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Chinesische Wirtschaft
Mrz 1st, 2017 by Gao

Thomas Piketty, Li Yang, Gabriel Zucman: Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015 (PDF; World Wealth & Income Database)

This paper combines national accounts, survey, wealth and fiscal data (including recently released tax data on high-income taxpayers) in order to provide consistent series on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in China over the 1978-2015 period. We find that the aggregate national wealth-income ratio has increased, from 350% in 1978 to almost 700% in 2015. This can be accounted for by a combination of high saving and investment rates and a gradual rise in relative asset prices, reflecting changes in the legal system of property. The share of public property in national wealth has declined from about 70% in 1978 to less than 35% in 2015, which is still a lot higher than in rich countries (close to 0% or negative). Next, we provide sharp upward revision of official inequality estimates. The top 10% income share rose from 26% to 41% of national income between 1978 and 2015, while the bottom 50% share dropped from 28% to 15%. China’s inequality levels used to be close to Nordic countries, and are now approaching U.S. levels.

Cheng Enfu, Ding Xiaoqin: A Theory of China’s ‘Miracle’. Eight Principles of Contemporary Chinese Political Economy (Monthly Review)

China’s rapid economic development in recent years is often characterized as “miraculous.” Talk of a “Beijing Consensus” or “China model” has become commonplace in academic debates. But as we have written elsewhere, “theoretical problems have started to emerge with regards to the very existence, content, and prospects of the China model.” The key question, then, is what kind of economic theory and strategy underpin this “miracle.” China’s model has been variously described as a form of neoliberalism, or as a novel kind of Keynesianism. Against these positions, we hold that the country’s major recent developmental gains are the achievements of theoretical advances in political economy, originating in China itself, while the main problems that have accompanied China’s development reflect the damaging influence of Western neoliberalism. President Xi Jinping has emphasized the need to uphold and develop a Marxian political economy for the twenty-first century, adapted to China’s needs and resources.

Sit Tsui, Erebus Wong, Lau Kin Chi, Wen Tiejun: The Tyranny of Monopoly-Finance Capital. A Chinese Perspective (Monthly Review)

The tyranny of global monopoly-finance capital can be seen in part as monetary geopolitics backed by military power. Through investment schemes, it directly appropriates the production gains made by the physical and resource economies of developing countries. At the same time, it engages in financial speculation by buying long and selling short in capital markets. The end result is the plundering of social wealth. China is not immune to this tyranny. This article analyzes the causes and effects of China’s financial crises, which are in large part the fallout of crises occurring outside China. Crucial here is uncovering how financial capital–both domestic and foreign–has become alienated from the physical economy and “de-localized” in its pursuit of profits.

Erebus Wong, Lau Kin Chi, Sit Tsui, Wen Tiejun: One Belt, One Road. China’s Strategy for a New Global Financial Order (Monthly Review)

In late 2013, Chinese premier Xi Jinping announced a pair of new development and trade initiatives for China and the surrounding region: the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Twenty-First-Century Maritime Silk Road,” together known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR). Along with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the OBOR policies represent an ambitious spatial expansion of Chinese state capitalism, driven by an excess of industrial production capacity, as well as by emerging financial capital interests. The Chinese government has publicly stressed the lessons of the 1930s overcapacity crisis in the West that precipitated the Second World War, and promoted these new initiatives in the name of “peaceful development.” Nevertheless, the turn to OBOR suggests a regional scenario broadly similar to that in Europe between the end of the nineteenth century and the years before the First World War, when strong nations jostled one another for industrial and military dominance. The OBOR strategy combines land power and maritime power, bolstering China’s existing oceanic hegemony in East Asia.

Frauentag
Mrz 10th, 2015 by Gao

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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