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Maoisten
Apr 12th, 2017 by Gao

Brian Hioe: A Red Star Over China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:紅星照耀中國?(破土)

Perhaps one of the most significant intellectual formations operating in today’s world, China’s New Left arose in the 1990s in opposition to the turn of China away from a centrally planned economy and a return to free market principles after the Deng Xiaoping period. More broadly, the New Left project emphasizes the growing disparities between rural and urban areas in post-Deng China, the sacrifice of principles of equality in order to drive toward development, and calls for a critical revaluation of China’s Maoist legacy in light of China’s present—inclusive of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
What is “New Left” is hard to pin down. The name “New Left” was a term appropriated from conservative critics who were quick to claim the New Left to be some form of resurgent Red Guard fanaticism. In that sense, “New Left” may be a misleading term, insofar as the Chinese New Left is a contemporary phenomenon, and one with little to do with the western New Left of the late 1960s. The New Left largely consists of academics, many of which have studied abroad and are influenced by forms of western critical theory. The New Left finds itself in opposition to the “Liberals” who welcome China’s capitalization and call for the institution of western style political reforms along the lines of America or of western European powers.

中國的新左派可說是當代世界中最重要的知識分子群體之一,他們在 1990 年代因為反對中國在鄧小平時代過後放棄計畫經濟,轉向自由市場原理而竄起。更大程度上,新左派的研究課題著重於後鄧小平時期城鄉差距的持續擴大,以及為求發展而犧牲平等原則,並呼籲對毛澤東時代的遺產進行批判性再評價以回應當前局勢,其中包括大躍進和文化大革命。
   「新左派」究竟是什麼,其實很難明確定義。「新左派」一名取自於那些急於將新左派定性為某種紅衛兵狂熱再現的保守派批評者。照那樣說來,「新左派」這個詞恐怕會產生誤導,因為中國的新左派是個當代現象,和 1960 年代晚期西方的新左派幾乎毫無關聯。新左派的成員大多是學者,其中很多人都曾出國留學,受到各種西方批判理論影響。新左派與歡迎中國走向資本主義化,呼籲依照美國及西歐強國的路線進行西方式政治改革的「自由派」彼此對立。

Brian Hioe: Anti-Capitalist Within China, Imperialist Outside of China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:中國國內的反資本主義者,出了境外卻是帝國主義者?(破土)

From a left perspective, the Chinese New Left’s critique of capitalism remains quite sympathetic when confined to within China’s borders. With the recent arrest of labor activists in Guangzhou, Chinese New Left publication Ground Breaking, for example, was one of the first to rally for support—even at risk to itself. Ground Breaking has reacted similarly in past incidents in which the Chinese state acts on behalf of capital and against the interests of the working class. Perhaps in this respect, given the threat of state suppression, they are to be praised for their bravery on certain issues. It is the New Left’s international viewpoints, concerning outside of China, which may ultimately be most problematic.

從左翼觀點來看,新左派對資本主義的批判多少還是能引人共鳴的,只要它的適用範圍限於中國國內。比方說,近日多位勞工運動者在廣州被逮捕之後,中國新左派的網刊「破土」(Ground Breaking,GB)是首先發動聲援的,卻不顧自身同樣面臨風險。而在過去幾次中國政府為資本利益護航,侵害工人階級利益的事件之中,「破土」也採取了同樣的行動。或許就這點來說,考慮到國家鎮壓的威脅,他們確實應當為了勇於聲援某些議題而得到讚揚。可是新左派的國際主義觀點一旦涉及境外議題,恐怕就再令人存疑不過了。

Chris Buckley: Maoists for Trump? In China, Fans Admire His Nationalist Views (New York Times) 储百亮:特朗普的出现让中国毛左为之一振(New York Times)

They protest, picket and sing to defend Mao’s memory, yearning for the East to be red again. But lately some of China’s Maoists are finding inspiration in an unlikely insurgent in the West: Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Trump “has torn up the old rules of the ruling elites, not just of the capitalist West,” said Zhang Hongliang, a polemicist who is the loudest proponent of what could be loosely called “Maoists for Trump.” In a recent essay, Mr. Zhang lauded the American president as being alone among national leaders daring “to openly promote the political ideas of Chairman Mao.”
President Xi Jinping of China will be sizing up Mr. Trump during a visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida this week, in the leaders’ first summit meeting. Meanwhile, many ordinary Chinese people have also been taking the measure of the new American president and have been bewildered, incensed and yet, sometimes, inspired.
The global wave of nationalist, anti-establishment sentiment that Mr. Trump rode to power has washed ashore in China, encouraging a hard-left fringe that is hostile to capitalism and Western influence, and that the Communist Party has long sought to cultivate — and contain.

