year of leadership suggest a return to ideas and tactics that hark back to the days of Mao Zedong.
One such signal came during this past spring, when reports began to appear that the Party leadership was being urged to guard against seven political “perils,” including constitutionalism, civil society, “nihilistic” views of history, “universal values,” and the promotion of “the West’s view of media.” It also called on Party members to strengthen their resistance to “infiltration” by outside ideas, renew their commitment to work “in the ideological sphere,” and to handle with renewed vigilance all ideas, institutions, and people deemed threatening to unilateral Party rule. These warnings were enumerated in a communiqué circulated within the Party by its General Office in April, and, because they constituted the ninth such paper issued this year, have come to be known as “Document 9.”

Daniel A. Bell: Teaching ‘Western Values’ in China (New York Times)

Nobody is surprised that the Chinese government curbs “Western-style” civil and political liberties. But it may be news to some people that the government has recently called for the strengthening of Marxist ideology in universities and a ban on “teaching materials that disseminate Western values in our classrooms.” On the face of it, such regulations are absurd. It would mean banning not just the ideas of John Stuart Mill and John Rawls, but also those of such thinkers as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Reporters Without Borders reveals state secrets in reaction to Gao Yu’s sentence (Reporters Without Borders)

Brian Eyler: China’s new silk roads tie together 3 continents (China Dialogue)

China recently unveiled an action plan for its controversial One Belt, One Road initiative to link its economy with the rest of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Known as the ‘new silk roads’, it combines new infrastructure networks of roads, railway lines, ports to strengthen trade, investment, and people-to-people cooperation.

Meinungsumfrage | Li Keqiang
Apr 19th, 2015 by Gao

Jennifer Pan, Xu Yiqing: China’s Ideological Spectrum (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

We offer the first large scale empirical analysis of ideology in contemporary China to determine whether individuals fall along a discernible and coherent ideological spectrum, and whether there are regional and inter-group variations in ideological orientation. Using principal component analysis (PCA) on a survey of 171,830 individuals, we identify one dominant ideological dimension in China. Individuals who are politically conservative, who emphasize the supremacy of the state and nationalism, are also likely to be economically conservative, supporting a return to socialism and state-control of the economy, and culturally conservative, supporting traditional, Confucian values. In contrast, political liberals, supportive of constitutional democracy and individual liberty, are also likely to be economic liberals who support market-oriented reform and social liberals who support modern science and values such as sexual freedom. This uni-dimensionality of ideology is robust to a wide variety of diagnostics and checks. Using post-stratification based on census data, we find a strong relationship between liberal orientation and modernization—provinces with higher levels of economic development, trade openness, urbanization are more liberal than their poor, rural counterparts, and individuals with higher levels of education and income and more liberal than their less educated and lower-income peers.

‘Ideological spectrum’ misreads local reality (Global Times)

Two students from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a „China’s Ideological Spectrum,“ which covers 29 provinces, cities and autonomous regions in China, labeling them as „liberal“ (right), „conservative“ (left) and „neutral.“ They argue that a certain unification of politics, economy, society and culture exists in Chinese values, claiming that coastal areas with higher levels of economic development are mostly liberal regions, while the majority of individuals in the less developed provinces and cities in the central and western areas are conservative…
Foreign fallacies have constantly penetrated Chinese public opinion. These fallacies, which were disseminated under the cover of prestigious Western academic institutions or media, have proved deceptive. Domestic Chinese scholars as well as the media should spare no effort to expose them so as to the set the record straight.

Michael Forsythe: Survey Offers Rare Window Into Chinese Political Culture (New York Times)

A Chinese conservative supports the teachings of the philosopher Confucius, backs a strong state and wants the government to have a strong role in running the economy. Chinese liberals yearn for more civil liberties, believe in free-market capitalism and want more sexual freedom.
That’s the key finding of a new paper by two graduate students at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that draws on an online 50-question survey of more than 171,000 people to give a rare look into the lively political culture of what would be, if it were not in a Leninist straitjacket, the world’s biggest electorate…
The Chinese political divide differs from the current split between Republicans and Democrats in the United States. Chinese conservatives are, roughly, more akin to Southern Democrats who backed the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt — socially conservative but supporting a strong government hand in the economy. Liberals in China are more like American libertarians or traditional British liberals — socially progressive and supporting a lighter role for the government in the economy…
Ms. Pan said that the survey the paper drew on was not representative of the Chinese population, that their findings were preliminary and that she and Mr. Xu were seeking critiques on their methods from other scholars.
Most respondents were young, male college students living in prosperous coastal areas such as Beijing, Shanghai and the southern province of Guangdong.

