China

Photo: Mt. He Huan Panorama, by Jimmy Kao

China Digital Times - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 03:11

Mt. He Huan Panorama

© Samuel Wade for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags:
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

Why “Taiwan’s Mid-terms” are Worth Watching

China Digital Times - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 03:02

At the University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute Blog, Michael Thim offers three reasons to follow Taiwan’s “mid-term” elections on November 29th:

Firstly, it is for the first time that altogether 9 different elections will be combined on single voting day. Over 11,000 seats are up for election, [from 6 mayors of Special Municipalities like Taipei to 7,851 borough and village wardens.]

[…] Secondly, the marquee campaign for Taipei City mayor is extraordinarily interesting. The KMT does not have an incumbent candidate, but Sean Lien, son of KMT honorary chairman Lien Chan, should have been enough strong enough to win this traditional KMT stronghold. But this time round the KMT candidate is not running against the usual opponent from the DPP but a well-known National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je standing as an independent. An unusual “anyone but the KMT” alliance of the DPP, Taiwan Solidarity Union and People First Party (the latter traditionally part of KMT-dominated blue camp) have expressed support for Ko, who has managed to preserve his image as independent candidate.

[…] Thirdly, the 9-in-1 elections are the first ballots following the turbulent events of the Sunflower Movement [CDT coverage] (and similar student protests in Hong Kong [CDT coverage]). They give voters their first opportunity to express their opinion other than to responding to pollsters’ questions. Like elsewhere, mid-term elections present an opportunity to express displeasure with the government by giving the ruling party a hard time, even if it is at the local level. Will the immensely unpopular administration of President Ma Ying-jeou sink the KMT’s election prospects? [Source]

Also at the CPI Blog, Wen-Ti Sung took a closer look at the Lien-Ko race:

Campaign messages in Taiwan seem to follow a consistent three-act sequence: brand building, negative campaigning, and finally positive reinforcement. […]

[…] Once the personal branding is done, in the later phases of the campaign negative tactics begin to emerge as a way to influence electoral turnout for the other camp. For example, Lien and his pundits criticized Ko’s character and ideology. Specifically, they questioned Ko’s integrity and his hospital unit’s financial records, as well as hinting that Ko is either a closet independence ideologue himself or a puppet of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In any case, Ko’s election would allegedly spell a certain doom for the Republic of China (ROC) polity.

[…] After the televised debate between Lien and Ko, this week the campaign finally entered Act 3, the “get-out-the-vote positive reinforcement ads” phase. Lien posted his presumably final campaign ad. Titled “One World” (同一種世界), it is a 2 minute-long music video featuring young breakdancers busting their moves to an upbeat tune. Towards the end a caption appears to defend Lien’s privileged upbringing: “Dancing is about technique and focus — one’s ‘background’ has nothing to do with it!” [Source]

With so many seats contested at local levels, Chris Fuchs reported at Tea Leaf Nation, Chinese authorities have set out to court local and township officials in the hope of winning over voters and deepening long-term cross-strait ties:

Beijing appears to have already taken steps to cozy up to Taiwan’s locally elected officials. As early as April 2012, China had already begun making plans to arrange for “contact people” from Taiwan’s various city and county governments to visit China to attend workshops for which they received mainland government subsidies, according to a July 4 column in theApple Daily, a popular newspaper critical of China that is published in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Citing unnamed intelligence sources, the article asserted that Ye Kedong, the deputy director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), remarked in 2012 that while “in the past, exchanges between Taiwan and the mainland occurred between big cities or high-ranking political and business leaders, now, exchanges with local village and township officials have become the important trend.” At least 75 villages and townships in Taiwan, the article said, have received direct or indirect subsidies from Beijing.

[…] Such a strategy may pay dividends for China. By gaining its footing on the first rung of Taiwan’s political ladder, Beijing can make China “seem friendlier and less scary to lower-level officials” while “helping to undercut the ‘fear of China’ narrative,” deLisle explained. He added that early cultivation of relationships with future leaders, many of them KMT party members who are more sympathetic to Beijing’s interests, could benefit rapprochement between China and Taiwan. [Source]

The Economist reported on the elections’ more immediate implications:

With presidential elections due in January 2016, the polls will be closely watched. A bad showing for the KMT would be a good presidential omen for the island’s main opposition group, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which lost the presidency to Mr Ma six years ago. By then Mr Ma will have served two terms in office, so he will be constitutionally obliged to step down.

[…] Being local elections, this month’s votes are more about housing and city infrastructure than relations with China. But they still hold implications for cross-strait relations. Although the DPP is more accommodating towards China than it was before Mr Ma took office, if it gains a boost, China will look askance at it. [Source]

On Twitter, CPI Blog editor Jonathan Sullivan gave some reading recommendations ahead of the elections:

Which book is the best quick study in Taiwanese politics? This one: http://t.co/emdMiCdDoY

— Jonathan Sullivan (@jonlsullivan) November 18, 2014

Taiwan 9-in-1 elections Nov 29. Tweeps to follow in run-up: @austinramzy @JMichaelCole1 @michaelturton @TimMaddog @TaiwanCorner @ehundman