北京——他们用抗议、纠察和歌唱来捍卫对毛泽东的记忆,渴望再现东方红。但最近,让中国的一些毛派人士为之一振的,是西方世界里的一个出人意料的叛逆者:唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)。
   特朗普“不仅撕裂了西方资本主义世界的旧有规则,还撕裂了统治精英的旧有规则,”能言善辩的“拥护特朗普的毛派”中坚力量张宏良说。在前不久的一篇文章里,张宏良称赞特朗普是唯一一位“敢于公开宣传毛主席政治理念”的国家领导人。
   中美首脑首次峰会于下周在佛罗里达州马阿拉歌庄园举行之际,到访的中国国家主席习近平将对特朗普作出评估。与此同时,很多普通的中国人也在掂量新上台的美国总统的斤两,他或许让他们困惑,或许激起了他们的怒火,但有时也能让他们感到振奋。
   把特朗普送上了权力巅峰的民族主义和反建制情绪正在全球泛滥,中国也不例外。这种潮流让敌视资本主义和西方影响的中国极左派人士受到了鼓励,他们是共产党一直在培育——以及限制——的一个边缘群体。

Millionäre
Mrz 13th, 2017 by Gao

Sui-lee Wee: Chinese Lawmakers’ Wallets Have Grown Along With Xi’s Power / 习近平时代,人大代表的财富迅速增长 (New York Times)

Mao once branded capitalists enemies of the Chinese people. In the era of President Xi Jinping, those capitalists are billionaire lawmakers — and they’re getting even wealthier.
The combined fortune of the wealthiest members of China’s Parliament and its advisory body amounts to $500 billion, just below the annual economic output of Sweden. Among that group of 209 entrepreneurs and business tycoons, the 100 richest saw their net worth rise 64 percent in the four years since Mr. Xi took power, according to the Hurun Report, an organization based in Shanghai that tracked the wealth of the delegates, ahead of their annual joint sessions that start on Friday in Beijing.
Since he was anointed leader, Mr. Xi has pledged to tackle income inequality, alleviate poverty and crack down on corruption. Warning that graft could bring down the ruling Communists, Mr. Xi has ordered an end to alcohol-fueled banquets and bribery, which often takes the form of red packets filled with cash or luxury handbags.
The increasing wealth of lawmakers “tells us that political power and money have remained tightly intertwined in China: this is a structural issue that Xi cannot solve,” but only hide, said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of Chinese politics at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Hurun Global Rich List 2017 (胡润百富)

