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Kulturrevolution
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Grassroots Factionalism in China’s Cultural Revolution: Rethinking the Paradigm (H-PRC)

Discussants: Felix Wemheuer (University of Cologne), Andrew Walder (Stanford University), Jonathan Unger (Australian National University), Joel Andreas (Johns Hopkins University), Yiching Wu (University of Toronto)
Notes from a roundtable at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Seattle March 2016
In the 1980s, Western scholars developed a powerful paradigm to explain mass political factionalism in Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-69) in rational terms, rather than portraying the movement as mere “madness.” They explained mass factionalism as the escalation of latent conflicts between groups from different social backgrounds and with different political interests in the period before the Cultural Revolution. This influential paradigm has since been challenged from several angles, most prominently by Andrew Walder in his book Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement (Harvard University Press, 2009). Walder and several other scholars have argued that the roles of social background and ideological differences in explaining factional divisions have been exaggerated, and that contingent events and instrumental interests were far more important. The aim of this discussion is to bring new light to this debate. How was grassroots factionalism linked to conflicts at higher levels? How did the social and political backgrounds of participants impact factional participation? Did different interpretations of Maoist ideology matter? Were ordinary participants fighting mainly to avoid the consequences of defeat?

Paul Clark: What is cultural about the Cultural Revolution? Creativity Amid Destruction (SupChina)

Paul Clark discusses the films, plays, operas, ballets, architecture and other creative works in China during the Cultural Revolution.

Rüstungsbudget
Mrz 4th, 2015 by Gao

Edward Wong, Chris Buckley: China’s Military Budget Increasing 10% for 2015, Official Says (New York Times)

The Chinese military budget for 2015 will be about 10 percent bigger than last year’s, a senior Chinese official said on Wednesday, meaning that such spending is growing at a pace faster than the overall growth rate of the Chinese economy…
A 10 percent increase would put the 2015 military budget around $145 billion, making China the world’s second-largest military spender, though still far behind the United States, which spends more on its armed forces than the next eight countries combined.

Wettlauf mit den USA: China rüstet trotz Wachstumsschwäche kräftig auf (Spiegel)
APA: Chinas Rüstungsboom macht Nachbarn Sorge (Standard)

Der Wirtschaftsboom und die Sorge über die Übermacht des Westens haben Chinas Waffenausgaben in den vergangenen zehn Jahren in die Höhe schnellen lassen. Zwischen 2004 und 2013 sind die Ausgaben in der Volksrepublik nach Schätzungen um 170 Prozent gestiegen. Das lässt bei seinen Nachbarn die Alarmglocken schrillen.

Yang Fan, Ho Shan: Generals probed in Xi’s graft purge (Asia Times / Radio Free Asia)

The ruling Chinese Communist Party is investigating 14 generals for corruption as a nationwide anti-graft campaign widens to encompass the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), official media reported on Monday.
Among those under investigation is navy Rear Adm. Guo Zhenggang, son of a former vice-chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission (CMC), which commands the armed forces headed by President Xi Jinping, the country’s defense ministry said in a statement.

Militär | Korruption
Feb 16th, 2015 by Gao

Michael S. Chase, Jeffrey Engstrom, Tai Ming Cheung, Kristen A. Gunness, Scott Warren Harold, Susan Puska, Samuel K. Berkowitz: China’s Incomplete Military Transformation. Assessing the Weaknesses of the People’s Liberation Army (PDF; Rand Corporation)

