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Ungleichheit, Armut und Armutsbekämpfung
Jul 6th, 2018 by Gao

Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman: Global Inequality Dynamics: New Findings from WID.world (American Economic Review, Mai 2017)

Rising inequality has attracted considerable interest in recent years, as shown by the attention received by an academic book published by one of us (Piketty 2014). Yet we still face important limitations in our ability to measure the changing distribution of income and wealth, within and between countries and at the world level. In this paper, we present new findings about global inequality dynamics from the World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world). We start with a brief history of the WID.world project. We then present selected findings on income inequality, private versus public wealth-to-income ratios, and wealth inequality, with emphasis on the contrast between the trends in the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom…

Rob Schmitz: Xi Jinping’s War On Poverty Moves Millions Of Chinese Off The Farm (NPR, 19. Oktober 2017)

China’s government hopes city life will push tens of millions into the workforce on their way to joining the world’s largest middle class. In the first five years of Xi’s presidency, more than 60 million Chinese have risen above the poverty line; Xi wants to move 70 million more Chinese above that line within the next three years, a goal China’s government is more tightly focused on than ever. …
[O]fficials in Guizhou … plan to move more than 750,000 people off farms by the end of the year from nearly 3,600 villages.

(Es gibt einen Eugene K. Chow, der Redenschreiber für den New Yorker Bürgermeister Bill de Blasio war.)
Eugene K. Chow: China’s War on Poverty Could Hurt the Poor Most (Foreign Policy, 8. Jänner 2018)

The government is pushing people out of rural squalor — and into urban dependence.

Spencer Sheehan: China’s Hukou Reforms and the Urbanization Challenge (The Diplomat, 22. Feber 2018)

China is speeding up hukou reform, but that won’t be enough to solve the migrant worker problem.
China’s government has announced a lofty goal of expanding urban hukou or residency permits to 100 million migrant workers by 2020 as part of its plan to rebalance its economy. However, the government needs to deliver a whole range of supporting policies to achieve this goal and it may not have the financing to provide them.

Philip Alston: Report of the [UN] Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to China (PDF; 28. März 2017)

The achievements that China has made in alleviating poverty have been extraordinary. Its leadership has made a strong and genuine commitment to building a “moderately prosperous society” free of extreme poverty, thus showing political will that is impressive and all too uncommon in today’s world…
While China has done a huge amount to promote economic and social wellbeing, this has not yet been translated into an approach based on treating economic and social rights as human rights.

Javier C. Hernández: Xi Jinping Vows No Poverty in China by 2020. That Could Be Hard. (New York Times, 31. Oktober 2017)

Nearly seven decades after the Chinese Communist Party rose to power on a promise of prosperity for all, President Xi Jinping has vowed to fulfill the Communists’ original intent, staking his legacy on an ambitious plan to complete the eradication of rural poverty by 2020…
Even as Chinese cities have turned into playgrounds for the nouveau riche and the swelling ranks of the middle class, nearly 500 million people, or about 40 percent of China’s population, live on less than $5.50 per day, according to the World Bank.
“The whole idea of socialism was that all Chinese would have a reasonable living standard,” said Kerry Brown, a China scholar at King’s College London. “The nagging concern is that the Communist Party has created billionaires and a strong middle class, and yet there are still a lot of poor people. That seems to be a massive contradiction.”

Ein wichtiger Diskussionsbeitrag in diesem Zusammenhang:
Felix Wemheuer: Auf dem Weg zum Sozialismus? Kritische Anmerkungen zu den Unterstützern der heutigen KP China in der westlichen Linken (Kommunistische Debatte)

Seit dem Ende der Kulturrevolution 1976 und dem Niedergang der westeuropäischen ML-Bewegung haben sich viele Linke lange nicht mehr für die Entwicklung in China interessiert. In den letzten 15 Jahren häufen sich allerdings linke Publikationen zum Charakter der Volksrepublik. Mittlerweile ist China eine politische und wirtschaftliche Großmacht. Während mit dem chinesischen „Wirtschaftswunder“ im Westen lange nur Sweatshops und Billigwaren verbunden wurden, investiert das chinesische Kapital heute auf allen Kontinenten. Selbst in Deutschland kauft es im großen Stil Unternehmen auf. Laut den Plänen der chinesischen Regierung soll die VR zum 100. Jahrestag ihrer Gründung, 2049, ein hochentwickeltes Industrieland sein. „Der Spiegel“ rief sogar die westliche Welt dazu auf, endlich aufzuwachen, da China schon jetzt die Nummer Eins sei. Die gegenwärtige Verschiebung der globalen Machtverhältnisse können auch Linke in Europa nicht ignorieren. Allerdings gehen die Einschätzungen zum Charakter der VR weit auseinander: Theodor Bergmann sieht das Land auf dem Weg zum Sozialismus (…). Der bekannte marxistische Geograph David Harvey hingegen reihte 2005 auf dem Titelbild seines Buches „Kleine Geschichte des Neoliberalismus“ Deng Xiaoping in eine wenig schmeichelhafte Ahnengalerie zusammen mit Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher und dem chilenischen Diktator Augusto Pinochet ein.

