Sep 6th, 2017 by Gao

Sidney Leng: China’s dirty little secret: its growing wealth gap (South China Morning Post)

China’s wealth gap has widened for the first time in five years, a fact Beijing chose not to mention in this year’s economic report.
The Gini coefficient, a gauge ranging between zero and one that measures income equality, increased slightly to 0.465 last year, from 0.462 in 2015, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) this week…
A study from Peking University last year found that the poorest 25 per cent of mainland households owned just 1 per cent of the country’s aggregate wealth, while the richest 1 per cent owned a third of the wealth.

He Huifeng: In China’s richest province, a yawning gap exists between the haves and the have-nots (South China Morning Post)

The coexistence of great wealth and abject poverty in Guangdong shows why narrowing the income gap is a priority of China’s leadership…
Shenzhen’s per capita GDP is now on par with Portugal’s, but the per capita GDP in Qingyuan … was less than a quarter of Shenzhen’s last year, and lower than the national average. Eleven other cities in Guangdong … were also below the national average last year, and in Meizhou, Heyuan, Shanwei and Yunfu per capita GDP was even lower than in Guizhou, China’s most impoverished province…
Guangdong’s wealth gap has grown in the past couple of years, according to Zheng Zizhen, a sociologist and economist with the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-tank in Guangzhou.
“The wealth of families in [major] cities is soaring, driven by the rapid growth in residential property prices,” he said. “But the poorer areas of Guangdong lack the ability to attract enough capital and talent to bring an industrial boom.”
By the numbers, the Pearl River Delta, which includes some of China’s most developed cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan, covers only 23 per cent of the province but last year it accounted for 79.3 per cent of Guangdong’s economic output, according to official data, up from 79.1 in 2015. The province’s 12 impoverished cities reported average GDP growth of 7.4 per cent last year, according to the provincial development and reform commission, while the Pearl River Delta’s grew by 8.3 per cent.

Zhang Pinghui: Why Xi Jinping cares so much about ending poverty in China: the political significance behind the campaign (South China Morning Post)

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.

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)


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

Nationaler Volkskongress
Mrz 10th, 2015 by Gao

Wolfgang Pomrehn: China: Parlament der Reichen (Telepolis)

Die Anfang des Jahrtausends vom seinerzeitigen chinesischen Präsidenten Jiang Zemin ausgegebene Direktive, die Kommunistische Partei für die neuen Kapitalisten zu öffnen, scheint Früchte zu tragen. China Economic Review berichtet, dass von den 1.271 reichsten Chinesen 203 entweder Delegierte des Nationalen Volkskongresses oder der Beratenden Versammlung des Chinesischen Volkes sind. …
Die erwähnten 203 Delegierten vereinigen auf sich ein Vermögen von rund 419 Milliarden Euro nach aktuellem Kurs. Nach einem Bericht der britischen Zeitung Guardian befindet sich inzwischen ein Drittel des chinesischen Reichtums in der Hand von einem Prozent der Bevölkerung. Das untere Drittel der Chinesen besitze dagegen weniger als ein Prozent des Gesamtvermögens. Die Zeitung beruft sich auf eine Studie der Universität von Peking.

Michael Forsythe: Billionaire Lawmakers Ensure the Rich Are Represented in China’s Legislature (New York Times)

Among the 1,271 richest Chinese people tracked by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, a record 203, or more than one in seven, are delegates to the nation’s Parliament or its advisory body, which will convene for their yearly joint session this week in Beijing. According to figures released by the Hurun Report on Monday, the delegates’ combined net worth is $463.8 billion, more than the annual economic output of Austria.
American lawmakers are poor by comparison. According to figures provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that tracks money in American politics, the richest person in any of the United States government’s three branches, Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, would rank as only the 166th richest member at the meeting of China’s National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress which opens on Wednesday…
In percentage terms, the contrast with the United States is also stark. The 203 Chinese billionaires make up 4 percent of the more than 5,200 delegates to the meeting, with an average net worth of $2.3 billion. The richest 4 percent of the United States Congress, 22 people, have an average net worth of $124 million.

Wolfgang Pomrehn: China: Von Konjunkturschwäche keine Spur (Telepolis)

Prozentual gesehen wächst die Wirtschaft inzwischen etwas langsamer (aber immer noch ziemlich schnell), in absoluten Zahlen sind die Zuwächse inzwischen jedoch gigantisch.

Soziale Ungleichheit | Lohnfindung | Myanmar | Korruption | Palästina
Jul 27th, 2014 by Gao

AFP: Top 1% control 3rd of China’s wealth (Bangkok Post)

The top one percent of households in Communist-ruled China control more than one third of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 25 percent control just one percent, official media said, citing an academic report.
The 2012 figures contained in a Peking University report released late Friday reveal the massive breadth of China’s social inequality, a widespread source of anger in the country.

Carsten A. Holz: Wage determination in China during the reform period (Suomen Pankki)

Returned Myanmar tell of ‚atrocious‘ working conditions in China (Burma [sic] News International)
Mo Hong’e: Ambassador denies China-Myanmar rail project cancelled (China News Service)

Russell Leigh Moses: Power Struggles: Seeing China’s Anti-Graft Drive in a Different Light (Wall Street Journal)

Recent moves against senior Chinese officials with ties to the energy sector present a challenge to one of the dominant story lines surrounding President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption crusade.
An increasing number of observers are arguing that Xi’s sweeping corruption crackdown is about settling political scores and consolidating power – an old-school purge reminiscent of the Mao era.
But the formal indictment earlier this week of a former planning official on corruption charges and the firing last month of a top official with the National Energy Administration suggest the crackdown is motivated at least as much by a desire to remove people standing in the way of much-needed economic reforms.

