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Inflation | Protest in Taibei | Lebensstandard | Krim | Südchinesisches Meer | Huawei
Mrz 24th, 2014 by Gao

China’s economy: An alternative view (Economist)

Is China’s economy underheating? Not long ago, many people would have scoffed at the suggestion. The country is known for searing property prices, hot-money inflows and the steam escaping from its financial furnaces. The stock of outstanding credit, broadly defined, climbed to over 180% of GDP at the end of 2013, according to the central bank, and over 215%, according to an even broader measure by Fitch, a ratings agency.
But house prices are slowing, exports are weak and shadow banking is losing ground to traditional lending. Forecasters expected industrial output to grow by 9.5% in the first two months of 2014, compared with a year earlier; it grew by only 8.6% … Emi Nakamura, Jón Steinsson and Miao Liu of Columbia University … believe true inflation may have been as high as 20% in 2007 and 18% in 2008, compared with official figures of 4.8% and 5.9%.

Taiwan youth protests against China trade deal (Guardian)

Thousands of young Taiwanese waved banners and shouted slogans to mark the third day of their occupation of parliament to protest against a trade pact with China which they fear could further swell Beijing’s economic influence.
Parliamentary approval of the pact would pave the way for greater economic integration between the two former geopolitical foes by opening 80 of China’s service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwanese sectors to China.

AP: Dozens arrested as Taiwan riot police clear protesters from cabinet offices (Guardian)

Authorities said they arrested 58 protesters and that 137 were injured, including 24 hospitalised. The crackdown came five days after mainly student demonstrators occupied the nearby legislature to protest the ruling party’s decision to renege on a promised line-by-line review of the trade agreement.

Hsiao-Hung Pai: Students occupy Taiwan’s parliament against trade deal (revolutionary socialism in the 21st century)
J. Michael Cole: Taiwanese Occupy Legislature Over China Pact (Diplomat)
Ray Sanchez, Zoe Li: Taiwan Legislature occupiers‘ ultimatum passes without response from government (CNN)
J. Michael Cole: Riot Police Crack Down on Taiwanese Protesters (Diplomat)

The standoff over a controversial trade agreement between Taiwan and China that began on March 19 with the occupation of the legislature took a turn for the worse on March 23 after riot police turned on protesters who had occupied the nearby Executive Yuan, injuring several dozens.
Sunday night’s dramatic events occurred a day after an unsuccessful meeting between Premier Jiang Yi-huah and Lin Fei-fan, one of the leaders of the “sunflower revolution,” and following an international press conference by President Ma Ying-jeou, who refused to meet the group’s demands. Since March 19, tens of thousands of Taiwanese have protested outside the legislature, while about 300 — mostly students — remain shacked up inside the building.
The alliance against the services trade pact, an amalgam of student organizations, lawyers, and civic organizations, had initially demanded that the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement (CSSTA), signed in China in June 2013, be reviewed clause-by-clause by the legislature, that a mechanism be set to monitor future agreements with China, and that President Ma apologize for the crisis. It later changed its demands by requesting that the pact be annulled altogether and calling for a national conference on the matter.

委员:9成农民生活和40年前一样 改革成果哪去了(北青网)

全国政协委员舒红兵在政协无党派界别小组会上,称许多农村人跟40年前一样,9成农民因为医疗负担重死在家中,孩子们的上学条件没有改善,反而更加困难。类似于雾霾等两会话题,对底层百姓而言“太奢侈”。

CPPCC Member: The Lives of 90% of Peasants [Rural Residents] Are the Same as 40 Years Ago, Where Are The Fruits of the Reform? (ChinaSmack)

National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) member Shu Hongbing said during a CPPCC group meeting of the independent/non-party affiliated that many peasants [rural residents] are as they were 40 years ago, with 90% of peasants dying in their homes because of heavy medical expenses, their children’s access to education have not improved but have instead become even more difficult. Similar to the topic of smog [air pollution] during the Two Meetings, it is “too luxurious/extravagant” [irrelevant, only of significance to the upper classes] for the ordinary common people at the lowest levels of society.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang’s Remarks on the Current Situation in Ukraine (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

We respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

王义桅:乌克兰危机的四点启示(《人民日报海外版》)

乌克兰政局并没有随着苏联解体、乌克兰独立并交出世界第三大核武库而消停,恰恰相反,这些年来,乌克兰成为冷战最后的战场,甚至可能引发第二次冷战。乌克兰又倒向了西方,克里米亚地区则公投要重回俄罗斯。俄罗斯和西方地缘政治拉锯战进入最后阶段,带给我们诸多启示。

AFP: Russia isolated as China abstains in UN Security Council vote on Crimea (South China Morning Post)

Russia vetoed a Western-backed resolution condemning today’s referendum in Crimea at an emergency UN Security Council meeting yesterday but China abstained, isolating Moscow further on the Ukraine crisis.

Russia vetoes US-sponsored UN resolution declaring Crimea vote invalid (RT)
Wang Yiwei: Four lessons to be learned from the Ukraine crisis (People’s Daily)

Ukraine has become the final battlefield in the „cold war“, and it is becoming a possibility that the crisis will trigger a second „cold war“. The Crimean parliament’s declaration of independence from Ukraine ahead of the March 16 referendum indicates that Crimea may go ahead and join Russia.