The Hurun Global Rich List 2017 ranked 2,257 billionaires from 68 countries and from 1811 companies in another record-breaking year for the world’s billionaires.
Total wealth increased by 16% to US$8.0 trillion equivalent to 10.7% of global GDP, and up from 7% of global GDP five years ago. Hoogewerf said, “Global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth.” …
Chinese billionaires led the USA for the second year running, with 609 compared with 552. Hoogewerf said “China and the USA have half the billionaires in the world.” …
The ‘Big Two’ are Greater China and the USA with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, amounting to half of the billionaires on the planet. It has been a good year for Germany, which surged past India into third place. UAE and Indonesia broke into the Top 20 for the first time. Bangladesh contributed a billionaire for the first time, to take the countries that the billionaires reside in to 68 countries…
Greater China: No 1 with 609 billionaires, 41 more than last year. The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires is US$1.6 trillion, 2.1% of the global GDP. Real Estate has generated most number of billionaires (120), followed by Manufacturing and TMT with 115 and 78 respectively. Led by Beijing, 5 Chinese cities make the top 10 cities and 7 the Top 20. Average age is 58, six years younger than the average of the list. China is the number 1 in the world in terms of generating self-made billionaires akin to “rags to riches” and is home to two-thirds of the world’s self-made female billionaires. A February IPO propelled Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express to third spot, with a five-fold growth in his wealth to US$27bn, just behind Wang Jianlin and Jack Ma. Corporate raider Yao Zhenhua of Baoneng saw the fastest growth on the list, rising almost eight-fold to US$15bn, but in February was barred from the insurance industry for ten years by the regulator…
New Entrants to Top 100. There were 23 new entrants to the Top 100, led by Chinese Express Delivery King Wang Wei of SF Express, whose February IPO saw his wealth shoot up five-fold to US$27bn, straight into 25 in the world. Others of note include former China Number One Ding Lei, 46, of Netease, and Elon Musk, who broke into the Top 100 for the first time. Lakshmi Mittal, 66, won back most of his losses from last year, on the back of a recovery in the global steel market…
Women. 15% of the list are women. Of the 152 self-made women, Chinese led the way with 121 (a staggering 79.6%), followed by 14 from the USA and 8 from the UK. The richest women are Liliane Bettencourt, 94, of L’Oreal with US$28bn, followed by Alice Walton of Wal-mart, Jacqueline Mars of Mars and Maria Franca Fissolo of Ferrero Rocher. The richest self-made woman in the world is Beijing Real Estate Queen Chen Lihua of FuHua with US$7.2bn. Hoogewerf said, “China is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.”…
Others include 115 Chinese billionaires with senior political appointments to the NPC and CPPC…
29% of billionaires are of Chinese origin, up 22 to 652 this year, and 252 new Chinese billionaires five years ago.

Papiertiger Trump
Feb 11th, 2017 by Gao

Tom Phillips: ‚Brutal, amoral, ruthless, cheating‘: how Trump’s new trade tsar sees China (Guardian, 22. Dezember)

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.
Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

The Chinese government is a despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power that reigns over the world’s leading cancer factory, its most prolific propaganda mill and the biggest police state and prison on the face of the earth.
That is the view of Peter Navarro, the man chosen by Donald Trump to lead a new presidential office for US trade and industrial policy, a move likely to add to Beijing’s anxieties over the billionaire’s plans for US-China relations.

Benjamin Haas: Steve Bannon: ‚We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt‘ (Guardian, 2. Februar)
Tom Phillips: Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts (Guardian, 7. Februar)

For the last 18 months a taskforce of prominent China experts, some of whom have dealt with Beijing for more than 50 years, has been formulating a series of recommendations on how the incoming White House should conduct relations with the world’s second largest economy.
The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

AFP: South China Sea: US reports ‚unsafe encounter‘ with Chinese military aircraft (Guardian, 10. Februar)

A Chinese military aircraft had an “unsafe” encounter with a US navy surveillance aircraft near a contested reef in the South China Sea, according to the US Pacific command.
The two planes came within 1,000ft (300 meters) of each other during Wednesday’s incident near the Scarborough shoal, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Und dann löst sich alles in Wohlgefallen auf?

Tom Phillips: Trump agrees to support ‚One China‘ policy in Xi Jinping call (Guardian, 10. Februar)

Donald Trump has held his first telephone conversation with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, since entering the White House, telling the Communist party leader he will not challenge Beijing by upending longstanding US policy towards Taiwan.
In a brief statement the White House said the leaders of the world’s two largest economies had held a “lengthy” and “extremely cordial” telephone call on Thursday evening in which “numerous topics” were discussed…
The cordial encounter follows an “unsafe” one on Wednesday in the South China Sea between a Chinese aircraft and a US Navy patrol plane. US Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said on Friday the “interaction” between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a US Navy P-3C plane happened in international airspace but did not say what was regarded as unsafe.

Simon Tisdall: China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger (Guardian)

Is Donald Trump turning out to be a paper tiger? China’s rulers might be forgiven for thinking so after the US president performed a U-turn on Taiwan, but the shift did not come out of the blue.
Trump’s approach to a range of key international issues has softened significantly since he took office, suggesting a lurch towards conformity and away from disruption. His acceptance of the One China policy, under which Washington does not challenge Beijing’s claim to what it deems a breakaway province, was a stunning reversal, contradicting previous suggestions he would pursue closer ties with Taiwan.