杨家岱、吴晶:两位美国学者有关中国自由主义和保守主义分野的调查与分析(RFA)

中国人当中意识形态领域的分野是清楚的:保守派信奉孔孟之道、支持强势政府、希望政府在经济管理中发挥强有力的作用;自由派则追求更多的公民自由、笃信市场经济、向往更多性自由。

Chun Han Wong: Where China’s Liberals Live, and Why (Wall Street Journal)

“Provinces with higher levels of economic development, trade openness, urbanization are more liberal than their poor, rural counterparts,” the researchers said in a paper published online by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology late last week. Residents in inland regions, on the other hand, are more likely to subscribe to conservative calls for a powerful state and collectivist values, they added.

Lionel Barber, David Pilling, Jamil Anderlini: Interview: Li Keqiang on China’s challenges / Transcript (Financial Times)

Li Keqiang is directly responsible for managing what is now the world’s largest economy — at least in purchasing power terms — and leading Beijing’s efforts to move from the credit-fuelled, investment-led growth model of the past to a more sustainable future.
In his first interview with a western media organisation, Mr Li was relaxed, gregarious and clearly in command of his brief during an hour of questioning in the Hong Kong room of the Great Hall, a highly symbolic venue to receive a British newspaper editor.
His main message to the world was China’s continued commitment to the current global financial order, particularly in the wake of Beijing’s move to set up the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank…
Although the substance of the meeting was initially intended to be off the record, Mr Li later agreed to the FT publishing the entire discussion without any changes to his remarks — also unusual in the Chinese context.

AP: Veteran Chinese Journalist Gao Yu Sentenced to 7 Years (New York Times)

A Beijing court sentenced a veteran Chinese journalist to seven years in prison Friday after convicting her of leaking a document detailing the Communist Party leadership’s resolve to aggressively target civil society and press freedom as a threat to its monopoly on power.

Harmonie etc. p. p.
Apr 12th, 2015 by Gao

中共中央 国务院关于构建和谐劳动关系的意见(新华)

劳动关系是生产关系的重要组成部分,是最基本、最重要的社会关系之一。劳动关系是否和谐,事关广大职工和企业的切身利益,事关经济发展与社会和谐。党和国家历来高度重视构建和谐劳动关系,制定了一系列法律法规和政策措施并作出工作部署。各级党委和政府认真贯彻落实党中央和国务院的决策部署,取得了积极成效,总体保持了全国劳动关系和谐稳定。但是,我国正处于经济社会转型时期,劳动关系的主体及其利益诉求越来越多元化,劳动关系矛盾已进入凸显期和多发期,劳动争议案件居高不下,有的地方拖欠农民工工资等损害职工利益的现象仍较突出,集体停工和群体性事件时有发生,构建和谐劳动关系的任务艰巨繁重。

Chun Han Wong: China Aims to Soothe Labor Unrest (Wall Street Journal)

As slowing growth fuels labor unrest in the world’s second-largest economy, China’s top leadership is pushing for greater efforts to foster harmony across its increasingly agitated workforce.
In a recent directive, top Communist Party and government officials called on party cadres and bureaucrats across the country to “make the construction of harmonious labor relations an urgent task,” to ensure “healthy economic development” and to consolidate the party’s “governing status.”

女权主义者被拘第35天,公民寄出媒体报道呼吁检方不予批捕(Evernote)
Edward Wong: Chinese Police Seeking Charges Against Detained Women’s Activists, Lawyer Says (New York Times)

Tingting Shen: Inside the world of China’s trans sex workers (Gay Star News)

Reuters: 2000 police used to quell pollution protest in China which left one dead (Guardian)

One person died and 50 were arrested after some 2,000 police, using rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons, put down a protest by villagers against pollution from a chemical plant in China’s Inner Mongolia, an overseas human rights group said…
In the latest incident, villagers in Naiman Banner took to the streets to protest against a chemical processing zone they said was polluting farmland and grazing land, the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre said in a statement late on Monday.
The group quoted a witness as saying police used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators, leading to one death.