Alternativen zum US-Dollar?
Dez 29th, 2017 by Gao

Pepe Escobar: China plans to break petrodollar stranglehold (Asia Times)

Petrodollars have dominated the global energy markets for more than 40 years. But now, China is looking to change that by replacing the word dollars for yuan.
Nations, of course, have tried this before since the system was set up by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud back in 1974
Vast populations across the Middle East and Northern Africa quickly felt the consequences when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein decided to sell oil in euros. Then there was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi’s pan-African gold dinar blueprint, which failed to create a splash in an oil barrel.
Fast forward 25 years and China is making a move to break the United States petrodollar stranglehold. The plan is to set up oil-futures trading in the yuan, which will be fully convertible into gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong foreign exchange markets.

(Andere Version dieses Artikels: The Petro-Yuan Bombshell, CounterPunch)

Walmart | Japan
Jul 11th, 2016 by Gao

Kevin Lin: In China, Walmart Retail Workers Walk Out over Unfair Scheduling (Labor Notes)

About 70 Walmart workers began a wildcat strike July 1 against an unpopular new flexible scheduling system. They are reacting against a campaign of intimidation by Walmart China, which has been trying to coerce store workers to accept the new schedules since May…
From 1996 to the mid-2000s, Zhou says, Walmart workers were comparatively well-paid—making more than three times the average salary of workers in Shenzhen, a factory city created to produce for export.
But with rapid inflation over the past decade, Walmart’s real wages and benefits have fallen to only a third of the Shenzhen average. The same is true elsewhere in China.
Today Walmart wages are not significantly higher than local minimum wages. After paying their social security contributions, worker may even be making less than minimum wage—and certainly way below a decent living wage.

Strikes at Walmart stores in China begin to spread (China Labour Bulletin)

More than 200 workers from at least three Walmart stores in China went on strike over the weekend in protest against the company’s introduction of a comprehensive working hours system. The workers also called for new trade union elections.
On 1 July, at least 130 workers at Store No. 5782 in Nanchang, Jiangxi, began marching through the store, chanting “Walmart Workers Stand Up!” and “No to the Comprehensive Working Hours System!” Workers had discovered the previous day that the company had unilaterally enforced the new working hours system against their wishes. The workers said management might now use the new system to punish activists by cutting their overtime pay.
In solidarity, some 30 workers at Store No. 2039 in the same city and another 60 employees at Store No.0209 in Chengdu, Sichuan, walked out on 2 July and 4 July respectively.

Made in China, 2. Ausgabe (PDF, chinoiserie.info)

A Quarterly on Chinese Labour, Civil Society, and Rights

Lily Kuo: African migrants are returning from China and telling their compatriots not to go (Quartz)

When Lamin Ceesay, an energetic 25-year-old from Gambia, arrived in China last year, he thought his life had made a turn for the better. As the oldest of four siblings, he was responsible for caring for his family, especially after his father passed away. But jobs were few in his hometown of Tallinding Kunjang, outside of the Gambian capital of Banjul. After hearing about China’s rise, his uncle sold off his taxi business and the two of them bought a ticket and a paid local visa dealer to get them to China.

William Nee: China’s Disturbing Detention of Hong Kong Booksellers (Diplomat)

A recently returned bookseller has decided to speak out, with some disturbing revelations.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: World faces deflation shock as China devalues yuan at accelerating pace (Telegraph)

China has abandoned a solemn pledge to keep its exchange rate stable and is carrying out a systematic devaluation of the yuan, sending a powerful deflationary impulse through a global economy already caught in a 1930s trap.
The country’s currency basket has been sliding at an annual pace of 12pc since the start of the year. This has picked up sharply since the Brexit vote, suggesting that the People’s Bank (PBOC) may be taking advantage of the distraction to push through a sharper devaluation.

Alexander Billet: Super Official Marx (Jacobin)

The Chinese Communist Party put out a hip-hop track praising Karl Marx. It’s as bad as you would expect.

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