Landwirtschaft | Hongkong | Korea | Philippinen
Okt 19th, 2016 by Gao

Robert B. Marks: Modern China’s agricultural contradictions / 现代中国的农业矛盾 (ChinaDialogue)

The People’s Republic had to overcome massive environmental degradation and poor quality farmland to drive its industrial transformation

Francesco Sisci: Expect a power struggle at China’s next party plenum (Asia Times)

It is a strange situation: Xi sits on all the power—none of his opponents has enough strength to topple him—but the antagonists can muster enough force to slow down or stop Xi’s plans for change. The vested interests in the country and the party are well rooted, widespread, and unwilling to give up all of their privileges and money for the general benefit of the country – or what they may believe are Xi’s personal ambitions. It is almost a political deadlock, and for both Xi and his opponents, it may be a fight to the bitter end.

Tom Phillips: Rebel Hong Kong politicians defy China at chaotic swearing-in ceremony (Guardian)

Pro-democracy politicians cross fingers and make protest signs and subversive references to Beijing’s authoritarian rulers.

Benny Kung: HK pro-independence lawmakers prevented from retaking oath (Asia Times)

Two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers were denied the chance to swear themselves into office on Wednesday after their pro-Beijing peers walked out of the chamber in protest at the duo’s anti-China sentiment.

Hong Kong lawmakers walk out to block swearing-in of democracy activists (Guardian)

Reuters: US and South Korea will ‚pay the price‘ for missile system, China paper says (Guardian)

Noel Tarrazona: Did the US end military drills over Duterte’s China pivot? (Asia Times)

Last Tuesday (Oct 11) was significant for the Philippines. The day marked the early end to the US-Philippines military drills which was supposed to go on till Oct 12…
There may be genuine reasons for this change of plans but many Filipinos and the outside world immediately linked it with Duterte’s recent statement that this would be the last military drill between the two countries.

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.

Panama-Papiere
Apr 6th, 2016 by Gao

Matthias Müller: Sprachlos in Peking (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Staatschef Xi Jinping ist Korruption ein Dorn im Auge. Die Enthüllungen der «Panama Papers» wird er deshalb mit Argusaugen verfolgen. Auch Mitglieder seiner Familie nutzen jedoch «Briefkastenfirmen». …
Welche Chinesen Briefkastenfirmen gründeten, bleibt im Dunkeln. Deren Namen dürften für eine breite chinesische Öffentlichkeit jedoch keine grosse Überraschung darstellen. Im Fokus steht Deng Jiagui , der seit 1996 mit der älteren Schwester von Staats- und Parteichef Xi Jinping, Qi Qiaoqiao, verheiratet ist. Das Ehepaar war bereits 2012 in Visier westlicher Medien geraten, als die Nachrichtenagentur «Bloomberg» enthüllte, dass es über Vermögenswerte in Höhe von mehreren Hundert Millionen Dollar verfüge.

Huang Zheping: China’s elite—including Xi Jinping—are linked to offshore deals that hid millions of dollars (Quartz)

At least eight top Chinese officials are linked to offshore deals through associates, an investigation into 11 million leaked documents from one of the world’s largest offshore law firms shows. They include the brother-in-law of Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose offshore firms went dormant before Xi came into power, and the granddaughter of a former top leader who bought an offshore company for just $1.

Juliette Garside, David Pegg: Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility (Guardian)

The eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers.
The documents show the granddaughter of a powerful Chinese leader became the sole shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies while still a teenager. Jasmine Li had just begun studying at Stanford University in the US when the companies were registered in her name in December 2010. Her grandfather Jia Qinglin was at that time the fourth-ranked politician in China…
Also in the data are Hu Dehua, the businessman son of Hu Yaobang, the Communist party’s general secretary ousted in 1987…

Johnny Erling: Der Panama-Skandal erreicht Chinas Führung (Standard)
Panama Papers – The Power Players: Deng Jiagui | Li Xiaolin (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
Powerful force is behind Panama Papers (Global Times)

A huge leak of confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm alleged to have been a facilitator of money laundering for its clients has shocked international public opinion. Over 11 million documents were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. These documents have been reportedly investigated by some 300 global journalists for a year.
The Western media soon collected the most eye-catching information from the documents and leaders of non-Western countries have been scrutinized. Most media led with the allegations that a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin had laundered $1 billion. The Western media has opaquely described it as „Putin’s money laundering.“ …
The Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it. Information that is negative to the US can always be minimized, while exposure of non-Western leaders, such as Putin, can get extra spin.
In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West. In the long-run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations.

