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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)

Korea | Inselstreit
Jun 27th, 2016 by Gao

Johnny Erling: Nordkorea: Kim provoziert mit Doppelraketentest

Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong-un schlug zum richtigen Zeitpunkt gleich doppelt zu. Den UN-Sanktionen zum Trotz forderte er wieder einmal alle Welt heraus – mit zwei Raketentests kurz hintereinander, und das, obwohl die Vereinten Nationen solche Tests seinem Land verboten haben. … Kim befahl den ersten Test nach Angaben der südkoreanischen Nachrichtenagentur Yonhap Mittwochfrüh um 5.58 Uhr. Er ließ eine Mittelstreckenrakete vom Typ Musudan von der Ostküste Nordkoreas abschießen. US- und südkoreanisches Militär sehen in ihr eine potenzielle Trägerwaffe, die künftig mit einem Atomsprengkopf bestückt werden könnte. Mit einer Reichweite von 3000 bis 4000 Kilometern erreicht sie angeblich jeden Punkt in Japan und bedroht auch US-Stellungen auf Guam und in Alaska. …
Südkoreas Verteidigungsbehörden nannten den Test „misslungen“. Das Geschoß sei 150 Kilometer vom Start entfernt ins Meer gestürzt. Seit April ist es der inzwischen fünfte Fehlschlag in Folge. Doch um 8.05 Uhr zündete Nordkorea eine zweite Musudan. Sie soll laut Yonhap rund 400 Kilometer weit gekommen sein.

Justin McCurry: North Korea: UN security council ‚to meet‘ after missile tests (Guardian)

The missiles are usually test-fired at a flatter angle to maximise their range, according to Jeffrey Lewis at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California. “That suggests the missile worked perfectly,” he said. “Had it been fired at its normal angle, it would have flown to its full range.”…
It was not immediately clear whether Pyongyang considered the second Musudan launch a success or failure, or how the flight ended.

Pepe Escobar: Beijing goes mobile in the South China Sea (RT)

Not a day goes by without some sort of turmoil in the South China Sea. Let’s cut to the chase: war is not about to break out.

Scenarios of the Coming Crisis: A Response to Aufheben’s “The Crisis: Afterword” (Chuang)

In China, official politics is a game of arcane signals. Predicting tectonic shifts in policy requires that one read the seismic shudders buried beneath terse statements issued by poker-faced officials. Slight changes in terminology may hint at sliding allegiances or new waves of repression. The most significant signals, however, take the form of interviews with anonymous oracles—almost always an “authoritative person”—their words propagated by the state’s highest media organs without attribution. The more such oracles speak, the greater the magnitude of the coming “intervention.” Such proclamations also often signal internal disagreements within the seemingly monolithic Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With the slowing of economic growth, such disagreements have been exacerbated, as the top leadership debates the future of the economic reforms that have led China into a commanding role within global circuits of capital accumulation.

Qiao Long, Wong Lok-to, Luisetta Mudie: Chinese Blogger Who Compiled Protest Data Missing, Believed Detained (Radio Free Asia)

Hongkong | Ramadan | Wirtschaft
Jun 26th, 2015 by Gao

China’s plans for Hong Kong backfire (Washington Post)

For 79 days last year, thousands of protesters occupied major roads in Hong Kong in an attempt to force Chinese authorities to grant the territory genuine democracy. They failed. Local leaders and their overlords in Beijing refused to negotiate over an electoral plan that would allow for a popular vote for Hong Kong’s next leader but would limit candidates to nominees approved by the Communist regime. That left opposition representatives in Hong Kong’s legislature with an unappealing choice this month: Sign off on the inadequate reform or block it at the risk of freezing the current, even less democratic, system in place. “To kowtow, or to veto,” was the way opposition leader Alan Leong summed up the dilemma.
In the end, the opposition voted down the electoral system, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass the legislative council. The rebuff to the regime was amplified when pro-Beijing legislators walked out in a failed attempt to delay the vote; the final tally was 28 to 8. It was a moral victory for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which has made clear it won’t accept China’s attempt to gut its promise to allow universal suffrage.

