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Überwachung
Mrz 19th, 2018 by Gao

国务院关于印发社会信用体系建设规划纲要(2014—2020年)的通知
State Council Notice concerning Issuance of the Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020)
(China Copyright and Media)

社会信用体系是社会主义市场经济体制和社会治理体制的重要组成部分。它以法律、法规、标准和契约为依据,以健全覆盖社会成员的信用记录和信用基础设施网络为基础,以信用信息合规应用和信用服务体系为支撑,以树立诚信文化理念、弘扬诚信传统美德为内在要求,以守信激励和失信约束为奖惩机制,目的是提高全社会的诚信意识和信用水平。 A social credit system is an important component part of the Socialist market economy system and the social governance system. It is founded on laws, regulations, standards and charters, it is based on a complete network covering the credit records of members of society and credit infrastructure, it is supported by the lawful application of credit information and a credit services system, its inherent requirements are establishing the idea of an sincerity culture, and carrying forward sincerity and traditional virtues, it uses encouragement to keep trust and constraints against breaking trust as incentive mechanisms, and its objective is raising the honest mentality and credit levels of the entire society.

Mareike Ohlberg, Shazeda Ahmed, Bertram Lang: Central planning, local experiments. The complex implementation of China’s Social Credit System (PDF; MERICS)

Even if the full vision of the system is not realized, the scope of this project is massive and will transform China’s legal, social, and economic environment significantly…
Several social credit pilot projects are already operational, testing new approaches of collecting data and using it to sanction undesirable behavior on a limited scale. These punishments offer unprecedented possibilities to surveil and steer the behavior of natural and legal persons and therefore would have far-reaching consequences if adopted nationwide.
National implementation is still at an early stage: many of the measures put in place are establishing foundations for sharing information between different departments of government…
The relationship between government and commercial actors will be a key factor to watch: Government agencies clearly depend on private companies’ technological know-how to roll out such a large-scale system. Conflicts and rivalry between bureaucratic and commercial players, however, could delay or even derail its implementation.

Mara Hvistendahl: Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking (Wired)

In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald’s, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see, had been largely replaced by two smartphone apps: Alipay and WeChat Pay. One day, at a vegetable market, he watched a woman his mother’s age pull out her phone to pay for her groceries. He decided to sign up.
To get an Alipay ID, Liu had to enter his cell phone number and scan his national ID card. He did so reflexively. Alipay had built a reputation for reliability, and compared to going to a bank managed with slothlike indifference and zero attention to customer service, signing up for Alipay was almost fun. With just a few clicks he was in. Alipay’s slogan summed up the experience: “Trust makes it simple.”

Anna Mitchell, Larry Diamond: China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone (Atlantic)

Imagine a society in which you are rated by the government on your trustworthiness. Your “citizen score” follows you wherever you go. A high score allows you access to faster internet service or a fast-tracked visa to Europe. If you make political posts online without a permit, or question or contradict the government’s official narrative on current events, however, your score decreases. To calculate the score, private companies working with your government constantly trawl through vast amounts of your social media and online shopping data…
The new social credit system under development will consolidate reams of records from private companies and government bureaucracies into a single “citizen score” for each Chinese citizen. In its comprehensive 2014 planning outline, the CCP explains a goal of “keep[ing] trust and constraints against breaking trust.” While the system is voluntary for now, it will be mandatory by 2020.

Adam Greenfield: China’s Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious (Atlantic)

[T]he Chinese government has become convinced that a far greater degree of social control is both necessary and possible. It now has access to a set of tools for managing the complexity of contemporary life that it believes will deliver better, surer, and more reliable results than anything produced by the model of order from below.
Known by the anodyne name “social credit,” this system is designed to reach into every corner of existence both online and off. It monitors each individual’s consumer behavior, conduct on social networks, and real-world infractions like speeding tickets or quarrels with neighbors. Then it integrates them into a single, algorithmically determined “sincerity” score. Every Chinese citizen receives a literal, numeric index of their trustworthiness and virtue, and this index unlocks, well, everything. In principle, anyway, this one number will determine the opportunities citizens are offered, the freedoms they enjoy, and the privileges they are granted.
This end-to-end grid of social control is still in its prototype stages, but three things are already becoming clear: First, where it has actually been deployed, it has teeth. Second, it has profound implications for the texture of urban life. And finally, there’s nothing so distinctly Chinese about it that it couldn’t be rolled out anywhere else the right conditions obtain. The advent of social credit portends changes both dramatic and consequential for life in cities everywhere—including the one you might call home.