In den Medienberichten weniger prominent platziert:
Tsai Ing-wens Bruder hatte Beziehungen zu Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca (Radio Taiwan International)

Tsai Ying-yang, der Bruder der kommenden Präsidentin Tsai Ing-wen, hatte Beziehungen zur Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca. Das wird aus den kürzlich veröffentlichten Dokumenten der im Rahmen der Steuerhinterziehung genutzen panamaischen Anwaltskanzlei deutlich. …
Die Kanzlei [Mossack Fonseca] wurde 1977 von Jürgen Mossack, dem Sohn des Waffen-SS Rottenführers Erhard Mossack gegründet. Der US-Auslandsgeheimdienst CIA führte seinen Vater nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg für Spionagezwecke in Panama. Dort gründete der Sohn Jürgen Mossack die in die Schlagzeilen geratene Kanzlei zusammen mit dem panamaischen Anwalt Ramón Fonseca Mora.

Mia Lamar, Ned Levin: Five Things to Know About Hong Kong and the ‘Panama Papers’ (Wall Street Journal)

Hong Kong features prominently in a massive trove of documents allegedly leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., according to reports published by international media outlets…
Hong Kong Was Mossack Fonseca’s Busiest Office…
China Laws Help Drive Hong Kong Offshore Activity… Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which went public in New York in 2014 in a record-beating $25 billion offering, is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for instance.

Peter Wolter, Ernst Wolff: »Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt« (junge Welt)

Vom Skandal um die Panama-Konten profitieren in erster Linie die US-amerikanischen Steueroasen…
Es ist ganz offensichtlich ein Manöver der USA, sich selbst als weltweit beste Steueroase zu präsentieren. Wenn man die bisher vorliegenden Informationen über diese Panama-Papiere heranzieht, fällt auf, dass dort vor allem Gegner der USA angeschwärzt werden – die USA selber bleiben aber außen vor. Banken dieses Landes werden überhaupt nicht erwähnt, ebenso wenig Konzerne. Soweit ich weiß, werden auch keine Privatpersonen aus den USA genannt.
Das Interessante dabei ist, was nicht veröffentlicht wurde. Durch die Publizierung von Teilen dieser Papiere wird nämlich Druck auf Steuerhinterzieher aller Länder ausgeübt, ihr Schwarzgeld anderswo in Sicherheit zu bringen – niemand von ihnen kann wissen, ob nicht auch er in der Liste steht. Diese Leute werden sich vorsichtshalber eine neue Steueroase suchen: die USA. …
[Die USA] haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren – weitgehend unbemerkt von der breiten Öffentlichkeit – als neues Steuerparadies etabliert. Seit der Jahrtausendwende haben Regierung und Finanzkreise in Washington einen Krieg zum Beispiel gegen die Schweiz geführt: Deren Banken wurden genötigt, das Bankgeheimnis aufzuweichen. …
Parallel dazu wurden aber die US-Bundesstaaten Nevada, Delaware, South-Dakota und Wyoming als Standorte für derartige Konten etabliert. Dort gilt das Bankgeheimnis ohne Einschränkungen, den Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt. …
Natürlich ist es gut, dass einige dieser Schiebereien jetzt an die Öffentlichkeit kommen. Aber letzlich versucht doch nur ein Übeltäter, andere Bösewichte zu beschmutzen, um von sich selbst abzulenken. Die wahren Schuldigen am Finanzchaos, die ganz großen Firmen und die Finanzinstitute der Wallstreet, bleiben mit Sicherheit ungeschoren.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak (Craig Murray)