Peter Lee: From Kiev to Beijing … and Taipei (Asia Times)

A certain amount of attention, and rightly so, has been paid to the discomfiture of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with Crimea unilaterally declaring independence from Ukraine. The PRC abstained on the UN Security Council condemnation of the vote, instead of supporting Russia with a „nay“. The PRC possesses or covets several significant territories whose inhabitants, if given the opportunity, might eagerly defy the One China policy to announce, organize, and pass a referendum of independence: Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Inner Mongolia, Macau, and Taiwan.

Eric Li: Nothing awkward about China’s position with regard to Ukraine (South China Morning Post)

Donald K. Emmerson: Eyes on Crimea, China makes its move (Asia Times)

At Second Thomas Shoal, a handful of Philippine marines have long been stationed and re-provisioned on the rusting deck of the BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine naval ship half-sunk into the reef in 1999. Ever since, the vessel and the marines have served to embody Manila’s claim of sovereignty over the shoal. More recently, China has tried to raise the salience of its own claim by intensively patrolling the area.
On March 9, 2014, China made a move to end the status quo at the shoal. For the first time in 15 years, Beijing stopped Manila from delivering supplies to the Sierra Madre.

Zachary Keck: Second Thomas Shoal Tensions Intensify (Diplomat)

The U.S. has criticized China for provoking the Philippines in the Second Thomas Shoal even as Manila air-lifted supplies to its marines stationed on the disputed reef.

Jeff Himmelman: A Game of Shark and Minnow (New York Times)

David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth: N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat (New York Times)

American officials have long considered Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, a security threat, blocking it from business deals in the United States for fear that the company would create “back doors” in its equipment that could allow the Chinese military or Beijing-backed hackers to steal corporate and government secrets.
But even as the United States made a public case about the dangers of buying from Huawei, classified documents show that the National Security Agency was creating its own back doors — directly into Huawei’s networks.

Snowden-Enthüllung: NSA spionierte Chinas Staatsführung und Konzerne aus (Spiegel)

Die amerikanische Regierung hat eine digitale Großoffensive gegen China gestartet und dabei auch die chinesische Staatsführung und den Huawei-Konzern ins Visier genommen. Das geht aus Unterlagen des ehemaligen NSA-Mitarbeiters Edward Snowden hervor, die der SPIEGEL einsehen konnte. Zu den Zielen, die der amerikanische Geheimdienst attackierte, zählen der ehemalige Staatspräsident Hu Jintao, das chinesische Handelsministerium, das Außenministerium, Banken sowie Telekommunikationsunternehmen.

Bernhard Zand: Chinesischer Tech-Konzern Huawei verurteilt NSA-Spionage (Spiegel)
Matthias Kremp: Warum die USA Chinas Netzwerk-Giganten ausspähte (Spiegel)

„Westliche Werte“ | Auslandsstudium
Sep 9th, 2013 by Gao

Chris Buckley: China Takes Aim at Western Ideas (New York Times)

Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society.
These seven perils were enumerated in a memo, referred to as Document No. 9, that bears the unmistakable imprimatur of Xi Jinping, China’s new top leader. The first was “Western constitutional democracy”; others included promoting “universal values” of human rights, Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation, ardently pro-market “neo-liberalism,” and “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.

Roland Soong (宋春舫) kündigt an, wieder auf Englisch zu schreiben, und stellt die Artikel vor, die er für die 《南方都市报》 geschrieben hat:
Roland Soong: My long absence (EastWestNorthSouth)

Ein längerer, recht negativer Artikel über Mo Yan und seine Werke:
Nikil Saval: White Happy Doves (London Review of Books)

Chinesische Studierende in den USA (speziell an der Purdue-Universität im Bundesstaat Indiana):
Paul Stephens: International Students: Separate but Profitable (Washington Monthly)

China ist nicht Indien, doch der Artikel ist durchaus relevant für weite Teile Asiens:
Jessica Namakkal: Study Abroad as Neo-Colonial Tourism (CounterPunch)

Und dieser Artikel hat gar keinen direkten Bezug zu China:
Bruce Schneider: NSA surveillance: A guide to staying secure (Guardian)

Edward Snowden
Jun 11th, 2013 by Gao

Daniel Ellsberg: Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America (Guardian)

In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an „executive coup“ against the US constitution. Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.

Mark Siemons: Die Tragik des Whistleblowers (FAZ)

Die Nachricht, dass der Whistleblower Edward Snowden, der das amerikanische Spitzelprogamm Prism aufdeckte, ausgerechnet in Hongkong Zuflucht sucht, hat China in größte Verwirrung gestürzt. „Was ist los mit der Welt?“, fasst ein Blogger die Stimmung zusammen: „Es ist auf einmal alles verkehrt herum“. … Tatsächlich hat Hongkong ein Auslieferungsabkommen mit den Vereinigten Staaten, doch wenn Snowden Asyl sucht und geltend machen kann, dass ihn in Amerika eine „grausame, unmenschliche oder herabwürdigende Behandlung oder Bestrafung“ erwartet, kann die Stadt seine Auslieferung ablehnen.

Spencer Ackerman: Snowden leak shines light on US intelligence agencies‘ use of contractors (Guardian)
Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations (Guardian)

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA. … On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because „they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent“, and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

Peter Lee: Edward Snowden and China (CounterPunch)
Peter Lee: Snowden and the three wise NSA whistleblowers (Asia Times)

Whistleblowing is a risky business. I expect that, as they planned their course of action over the four months, Edward Snowden and his main media minder, Glenn Greenwald, paid very close attention to what happened to three past whistleblowers who crossed the NSA. And looking at these three men gives an idea of the interests, principles and powers that are being contested beneath the superficially simple tale of a young analyst who fled to Hong Kong to tell the world about runaway US government surveillance.

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