[T]he new core missions of the PLA are ones that received official recognition under the rubric of former President Hu Jintao’s “New Historic Missions” concept. These missions call on the PLA to perform internal and external missions in peacetime and include “participating in emergency rescue and disaster relief,” both internally in China and increasingly internationally; “subduing subversive and sabotage attempts and cracking down on separatist forces” to support antiterror efforts; “accomplishing security provision and guarding tasks,” both at home and abroad through involvement in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations (PKOs); “merchant vessel protection” from nonstate actors and possibly state actors; “evacuation of Chinese nationals” for the hundreds of thousands of overseas workers in countries where security has significantly deteriorated; and “security support for China’s interests overseas,” such as protecting maritime commerce through antipiracy operations.
These broad new missions focus specifically on the CCP’s evolving conceptions of how the PLA can “support China’s peaceful development,” on which CCP legitimacy is largely based…
[T]he PLA enjoys an almost absolute immunity from external oversight, budgetary transparency, and/or accountability to the legislature for how it spends its funds and operates. As a consequence, the PLA is believed to be riddled with corruption (…). Examples of such corruption abound, from the 2000 arrest of Ji Shengde, Director of Military Intelligence in the PLA’s General Staff Department (GSD); to the 2012 detention of the former deputy director of the General Logistics Department (GLD), Lieutenant General Gu Junshan; and culminating in the 2014 arrest and expulsion from the Party of former CMC Vice Chairman Xu Caihou. Xu’s co–Vice Chairman, General Guo Boxiong, is also widely rumored to be under investigation for personal and family members’ corruption (…).
Another tendency is to avoid training sufficiently or under challenging conditions. Often, exercises are seen as failures if “red” (i.e., the PLA) does not win, so exercises are not seen as a chance to identify problems during training that can be remedied before actual wartime operations commence. Additionally, political pressures and a culture of treating exercises and training as opportunities to impress one’s superiors further erode the utility of exercises as tools to surface and address problems in military organization, planning, and execution…
The cornerstone of China’s approach to nuclear weapons, ever since its first nuclear test in 1964, has been its no-firstuse policy. Chinese writings on military strategy and missile force campaigns are generally consistent with this approach… Although its nuclear force is relatively small, China is not standing still.

Katie Hunt: China’s military not ready ‚to fight and win future wars,‘ new report says (CNN)
Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga: U.S. Suggestion For Japanese Patrols in South China Sea Prompts ADIZ Threat (Jamestown China Brief)

A recent U.S. suggestion for Japanese patrols in the South China Sea has elicited a sharp rebuttal by the Chinese government and reignited Chinese media discussion of a South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Willy Wo-Lap Lam: Growing Power of Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection Brings Questions of Politically-Motivated Purge (Jamestown China Brief)

[T]he CCDI, which is a secretive Party organ outside the purview of both the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the courts, seems to be an extra-legal institution that derives its authority from just one person: President and Commander-in-Chief Xi…
The CCDI is the only Party or government organ that has its own Organization and Propaganda offices, which were set up in March 2013. This means, for example, that the CCDI leadership can recruit cadres outside the established channels of the CCP Organization Department…
Starting late last year, the CCDI has stationed sub-offices in a number of top Party and government units. These include the CCP Central Committee’s General Office, the Organization Department and the Propaganda Department…
Studies conducted by Ren Jianming, Head of the Clean Governance Research Center at Beijing’s Beihang University, have shown that up to one third of cadres with the rank of ministers or above have accepted bribes and commissions or helped their close relatives and cronies profit in commercial deals. This figure is similar to a 2014 report that quoted an internal document as saying that “more than 30 percent of party, government and military officials were found to be involved in some form of corruption”…
According to the official media, the CCDI last year detained for investigation 42 officials with the rank of vice-ministers and vice-governors or above. This was substantially more than the 17 officials of similar ranks nabbed in 2013—and the comparable annual figure of six to eight during the Jiang and Hu administrations… Senior cadres incriminated in 2014 included a former Politburo Standing Committee member (Zhou Yongkang), a former Politburo member and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission (General Xu Caihou) and two former vice-chairmen of the CPPCC (Ling Jihua and Su Rong). Questions have been asked, however, as to whether Xi and Wang have used the anti-corruption campaign as a weapon to bring down political foes. For example, Zhou, Ling, General Xu and former Politburo member Bo Xilai—who are described as “the new Gang of Four” by the Hong Kong and overseas-Chinese media—are rumored to be leaders of an “anti-Xi Jinping cabal” within the Party (…). It is perhaps not surprising that the two previous Politburo members who went to jail for corruption—former Beijing Party secretary Chen Xitong and former Shanghai Party boss Chen Liangyu—were political foes of ex-presidents Jiang and Hu, respectively…

全国政协原副主席苏荣严重违纪违法被开除党籍和公职(中央纪委监察部)

日前,经中共中央批准,中共中央纪委对全国政协原副主席苏荣严重违纪问题进行了立案审查。

Top China official to face prosecution for corruption (BBC)

Former senior official Su Rong has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party for corruption and faces prosecution, said the country’s top anti-corruption body.