2015年春季人才流动分析报告(智联招聘~中商情报网)

智联招聘发布的《2015春节白领跳槽调研》报告中显示,在12228份调查问卷中,47.8%的白领已经在春节前后更新了简历在找工作中,而有13.7%的白领已经办理了离职或新工作的入职手续。超过半数的白领在春季选择了跳槽。
   当跳槽已成为职场常态。白领怎么跳?跳去哪里?在跳槽的过程中职业规划发生了哪些改变?为此,智联招聘根据2015年春节后白领投递简历行为的全站大数据,独家发布《2015春季人才流动分析报告》为广大白领解读跳槽的方向与选择。

Chun-Wei Yap: Amid Corruption Crackdown, 10,000 Chinese Officials Want New Jobs (Wall Street Journal)

David E. Sanger, Rick Gladstone: Piling Sand in a Disputed Sea, China Literally Gains Ground (New York Times)

The clusters of Chinese vessels busily dredge white sand and pump it onto partly submerged coral, aptly named Mischief Reef, transforming it into an island.
Over a matter of weeks, satellite photographs show the island growing bigger, its few shacks on stilts replaced by buildings. What appears to be an amphibious warship, capable of holding 500 to 800 troops, patrols the reef’s southern opening.

Patrick McGee, Jamil Anderlini: China inflation misses Beijing target (Financial Times)

Subdued demand and falling oil prices last month pulled Chinese inflation well below Beijing’s target of “around 3 per cent” for this year.
China’s consumer price index maintained a sluggish year-on-year pace of 1.4 per cent in March, the same rate as in February, according to the government’s official figures.
Forecasters had predicted the CPI would decelerate to 1.3 per cent.
However, the bigger problem was at factory gates. Producer prices deflated for a 37th consecutive month in March, falling 4.6 per cent, versus a 4.8 per cent fall in February.
That is the longest period of factory gate deflation in China on record.

Pengpeng: “This society is creating angry youth”: memoir of a punk in Wuhan (Chuǎng)

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser, Rogier Creemers: Cyber Leninism and the Political Culture of the Chinese Internet (China File)

Tania Branigan: Top Chinese TV presenter filmed insulting Mao at private dinner (Guardian)

Luftverschmutzung | Xi Jinping
Apr 2nd, 2015 by Gao

北大报告:过去五年北京每周有近5天时间处于污染状态(《财经》~百度)

北京大学3月底发布了一份《空气质量评估报告》引发热议。该报告称,过去五年中,北京平均每周有近5天的时间处于污染状态,每年的重污染天数也比官方公布的高出近一倍。这意味着,北京在过去两年虽采取了激进的大气污染防治行动,但污染情况没有随之改观。
衡量空气质量的重要指标为PM2.5。官方公布2014年的PM2.5年均浓度是85.9微克/立方米,而该报告数字是98.57微克/立方米,比官方数字高近15%。
北大团队采用的是美国驻华大使馆2010年到2014年的PM2.5逐小时浓度的数据,作为分析材料。研究人员从2014年4月份开始收集北京地区的官方PM2.5数据。在此之前的数据官方还未公开。
不过,接受《财经》记者采访的专家分析称,美国大使馆的数据不具有学术分析意义。美国使馆只是一个观测点的数据,无法代表北京全市的PM2.5状况。

Charles Liu: Peking University Report Says Government is Lying about Air Pollution Problem (Nanfang)

An air quality report published by a Peking University research group has taken the government to task over its pollution data, saying the problem is worse than the government is admitting and that measures to clean up Beijing’s smoggy skies aren’t working.
Titled “Air Quality Assessment Report”, the research group found that the average daily reading of PM 2.5 levels in Beijing last year was 98.57, 15 percent higher than the government statistics that say 85.9…
This signifies that despite adopting extreme measures in Beijing to fight against air pollution for the past two years, the situation has not changed.