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

  • Ford Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment
  • Rockefeller Family Fund
  • W K Kellogg Foundation
  • Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Clifford Coonan: Panama Papers: China describes revelations about its leaders as ‘groundless’ (Irish Times)

Und anderswo:
Self-censorship sensed as Japan’s TV stations replace outspoken anchors (Japan Times)

Hosts Ichiro Furutachi of TV Asahi’s influential “Hodo Station” and Shigetada Kishii of the TBS evening news program “News 23″ will both be replaced in April. NHK, too, is considering pulling longtime anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya from its “Close-up Gendai” news and features program.
Furutachi has often been criticized by the government and its supporters for his commentaries…
Kuniya’s departure has long been whispered about as she is known for asking big-name politicians tough questions. However, she has survived until now.
Similarly, Kishii expressed opposition to contentious security bills before they cleared the Diet last September and called on fellow opponents to speak up.

Siegfried Knittel: Beschneidung der Pressefreiheit in Japan nimmt zu (Standard)

Journalisten beklagen ein zunehmend repressives Klima in Japan. Der Rücktritt dreier bekannter Fernsehmoderatoren sorgt für Unruhe…
Ins Blickfeld der ausländischen Presse geriet Furutachi, Macher der abendlichen Nachrichtensendung „Hodo Station“ des linksliberalen Asahi TV, im vergangenen Jahr, nachdem der Kommentator Shigeaki Koga in Furutachis Nachrichtensendung bekanntgemacht hatte, dass der Sender ihn auf Druck der Regierung zum Rücktritt gedrängt habe. Nun traf es Furutachi wegen seiner in „Hodo Station“ geäußerten Zweifel an der Verfassungskonformität der im vergangenen Jahr verabschiedeten Verteidigungsgesetze selbst.

Made in China | Überwachung | Zensur
Apr 4th, 2016 by Gao

Neue Zeitschrift:
Made in China. A Quarterly on Chinese Labour, Civil Society, and Rights (PDF)

With this first issue, we are pleased to announce the launch of Made in China, a quarterly on Chinese labour, civil society, and rights. This project stems from our previous experiences as editors of a newsletter on Chinese labour funded by the Italian Trade Union Institute for Development Cooperation (Ivan Franceschini) and co-editor of the website China Labour News Translations (Kevin Lin).
In the last few years, the Chinese labour movement has witnessed significant developments, not only with the occurrence of some of the largest strikes in decades but also the emergence of grave challenges for workers and activists. As researchers of Chinese labour, we believe that this calls for more serious analysis from both scholars and practitioners, as well for a critical engagement with a broader international audience interested in forging international solidarity. It is with these aims in mind – and thanks to the support of the Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU, and the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme – that we are now starting this new venture.
In this first issue, you will find summaries of recent events that have taken place in China, as well as a series of columns on specific topics, such as the recent wave of protests in the Chinese state sector and the expected impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on labour rights. We devote the core of the first issue to the plight of Chinese labour NGOs, contextualising it through a debate between three prominent international labour experts. Finally, we celebrate the award of the prestigious Joseph Levenson Prize to Luigi Tomba, a long-standing researcher of Chinese labour.

Lucy Hornby: China reverts to ‘grid management’ to monitor citizens’ lives (Financial Times)

China is rolling out a nationwide system of social control known as “grid management” in a revival of state presence in residential life that had receded as society liberalised during recent decades.
From smog-blanketed towns on the North China Plain to the politically sensitive Tibetan capital of Lhasa, small police booths and networks of citizens have been set up block by block to reduce neighbourhood disputes, enforce sanitation, reduce crime — and keep an eye on anyone deemed a troublemaker…
An earlier system of neighbourhood committees, which monitored every urban citizen, has declined since the mid-1990s as private housing became more common and social controls faded.