Tom Phillips: Hong Kong parliament defies Beijing’s insistence and rejects ‚democracy‘ plan (Guardian)
Sad moment for Hong Kong democratic process (Global Times)

According to Beijing’s August 31 decision, if the reform plan fails to pass, Hong Kong will maintain the current election system and its chief executives will be elected by the 1,200-member election committee.
The pan-democratic lawmakers must accept this fact since they have rejected the reform. If they don’t stop but organize more drastic street demonstrations, they will push Hong Kong to a dead end and mean a life and death struggle with the Basic Law. In that case, Hong Kong will face dismal prospects.
We are concerned that a Pandora box is being opened in Hong Kong and various devils are released to ruin the region’s future. People who love Hong Kong should work to keep the box tightly closed so that Hong Kong won’t degenerate from the capital of finance and fashion to a total mess.
The Hong Kong opposition camp shouldn’t overestimate their power. The high yardstick under which the reform plan needs to win a two-thirds majority has enabled a minority of pan-democrats to kidnap the opinion of the mainstream. They are misguided if they think they represent the mainstream public and can indulge themselves in doing whatever they like.

Dai Weisen, Xin Lin: Last Occupy Central Die-Hards Face Eviction From Hong Kong Street (Radio Free Asia)

China bans Ramadan fasting in mainly Muslim region (AlJazeera)

China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadan and ordered restaurants to stay open.

Shohret Hoshur: At Least 18 Dead in Ramadan Attack on Police Checkpoint in Xinjiang (Radio Free Asia)
Richard Javad Heydarian: China’s illusion of harmony (AlJazeera)

For decades, much of China’s economic boom was concentrated in its south and eastern coastal regions, with mega-cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai experiencing stratospheric growth rates. It didn’t take long before Mao’s China was transformed from one of the world’s most egalitarian nations into a highly stratified capitalist society, with income inequality levels rivalling those in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Recognising the gravity of the country’s growing geographical and class-based divide, China’s Communist Party, beginning in 2006, endorsed a political doctrine, at a closed-door plenary session held by the party’s Central Committee, which focused on the creation of a „harmonious society“…
The problem, however, was that the development of interior regions went hand in hand with growing sociopolitical repression of the Uighur population as well as a massive influx of Han Chinese population into autonomous regions such as Xinjiang.

Qiao Long, Hai Nan: Beijing Police Detain Hundreds of PLA Veterans As Thousands Protest Lack of Pension (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained hundreds of former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers after thousands of them staged a sit-in outside China’s central military command on Tuesday in protest over a lack of pension and other benefits, protesters said.
The protesters, mostly veterans of China’s brief 1979 border war with Vietnam and the Sino-Soviet border conflict of March 1969, converged on the Central Military Commission (CMC) headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday morning.
Zhejiang-based veteran Sun Enwei said he had counted around 3,000 retired PLA soldiers outside the complaints department of the CMC before the authorities took some of them to the Jiujingzhuang unofficial detention center on the outskirts of Beijing.
„More than 800 people have been forcibly taken to Jiujingzhuang,“ Sun told RFA. „They have informed the local governments that … they have to send people to Jiujingzhuang to pick them up.“

Charlotte Middlehurst: Robotics revolution rocks Chinese textile workers (AlJazeera)

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk as manufacturers plan to employ hi-tech gadgetry in factories to cut costs.

Marc Bain: US fashion companies are starting to look beyond China for sourcing apparel (Quartz)

China’s clothing manufacturing capabilities are so advanced, and still so relatively cheap for US fashion labels, that right now there are few good substitutes for producing there. But as Chinese production costs begin to creep up, American brands are scouting out other options, primarily in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and even the US itself.

Christoph Jehle: Elektronikfertigung in Thailand (Telepolis)

Elektronische Produkte kommen in der allgemeinen Wahrnehmung heute mehrheitlich aus der Volksrepublik China (PRC). So steht es auch vielfach auf den Typenschildern der Produkte, weil die Endmontage oft im Reich der Mitte stattfindet und die großen chinesischen Auftragsfertiger bei ihren Auftraggebern einen guten Ruf besitzen. Die Fertigung vieler Baugruppen und Einzelkomponenten wurde jedoch inzwischen in Länder verlagert, die mit günstigeren Löhnen, größeren Steuervorteilen, geringerer Organisierung ihrer Arbeitskräfte und nach Möglichkeit auch staatlicher Unterstützung bei der Werksansiedelung noch attraktiver sind als Mainland China.