Willy Lam: Xi Jinping Forever (Foreign Policy)

Is China’s increasingly powerful president angling to break tradition and extend his rule indefinitely?
Foreign and Chinese observers surprised at Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s maneuvers to shake up the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — and at the same time arrogate powers of the party, state, and military to himself — may be in for another shock. Just two and a half years into his reign, Xi appears to be angling to break the 10-year-tenure rule for the country’s supreme leader, with the aim of serving longer than any Chinese ruler in decades.
According to three sources close to top CCP officials, Xi and several top aides are making plans to ensure that the strongman will rule until at least 2027, when he will still be a relatively sprightly 74 years old.

Raimund Löw
Mrz 18th, 2015 by Gao

Raimund Löw ist seit 1. Jänner 2015 Korrespondent des Österreichischen Rundfunks in Beijing.

Die Landessprache beherrscht er „selbstverständlich“ ebensowenig wie seine Vorgänger_innen Jörg Winter und Cornelia Vospernik. Zu seiner neuen Aufgabe sagte er:
Raimund Löw neuer Leiter des ORF-Korrespondentenbüros Peking … (APA)

„Nach sieben spannenden Jahren als Europakorrespondent in Brüssel werde ich mit großer Begeisterung in Asien eintauchen. Meine zukünftige Aufgabe als Peking-Korrespondent des ORF sehe ich darin, über die Trends der globalisierten Welt aus der Perspektive des neu erstarkenden Erdteils zu berichten.“

Es geht also nicht darum, über China zu berichten, sondern darum, aus China über die Welt zu berichten? Und weiter:

„Im Wechselspiel zwischen China, Japan und der Weltmacht USA entstehen die Rahmenbedingungen auch für Europa. Für mich wird es die große Herausforderung sein, beim Blick auf den Fernen Osten auch den Bezug zur vergangenen und aktuellen europäischen Entwicklung herzustellen.“

陈芳:埃菲社记者被点中 遭奥地利记者抢走话筒提问(凤凰网)

一位埃菲社记者率先抢到了提问机会,幸运被点中,却在准备提问时,被旁边一位奥地利记者抢去话筒。
这位抢过话筒的奥地利记者发问总理如何看待乌克兰局势。总理回答称,中国在乌克兰问题上一直保持着客观、公正立场,尊重乌克兰的独立、主权和领土完整。总理还提到前不久与乌克兰总统会面时,说到这段话被问能否向外公布,他表示“把我的原话登到报纸上”。
赵逸男:总理记者会上的“暗战”:

埃菲社记者话筒被抢(《中国日报》)

总理记者会是记者的“战场”。如何争取提问机会?眼疾手快、嗓门大有优势。
3月15日,国务院总理李克强在人民大会堂三楼金色大厅举行记者会。在场近千名中外记者中,17名记者获得提问机会,其中10人来自海外媒体。
据报道,总理记者会设置的初衷就是提供采访机会给境外媒体,让他们更多地了解中国,所以不仅记者见面会邀请函发放时会更多照顾外国媒体和港澳台媒体,提问机会也会向外国媒体、港澳台媒体倾斜。
即便如此,为了能在一年一度的总理记者会上获得提问机会,海外记者还是费尽心思。今年的记者会上,连续第二年提问的英国《金融时报》记者一早就抢占了第一排座位,还打上红领带。而西班牙埃菲社记者仿佛被突如其来的提问机会冲昏了头,一时手慢,坐在他身旁的奥地利记者一把抓过话筒抢先发问,后悔不迭的西班牙记者只能望话筒“兴叹”。

Harald Fidler: Wie ORF-Korrespondent Löw irrtümlich Chinas Premier überraschte (Standard)

Löw: … Ich wollte die Haltung Chinas zur anhaltenden Präsenz russischer Truppen in der Ukraine und zur Invasion der Krim hören. Gehört die Krim nun aus chinesischer Sicht zu Russland oder zur Ukraine? Die Antwort klang nicht so perfekt vorbereitet wie die übrigen, was einige Kollegen fragen ließ, ob ich die Frage nicht einreichen musste.
STANDARD: Nämlich?
Löw: Wir sind für die territoriale Souveränität der Ukraine, das ist alles sehr kompliziert, und wir sind für Dialog. Daraus höre ich einen Unterschied zur russischen Position: Putin möchte sicher keinen Dialog über die Krim. Staatliche Souveränität, Unverletzbarkeit der Grenzen ist ein totales Mantra der chinesischen Außenpolitik.

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