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Zahlenmystik
Sep 12th, 2017 by Gao

关键词指示习近平“7·26”重要讲话内容(新华网)

2个“牢牢把握”
3个“事关”
5个“什么”
9个“我们”
8个“更”
3个“意味着”
2个“必须”2个“要”

David Bandurski: The Arithmetic of Party-Speak (Medium)

As anyone whose profession it is to parse the language of Chinese Communist Party can tell you, reading Chinese discourse is a frustrating and bewildering exercise, full of rigid and ritualistic formulations that come and go, ebb and flow. Sum up Party-speak with a jingle and it might go something like this:

Deng Xiaoping had Four Basic Principles,
Jiang Zemin, Three Represents
Xi Jinping has Two Undeniables.
And nothing at all makes sense.

Ungleichheit
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)

Neue Seidenstraße
Aug 23rd, 2017 by Gao

Bernd Vasari: Ein Zug wird kommen (Wiener Zeitung)

Nach jahrelangen Forderungen der Wirtschaftskammer gibt es nun auch von Infrastrukturminister Jörg Leichtfried (SPÖ) ein Bekenntnis zum Ausbau der Breitspurbahn nach Wien. „Ich will Österreich zur Logistikdrehscheibe in Europa machen“, sagt er. Die derzeitige Endstation befindet sich im 400 Kilometer entfernten Kosice. Bei einem technisch möglichen Baubeginn in sechs Jahren könnte die Strecke bis zum Jahr 2033 fertiggestellt werden. Österreich wäre dann über die Schiene bis nach China verbunden. …
Bei einem von Chinas Staatschef Xi Jinping einberufenen Seidenstraßen-Gipfel im Mai wurde Österreich nicht hochrangig, sondern nur durch die Botschafterin vertreten. Im Gegensatz zu Ungarn, wo Ministerpräsident Viktor Orban anwesend war.

Zhang Junhua: China – eine Friedensmacht? (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Mit einer anvisierten Investition von mehreren Billionen Dollar weltweit ist Chinas Seidenstrassen-Projekt einer der ambitioniertesten Pläne der Menschheitsgeschichte. Sicherlich ist der ursprüngliche Ansatz des Vorhabens auf Chinas strategisches Eigeninteresse fokussiert: Durch den massiven Aufbau der Infrastruktur will man das Problem der Überkapazität chinesischer Industrieproduktion lösen. Mit der Zeit hat sich jedoch eine Eigendynamik entwickelt, die positive Nebeneffekte zeitigt. Die immer wichtiger werdende Rolle Chinas als friedensstiftender Macht ist ein Beispiel dafür.

Neue Seidenstraße: China plant riesigen Bahnbau durch Malaysia (Industrie-Magazin)

Peking will elf Milliarden Euro in den Bau einer neuen Bahnverbindung durch Malaysia investieren. Das Projekt soll Teil der geplanten „Neuen Seidenstraße“ werden.

Norbert Paulsen: Comeback der Seidenstraße (DVZ)
Hermannus Pfeiffer: Offener Handel auf Chinesisch (Frankfurter Rundschau)

Während die USA sich unter Donald Trump abschotten, nutzt Chinas Präsident Xi das Vakuum und wirbt für mehr wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit.

Nicht wirklich zum Thema:
Doris Griesser: Nachrichten von der Seidenstraße (Standard)

Hannes Fellner gehört zur exklusiven Gruppe jener Menschen, die des Tocharischen mächtig sind. Wer noch nie von der Existenz einer solchen Sprache gehört hat, möge sich die Bildungslücke verzeihen: Immerhin hat man diesen ausgestorbenen Sprachzweig der indogermanischen Sprachfamilie erst kurz vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg entdeckt. Und zwar im Zuge militärisch-archäologischer Expeditionen ins damals politisch geschwächte China, wo in der heutigen Region Xinjiang im zweiten Jahrhundert n. Chr. zahllose buddhistische Gemeinden und Klöster entlang der Seidenstraße entstanden waren.

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)

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