Emily Rauhala, Xu Yangjingjing: Chinese website publishes, then pulls, explosive letter calling for President Xi’s resignation (Washington Post)
Josh Rudolph: Loyal Party Members Urge Xi’s Resignation (China Digital Times)

Entlassungen | Milliardäre
Mrz 7th, 2016 by Gao

Kevin Yao, Meng Meng: China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in coal, steel sectors (Reuters)

China said on Monday it expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, or about 15 percent of the workforce, as part of efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity, but no timeframe was given.
It was the first time China has given figures that underline the magnitude of its task in dealing with slowing growth and bloated state enterprises.
Yin Weimin, the minister for human resources and social security, told a news conference that 1.3 million workers in the coal sector could lose jobs, plus 500,000 from the steel sector. China’s coal and steel sectors employ about 12 million workers, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics.
„This involves the resettlement of a total of 1.8 million workers. This task will be very difficult, but we are still very confident,“ Yin said.

China schrumpft Industrie und streicht Millionen Jobs (Standard)

China steht vor den größten Massenentlassungen seit zwei Jahrzehnten. Die Regierung will in der Industrie fünf bis sechs Millionen Arbeitsplätze streichen. …
Ende der 1990er-Jahre waren in einem Zeitraum von fünf Jahren 28 Millionen Jobs abgebaut worden. Die damalige Umstrukturierung verursachte Kosten in Höhe von 73,1 Milliarden Yuan (10,25 Mrd. Euro) für die soziale Abfederung. Erst am Montag hatte Arbeitsminister Yin Weimin erklärt, dass allein in der Kohle- und Stahlindustrie 1,8 Millionen Jobs wegfallen sollen.

七问供给侧结构性改革——权威人士谈当前经济怎么看怎么干(《人民日报》~新华社)

去年底召开的中央经济工作会议,对“十三五”开局之年的经济工作进行了全面部署,强调要着力推进供给侧结构性改革,推动经济持续健康发展。如何认真学习、深刻领会、正确贯彻中央经济工作会议精神,围绕推进供给侧结构性改革这条主线,做好新一年经济工作?近日,权威人士接受本报独家专访,对“供给侧结构性改革”作了解读和阐释。

Chris Buckley: Xi Jinping’s Remedy for China’s Economic Gloom Has Echoes of Reaganomics (New York Times)

With the world looking to China for assurance that it can manage its slowing economy and tumultuous stock market, President Xi Jinping has begun pushing a remedy that sounds less like Marx and Mao than Reagan and Thatcher.
Mr. Xi is calling his next big economic initiative “supply-side structural reform,” a deliberate echo of the nostrums of tax cuts and deregulation advocated by those conservative Western leaders in the 1980s.

Johnny Erling: 218 Milliardäre in Chinas Parlamenten (Standard)

Noch nie tummelten sich so viele Milliardäre unter den Volksvertretern. 117 Volkskongressabgeordnete sind im Hauptberuf schwerreiche Unternehmer, Konzernchefs oder Internetbetreiber. Weitere 101 Superreiche sitzen im Beraterparlament [Gemeint ist die Politische Konsultativkonferenz des Chinesischen Volkes, 政協].
Rupert Hoogewerf, Herausgeber der jährlich in Shanghai erscheinenden Hurun-Reichenlisten, hat sie nun auf seiner 2016 erschienen Weltliste zum Ranking von 2188 Dollar- Milliardären und einer weiteren Liste von 1877 chinesischen Superreichen erkannt. Am Samstag veröffentlichte er eine neue Ranking-Liste mit 218 der „reichsten Politiker Chinas 2016“, die in beiden Kammern des Parlaments sitzen. Mitglieder dieses exklusiven Klubs können nur Abgeordnete werden, die mindestens Firmen-, Aktien- oder Immobilienvermögen im Wert von mehr als zwei Milliarden Yuan (300 Millionen Euro) besitzen. Ein Jahre zuvor hatte der Brite 203 Abgeordnete im Volkskongress und im Beraterparlament als Milliardäre gezählt, darunter 106 superreiche Abgeordnete im NPC (3,6 Prozent aller Delegierten) und 97 im CPPCC (4,3 Prozent). Nun stieg der Anteil auf 3,9 und 4,5 Prozent. …
Insgesamt vermehrten die 117 Superreichen im Volkskongress 2015 ihr Vermögen im Durchschnitt um 20 Prozent, die 101 im Beraterparlament um zehn Prozent. Chinas Wirtschaftswachstum stieg dagegen nur um 6,9 Prozent. …
Die meisten darunter dürften sogar Mitglieder der Kommunistischen Partei sein, wie etwa der Wahaha-Getränkegigant Zong Qinghou aus Hangzhou. …
Seit 2001 umarmt die Partei pragmatisch den neuen Geldadel Chinas, solange er patriotisch gesinnt ist, seine Steuern zahlt und den Aufbau des Landes unterstützt. Nirgendwo werden Unternehmer so schnell zu Milliardären wie in China …
Auf der globalen Hoogewerf-Reichenliste sind unter den 2188 Dollar-Milliardären in 68 Ländern auf der ganzen Welt bereits 568 Chinesen.