Michael Lelyveld: China Pushes Production Abroad With ‚Capacity Cooperation‘ Initiative (Radio Free Asia)
Carrie Gracie: The village and the girl (BBC)
Trying to hit a moving target: The Lide shoe factory workers’ campaign for relocation compensation (China Labour Bulletin)
Noch immer lesenswert:
Eli Friedman: China in Revolt (Jacobin, 2008)

The Chinese working class plays a Janus-like role in the political imaginary of neoliberalism. On the one hand, it’s imagined as the competitive victor of capitalist globalization, the conquering juggernaut whose rise spells defeat for the working classes of the rich world. What hope is there for the struggles of workers in Detroit or Rennes when the Sichuanese migrant is happy to work for a fraction of the price?
At the same time, Chinese workers are depicted as the pitiable victims of globalization, the guilty conscience of First World consumers. Passive and exploited toilers, they suffer stoically for our iPhones and bathtowels. And only we can save them, by absorbing their torrent of exports, or campaigning benevolently for their humane treatment at the hands of “our” multinationals.
For parts of the rich-world left, the moral of these opposing narratives is that here, in our own societies, labor resistance is consigned to history’s dustbin. Such resistance is, first of all, perverse and decadent. What entitles pampered Northern workers, with their “First World problems,” to make material demands on a system that already offers them such abundance furnished by the wretched of the earth? And in any case, resistance against so formidable a competitive threat must surely be futile.

Feng Zhang: Beijing’s Master Plan for the South China Sea (Foreign Policy)

China has far greater ambitions for the region than just reclaiming some tiny islands. In late 2013, Beijing started taking a very different approach to sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea — although few outside China noticed the change. Instead of directly confronting the other regional claimant states, Beijing began the rapid consolidation of, and construction on, the maritime features already under its control. And it did so on a scale and pace befitting China’s impressive engineering prowess.

Heather Timmons: Russia’s importance to China is overblown (Quartz)

Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s largest source of oil in May, shipping a record 3.92 million metric tons, a 20% increase from April.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened (although the last time was more than 10 years ago), and Russia isn’t the only country to ship more oil to China than the Saudis. Angola also sold more oil to China than Saudi Arabia in May.
Still, it is the latest sign of the growing ties between Russia, suffering under sanctions and increasing international isolation, and China, which is investing heavily to bolster its slowing economy, namely by building a global infrastructure network.

Shen Hong: China’s Plan for Local Debt Amounts to a Bailout (Wall Street Journal)

Beijing had promised to let market play a greater role; banks take bonds in place of higher-rate loans

Melvyn Backman: China’s stock market fell hard this week—really hard (Quartz)
Leslie Shaffer: China manufacturing remains mired in June (CNBC)
China Intensifies Steel Cuts as Iron Bull Market Drives Up Costs (Bloomberg)

Jonathan Fenby: What the West should know about Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao (New Statesman)
Andrew Browne: The Whiplash of Xi Jinping’s Top-Down Style (Wall Street Journal)
Tom Phillips: China’s Xi Jinping says poverty is ’nothing to fear‘ after pesticide deaths (Guardian)

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told villagers in one of the most deprived areas of the country, where four children killed themselves last week by swallowing pesticide, that poverty is nothing to fear.
He made the comments in Huamao, a village in the south-western province of Guizhou, according to China’s official news agency.
The president was quoted as saying: “A good life is created with one’s own hands, so poverty is nothing to fear. If we have determination and confidence, we can overcome any difficulty.”

Anders Hove: What Do Beijing’s Blue Skies Really Mean? It’s Too Soon to Say (Paulson Institute)
Eric Bellman: China’s Air is Much Worse Than India’s, World Bank Report Shows (Wall Street Journal)
Richard Smith: China’s Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse (TruthOut)

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: American Students in China: It’s Not as Authoritarian as We Thought (Asia Society)

For some American students about to embark on a study abroad trip to China, the U.S. media reports of Chinese Internet censorship, jailing of dissidents, and draconian population control laws may dominate their perception of the country. But after more than 30 years of reform and opening, the nominally communist country now combines economic liberalization, lumbering social and legal reforms, and spurts of ideological entrenchment to create a dynamic mix of restriction and freedom that’s hard to parse.

Julian Baggini: Is it OK to eat dogs? (Guardian)

Whenever western meat-eaters get up in arms over barbarous foreigners eating cute animals, it’s easy to throw around accusations of gross hypocrisy. Easy, because such accusations are often true. But responses to the dog meat festival in Yulin, China, which draws to a close today, merit more careful consideration. The double standards at play here are numerous, complicated, and not always obvious.

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