Rene Chun: China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech (Atlantic)

Dystopia starts with 23.6 inches of toilet paper. That’s how much the dispensers at the entrance of the public restrooms at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven dole out in a program involving facial-recognition scanners—part of the president’s “Toilet Revolution,” which seeks to modernize public toilets. Want more? Forget it. If you go back to the scanner before nine minutes are up, it will recognize you and issue this terse refusal: “Please try again later.”
China is rife with face-scanning technology worthy of Black Mirror. Don’t even think about jaywalking in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Last year, traffic-management authorities there started using facial recognition to crack down. When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

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.

Streiks | Protest in Shanghai | Staatsbetriebe | Hongkong
Jul 6th, 2015 by Gao

Tensions rise as China’s taxi drivers and factory workers strike in record numbers (China Labour Bulletin)

China’s taxi drivers and factory workers took the lead in staging strikes and protests across the country in the second quarter of 2015 as threats to their livelihood continued to mount. Construction workers continued their protests over wage arrears but numbers were down slightly compared with earlier in the year.
Overall, China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map recorded 568 strikes and worker protests in the second quarter, bringing the total for this year to around 1,218 incidents, not far off the total for the whole of 2014, which stood at 1,379.

Jennifer Baker: Growing Air Pollution Protest in Shanghai (Revolution News)

Anti Pollution protests against the construction of a new PX plant continue to grow in the Shanghai suburb of Jinshui. The protest that began on Monday doubled in size Thursday night when approximately 5000 people filled the streets to re-affirm their opposition.

Mirjam Meissner, Lea Shih, Luisa Kinzius, Sandra Heep: Wie Phönix aus der Asche: Reformen sollen Chinas Staatsunternehmen den Rücken stärken (Mercator Institute for China Studies)

Chinesische Staatsunternehmen sind längst Teil der sozialistischen Vergangenheit, mag manch einer denken. Tatsächlich gab es bereits in den 1990er Jahren eine erste große Privatisierungswelle. Doch noch immer spielen Staatsbetriebe eine zentrale Rolle in Chinas Wirtschaftsgeschehen. Allerdings besteht dringender Reformbedarf, denn viele Staatsunternehmen sind nicht nur hoch verschuldet, sondern trotz großzügiger Subventionen auch deutlich weniger profitabel als Chinas Privatunternehmen.

Surya Deva: After the Veto: Umbrella Movement 2.0? (Hong Kong Free Press)

Despite all the hype, the Hong Kong’s government’s “Make It Happen” campaign to introduce pseudo universal suffrage in Hong Kong fell flat on 18 June 2015. The hard stance taken by both Beijing and the Hong Kong government meant that not even one pan-democrat legislator wavered from their pledge to veto the political reform package for the Chief Executive election in 2017. Rather the voting drama that unfolded in the Legislative Council (LegCo) exposed the political immaturity of pro-establishment LegCo members.

Geostrategisches | Wanderarbeiter
Jun 21st, 2015 by Gao

Rückschlag für US-Dollar als Leitwährung: China zahlt Gazprom künftig in Yuan (RT)

China und die Russische Föderation machen Ernst mit ihrer Ankündigung, bei ihrer Geschäftsabwicklung den US-Dollar so weit wie möglich außen vor zu lassen. Sowohl die Exporte der Gazprom aus der Östlichen Sibirisch–Pazifischen Pipeline nach China als auch das Öl-Geschäft aus der Arktis werden in Zukunft in der Landeswährung Yuan getätigt.

Kenneth Shortgen jun.: There are now two reserve currencies as petro-yuan joins petro-dollar (Examiner)

Ever since Henry Kissinger forged the global petro-dollar agreement with Saudi Arabia and OPEC in 1973, the U.S. currency has remained the singular global reserve for over 40 years. However, on June 9 that sole monetary reign has come to an end as Russian gas giant Gazprom is now officially selling all oil in Chinese Yuan, making the petro-Yuan a joint global reserve, and ending America’s sole control over the world’s reserve currency.

Bart Gruzalski: An Economic Reason for the US vs. China Conflict (CounterPunch)

There are many reasons that the US is pushing on China in the South China Sea. Two articles have been published on Counterpunch in recent weeks exploring “why?” None mention an important economic reason that has, at least in part, motivated the US to go to war and is very much at stake in the growing dispute with China: the value of the dollar.

Steve LeVine: China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history (Quartz)

Much has been made of Beijing’s “resource grab” in Africa and elsewhere, its construction of militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea and, most recently, its new strategy to project naval power broadly in the open seas.
Yet these profiles of an allegedly grasping and treacherous China tend to consider its ambitions in disconnected pieces. What these pieces add up to is a whole latticework of infrastructure materializing around the world. Combined with the ambitious activities of Chinese companies, they are quickly growing into history’s most extensive global commercial empire.