潘奕燃:电视剧通则曝光 早恋婚外恋转世等不得出现(中国网~搜狐)

在前天举行的电视剧四大行业委员会的联合年会上,国家新闻出版广电总局电视剧司司长李京盛在谈到电视剧的生产制作规范时,提到了由中广联电视制片委员会和中国电视剧制作产业协会共同制定的《电视剧内容制作通则》。
  新出台的《电视剧内容制作通则》曝出,该通则详细规定了不能在电视剧中出现的具体内容,涉及同性恋、婚外情、未成年人早恋等。该通则对于电视剧制作单位和创作者有“指南”作用。

电视剧通则曝光 早恋同性恋转世不得出现(新浪)

《电视剧内容制作通则》曝出,该通则详细规定了不能在电视剧中出现的具体内容,涉及同性恋、婚外情、未成年人早恋等。

Hannah Ellis-Petersen: China bans depictions of gay people on television (Guardian)

The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”.
Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates the dark side of society” and now deem homosexuality, extramarital affairs, one night stands and underage relationships as illegal on screen.

Josh Horwitz, Zheping Huang: China’s new television rules ban homosexuality, drinking, and vengeance (Quartz)

In the past decade, Chinese society has embraced homosexuality more openly than many neighboring nations in Asia. But a new set of rules from a subdivision of SARFT, one of the main media censorship bodies, go in the other direction. If upheld, Chinese producers can no longer make television shows depicting “abnormal sexual relations or sexual behavior” including “homosexuality” or “perversion.”
That’s not all. The new rules also ban shows that depict smoking, drinking, adultery, sexual freedom or reincarnation, among many other activities.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: How China Won the War Against Western Media (Foreign Policy)

The one-two punch of censorship plus propaganda has discredited Western journalism in the eyes of many Chinese.

Ilaria Maria Sala: Second ‚missing‘ Hong Kong bookseller returns from China (Guardian)

Cheung Chi-ping arrives back home two days after authorities released his boss, Lui Por, but three publishers remain on the mainland.

Wirtschaft | Korruptionsbekämpfung
Sep 26th, 2015 by Gao

Ralf Ruckus: China Crash – Der Umbau der Wirtschaft stockt (gongchao)

In den Tagen der Panikverkäufe und platzenden Blasen wirkten die chinesischen Börsen wie Spielbanken, in denen beim Roulette auf mögliche Wirtschaftstrends gesetzt wurde. Hinter dem Auf und Ab der Kurse stehen wirtschaftspolitische Manöver der herrschenden Kommunistischen Partei Chinas (KPCh) und anderer Spieler sowie langfristige Entwicklungen des chinesischen Kapitalismus.

William H. Overholt: The politics of China’s anti-corruption campaign (East Asia Forum)

Chinese ‘corruption’ is overwhelmingly graft, whereas in, for instance, the Philippines under former president Ferdinand Marcos, and in India, corruption in the narrow sense predominates. Many important Marcos-era projects were designed to fail, leaving the government in debt. In China, good roads and ports get built consistently. In India they don’t. Likewise with primary education and international sporting events.
More costly still, Japan has what’s termed ‘structural corruption’. A few major interest groups dominate the legislature to the extent that they can pervert national policy to their benefit…
In China, the scale of graft has become potentially fatal for the regime. Some claim that China’s authoritarian system inevitably causes extreme corruption and a democratic China would be much cleaner. But poor democracies typically have much more crippling corruption than China. In these countries, there are few or no political contributions other than bribes or candidate self-funding and the complexity of democratic judicial systems makes it difficult to convict criminals, which empowers wealthy criminality.

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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