Michael Martina, Clarence Fernandez: China probes more than 25,000 people for graft in first half of year (Reuters)

Friends of Palestine Hong Kong, Left 21, Socialist Action, Globalization Monitor, LSD, HKFS: Hong Kong People in Solidarity with Gaza: Stop the massacre! Get out of the Settlements! (Europe solidaire sans frontières)
Mo Hong’e: Ambassador denies China-Myanmar rail project cancelled (China News Service)

Russell Leigh Moses: Power Struggles: Seeing China’s Anti-Graft Drive in a Different Light (Wall Street Journal)

Michael Martina, Clarence Fernandez: China probes more than 25,000 people for graft in first half of year (Reuters)

Marlies Kastenhofer: Kampf der Giganten im Hinterhof Chinas (Presse)

Anlässlich der weltgrößten Marineübung im Pazifik entsandte Peking ein Spionageschiff vor die Küste Hawaiis. Seit Monaten kämpfen China und die USA um die Vorherrschaft im Südchinesischen Meer.

Mu Chunshan: Why China Must Pay Attention to the Israel-Palestine Conflict (Diplomat)

Under Mao Zedong, China sided with Palestine. Former Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping had almost unconditional support for the revolutionary cause led by Yasser Arafat, who was called “an old friend of the Chinese people.” The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) obtained both funds and weapons from China …
During the 1980s, China began to abandon ideologically-driven diplomacy as part of its reform and opening process. China gradually began to draw closer to Israel. The reason is quite simple: Israel’s defense technology was attractive to China … At the same time, China’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has changed from unilateral condemnation of Israel to a neutral stance.

Nigel Wilson: Where the Brics Stand on Israel’s Gaza Offensive (International Business Times)

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agree on a two-state solution for the long-running Israel-Palestine but their differing responses to the Gaza crisis reveal they are far from united.

Friends of Palestine Hong Kong, Left 21, Socialist Action, Globalization Monitor, LSD, HKFS: Hong Kong People in Solidarity with Gaza: Stop the massacre! Get out of the Settlements! (Europe solidaire sans frontières)

3. Plenum des XVIII. ZK | Ungleichheit
Nov 30th, 2013 by Gao

Peter Main: Neue Führung verstärkt die Kontrolle ‍‍(Arbeitermacht)

Nach einem Jahr der Säuberung der Führung – symbolisiert durch die Inhaftierung des ehemaligen Politbüromitglieds Bo Xilai – sicherten Xi und Li nicht nur die Annahme ihres politischen und Wirtschaftsprogramms, sie schufen auch zwei neue Institutionen, um ihr Programm durchzusetzen.
Der Fraktionskampf und die Vorbereitung auf künftige Konflikte verweisen auf die strategische Bedeutung des Programms, dessen Zweck die Beseitigung größerer Hindernisse auf dem Weg Chinas zur vollen Durchsetzung des Wertgesetzes, der Dynamik des Kapitalismus ist. …
„Der Brennpunkt der Umgestaltung des Wirtschaftssystems (…) ist es, dem Markt eine entscheidende Rolle zu gestatten bei der Bereitstellung von Ressourcen“ sowie „öffentliche und private Sektoren sind gleichrangige Bestandteile einer sozialistischen Marktwirtschaft und die wichtige Grundlage unserer nationalen Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftsentwicklung.“
Der erste Satz richtet sich gegen Überbleibsel aus der bürokratischen Planung, als Ressourcen nach politischen Kriterien bereitgestellt wurden und die Profitabilität nicht an erster Stelle der Überlegungen stand. In den Firmen, gleich ob staatlich oder nicht, sollen die Manager nun v.a. von Profitmotiven geleitet sein. …
Der zweite Satz „öffentliche und private Sektoren sind gleichrangige Bestandteile einer sozialistischen Marktwirtschaft“ hat ebenfalls weitreichende Auswirkungen, aber auch hier sind gewisse Grenzen gesetzt. An anderer Stelle bestätigt das Kommunique den Staatssektor als „Standbein der Wirtschaft“. Das ist ein Widerspruch in sich, denn wenn beide Bereiche gleichrangig sein sollen, kann nicht der eine wichtiger sein als der andere.
Die Bedeutung dieser Formel ist v.a. darin zu suchen, dass für die Amtsdauer der Führung, also für die nächsten neun Jahre, der Staat, d.h. die herrschende Bürokratie und ihre Partei weiterhin die Kernindustrien und -institutionen kontrollieren wird. Das könnte durch eine Aktienmehrheit in einer ansonsten privaten Firma geschehen. Das ist ein Signal an die Mitglieder der bürokratischen Schicht, dass sie auch in Zukunft weiter bestehen bleiben soll. Natürlich unterhalten auch alle anderen imperialistischen Mächte einen Riesenapparat an Bürokratie, der in Ökonomie und Staat sitzt und deren Verflechtung sichert. Praktisch bedeutet die Formel aber, dass die systematische Benachteiligung von privaten Unternehmungen in allen Bereichen verschwinden soll. Das wäre ein bedeutsamer Wandel, weil er die Klasseninteressen der keimenden Bourgeoisie in China selbst offenbart und ihnen einen größeren Spielraum eröffnet.

Agatha Kratz: Réduction des inégalités : prendre au sommet pour distribuer tout en bas / Reducing Inequality: Taking from the top to distribute at the bottom (China perspectives)

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