Mel Gurtov: Rules and Rocks: The US-China Standoff Over the South China Sea Islands (Asia-Pacific Journal)

The long-running, multi-party dispute over control of islets in the South China Sea (SCS) is worsening both in rhetoric and provocative activity. Meeting in late May at the Shangri-La Dialogue on regional security, US and Chinese defense officials sparred over responsibility for the increased tension, though they stopped short of issuing threats. In fact, all sides to the dispute say they want to avoid violence, prefer a diplomatic resolution, and support freedom of navigation. Both the US and China insist that the dispute notwithstanding, their relationship overall is positive and enduring. But China, citing its indisputable sovereignty over the SCS, is backing its claim in ways that alarm the US and several Asian governments: construction of an air strip on the Spratly Islands, a land reclamation project that has artificially expanded its claimed territory, and most recently emplacement of two mobile artillery vehicles.
Accompanying these latest Chinese actions are acknowledgments by the foreign ministry of their military purposes. The original explanation of China’s expanding presence on the islands was that they were intended for search-and-rescue operations, environmental protection, and scientific work. Now the explanation is the need to protect Chinese territory. The Pentagon has responded by publicly discussing US options such as flyovers and navigation in Chinese-claimed air and sea space. A US navy surveillance aircraft has already challenged China’s sovereignty claim by overflying Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratlys, prompting a Chinese order (which the aircraft ignored) to leave the area. In the meantime, US military assistance to other claimants, including Vietnam and the Philippines, has enabled their coast guards to at least keep an eye on Chinese activities.

John Bellamy Foster: Marxism, Ecological Civilization, and China (Monthly Review)

China’s leadership has called in recent years for the creation of a new „ecological civilization.“ Some have viewed this as a departure from Marxism and a concession to Western-style „ecological modernization.“ However, embedded in classical Marxism, as represented by the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, was a powerful ecological critique. Marx explicitly defined socialism in terms consistent with the development of an ecological society or civilization — or, in his words, the „rational“ regulation of „the human metabolism with nature.“
In recent decades there has been an enormous growth of interest in Marx’s ecological ideas, first in the West, and more recently in China. This has generated a tradition of thought known as „ecological Marxism.“
This raises three questions: (1) What was the nature of Marx’s ecological critique? (2) How is this related to the idea of ecological civilization now promoted in China? (3) Is China actually moving in the direction of ecological civilization, and what are the difficulties standing in its path in this respect?

Lynette H. Ong: Breaking Beijing? (Foreign Affairs)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is leading one of the most vigorous campaigns against corruption and dissent since the Mao era. In fact, it appears that his campaign has extended as far as Canada; Beijing is attempting to extradite the Vancouver-based businessman Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching for alleged corrupt business dealings in the mid-1990s. Ching is the son of Cheng Weigao, a senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official who was charged with corruption in 2003. Some view these campaigns as the key to restoring the CCP’s strength and legitimacy. Others predict that they will be destabilizing because of the scale, opaqueness, and intensity—by attacking both “tigers” and “flies” (that is, high- and low-level officials), Xi is striking at the core of the patronage networks that hold the political system together, weakening the party from within. And by tightening the reins on public discourse through an increasingly centralized censorship apparatus, Xi is further diminishing his party’s legitimacy.

Chasing Shadows: Policing Migrants in Guangzhou’s Urban Villages (Chuang)
Patti Waldmeir: China’s rural migrants: life as a trashpicker in a Shanghai hole (Financial Times)

AP: Chinese women’s rights group collapses under official pressure (Guardian)

Suzanne Sataline: ‘Hong Kong Is Quite Seriously Divided’ (Foreign Policy)

Democracy — even a half-cooked version with Chinese characteristics — will not be coming soon to Hong Kong. On June 18, the city’s legislature, the Legislative Council, vetoed a constitutional amendment that would have let Hong Kong voters cast ballots for their chief executive — albeit for a maximum of 3 candidates, restricted and vetted by Beijing — in 2017.

Jonathan Mirsky: China’s Panchen fires a surprise ‚poisoned dart‘ at Beijing (Nikkei Asian Review)

China’s 11th Panchen Lama, Tibet’s second-highest religious leader, „discovered“ and installed by Beijing, recently expressed alarm that Buddhism in Tibet may soon exist in name only because of a shortage of monks — the implication being that the shortage was due to Chinese policy. Will this unexpected criticism be seen as a „poisoned arrow“ by the Chinese Communist Party, like the one for which his predecessor, the 10th Panchen Lama, was punished in the 1960s? And if so, will he, also, face punishment?

David Dawson: No, that trite folklore isn’t Chinese (World of Chinese)

Ignorance of other cultures can be a marvelous thing sometimes. It allows you to attribute whatever you want to that culture, and come off sounding wise.
Chinese wisdom is a popular target here. How many hokey bits of wisdom have been attributed to ancient Chinese philosophers? After all, sometimes it’s pretty easy to confuse them for pop culture pap.

Zhou Dongxu: China Prepares ‚Traditional Culture‘ Textbooks for Its Officials (Caixin)

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