Celia Hatton: The case against Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (BBC)

Pu Zhiqiang’s blunt weibo messages, many of them expressing frustration with the ruling Chinese Communist Party, are forming the state’s case against him.
Police supplied a short list to Pu Zhiqiang’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping.
„From top to bottom, the Communist Party can’t get through a single day without telling lies,“ he posted on 24 July, 2012.
A few months earlier, on 5 February 2012, he wrote: „We should give Liaoning province and Shandong province to Japan, give some land in the south to Vietnam.
„Control of Beijing can be handed directly over to Washington. I’m willing to guide our guests to these places. As long as I can live better than I am now, I’ll be satisfied“.
Other messages criticise the Chinese government’s policies towards Uighurs, the mainly Muslim minority living in Xinjiang in China’s far west.
„They claim Xinjiang belongs to China. So they shouldn’t treat it like a colony. Don’t be a predator and a conqueror. You treat them as your enemy,“ he wrote on 7 May 2014, referring to strict government restrictions placed on Uighurs…
Mr Pu has been charged with creating a disturbance, inciting ethnic hatred and separatism.

Xīnjiāng | Massaker
Jun 14th, 2014 by Gao

Associated Press: China sentences nine to death for terrorism offences in Xinjiang (Guardian)
Tom Brewster: Chinese military group linked to hacks of US and European satellite companies (Guardian)
Associated Press: China joins in world’s largest naval exercises (Guardian)

贾秀东:我可以屠城,你不能出声(《人民日报海外版》)

针对中国将有关南京大屠杀和日军强征慰安妇的一些珍贵历史档案申报世界记忆名录一事,日本内阁官房长官菅义伟6月11日声称日方对此“感到非常遗憾”,已就此向中方提出抗议,并妄称中方申报“基于政治目的”,要求中方撤回申请。菅义伟甚至辩称南京大屠杀“具体遇难人数尚存各种疑问,政府难以作出判断”。对此,中国外交部发言人明确表示,中方不接受日方的无理交涉,也不会撤回有关申报。

Josh Rudolph: Minitrue: “I Can Massacre the City, You Can’t Say a Word” (China Digital Times*)

* finanziert u.a. vom National Endowment for Democracy.

Außenpolitik und Innenpolitik
Mai 20th, 2013 by Gao

J.B. hat eine Debatte über diese Artikel angeregt:
Susanna Bastaroli: Expertin: „China will nicht so zahnlos wie die Europäer werden“ (Presse)

Laut China-Expertin Weigelin-Schwierdzik dienen Chinas Kriegsdrohungen in Asien der Legitimation einer zunehmend schwächelnden KP. Die Dynamik könnte außer Kontrolle geraten.

Angela Köhler: Wie Japans Umgang mit der Geschichte die Zukunft blockiert (Presse)

Immer wieder sorgt der undiplomatische Umgang japanischer Politiker mit der schmutzigen Vergangenheit für heftige Empörung in den früheren Opferstaaten.

Wolfgang Greber: Die Angst der amerikanischen Admiräle (Presse)

Noch sind die USA im Verbund mit Alliierten wie Japan und Australien Herren des Pazifiks. An deren Thron rüttelt China aber gewaltig.

Zwei Literaturhinweise von H.K.; zunächst zum Thema:
David Shambaugh: China Goes Global. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Ebenfalls lesenswert:
David Shambaugh: China’s Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation. University of California Press, 2009.

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