— Jonathan Sullivan (@jonlsullivan) November 18, 2014

More Taiwan tweeps with elections coming up: @GDRaber @JinDefang @RichardBushIII @DrWinnieKing @HelloKetty1998 @timothysrich @McNeilScott

— Jonathan Sullivan (@jonlsullivan) November 18, 2014

© cindyliuwenxin for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , , , , , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

How Indians and Chinese Study in the U.S. Shows Degrees of Development

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 02:11
How the best and brightest from China and India choose their expensive American degrees demonstrates the differing levels of development between the world’s only billion-person economies.
Categories: China

Picture China: Panda Twins, South Korean Protest, Internet Conference

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 01:38
The day's China news in pictures: panda twins play together, South Korean protesters burn rice straw during a rally against a free-trade agreement with China, Chinese Internet entrepreneurs attend the World Internet Conference.
Categories: China

China Delivers Midnight Internet Declaration — Offline

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 23:56
Zuma Press
It isn’t unusual for the communiqué of an international meeting to emerge at the midnight hour, the result of hard-knuckle bargaining over key words and sometimes even punctuation. But tough negotiations may not explain the time and the way that the Wuzhen Declaration – the would-be Internet manifesto of China’s first World Internet Conference – was delivered to conference attendees.
Categories: China

Ha Jin’s “A Map of Betrayal”

China Digital Times - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 22:59

Ha Jin’s new novel, “A Map of Betrayal”, tells the story of a Chinese spy living in America. Ron Charles reviews it for The Washington Post:

Ha Jin’s new novel, “A Map of Betrayal,” looks toward China. The action, as might be expected from this famously modulated writer, is more Walter Mitty than Walter Raleigh. Jin’s anti-hero is Gary Shang, “the biggest Chinese spy ever caught in North America.” If that superlative conjures up an underwear model flying a helicopter through the Lincoln Tunnel and dispatching enemies with toxic lip balm, you need to calm down right now. “A Map of Betrayal” is the perfect thriller for the reader with a heart condition. Gary is a torpid man who works as a translator for the CIA in the Washington area. He’s neither shaken nor stirred.

This tale of betrayals and disappointments is a natural one for Ha Jin to publish. As a teenager, he served in the People’s Liberation Army and survived the Cultural Revolution. But he watched the Tiananmen Square massacre from Brandeis University, where he was finishing a dissertation on American literature. Disillusioned by his country, he never returned. “To preserve the integrity of my work,” he said several years ago, “I had no choice but to write in English.” That has proved a spectacularly successful choice. He’s since won a National Book Award and two PEN/Faulkner awards.

See also reviews from The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and NPR.

In 2009, Sarah Fay at Paris Review published a lengthy interview with Ha Jin, who says his writing career began with the June 4th, 1989 military crackdown on protesters in Beijing. Jin discusses his early years in America, launching his career as a writer, and his complicated relationship with his home country:

INTERVIEWER

How long was it before you returned?

JIN

I haven’t returned.

INTERVIEWER

Never?

JIN

Never to mainland China. I’ve only been to Taiwan and Hong Kong. In the beginning, I was very eager to go back to see friends and family. I tried so hard. But for seven years I couldn’t get my passport renewed. I couldn’t travel outside of the States. Then I became a citizen, and I got jaded. Imagine your books are banned—you can go back but your books are not allowed. I wouldn’t feel comfortable accepting those terms.

INTERVIEWER

Why are your books banned?

JIN

I write about taboo subjects: Tibet, the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square incident. After the Tiananmen massacre I became very outspoken. The Crazed, A Free Life, War Trash—these books offend the authorities in China. I’ve never intended my writing to be political, but my characters exist in the fabric of politics. That is to say, it is impossible to avoid politics, especially in China. And of course, the Chinese authorities are afraid of truthful stories told from an individual’s point of view.

It’s also because I am a misfit. I’m too outspoken. I write in English, which is viewed as a betrayal of my mother tongue. I came to America. I don’t serve the party’s cause. To them, I’m a very negative example.

Ha Jin’s other books include “A Free Life,” “Waiting,” and “War Trash.” Read more about Ha Jin via CDT.

© Sophie Beach for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

Google Considers Tentative Steps Back Into the Chinese Market

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 21:31
Google Inc. is considering bringing a version of its Play mobile-app store to China, a tentative but important step back into a country that Google mostly exited in 2010.
Categories: China

In Transforming a Greek Port, China Wins Over Critics

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 20:19
China Overseas Shipping Group’s investment in the port of Piraeus outside of Athens ranks as one of the most successful Greek privatizations in recent decades.
Categories: China

Case Study: Due Diligence in the Acquisition of a Chinese Company

China Briefing - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 20:11

As part of our mission to provide business intelligence on the legal, tax and operational issues of doing business in China, China Briefing presents here the next installment in a series of case studies, based on the practical experience of Dezan Shira & Associates professionals in conducting due diligence.

The post Case Study: Due Diligence in the Acquisition of a Chinese Company appeared first on China Briefing News.

Categories: China

China Needs Reforms to Make Stock Connect a Success

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 20:08
It took just a day for the much-hyped Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect to lose its fizz. By the end of the week, there was little cash flowing between the two exchanges.
Categories: China

Divide Emerges Among Hong Kong Protesters

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 20:05
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement is showing fractures as student leaders grapple with waning public support and increasing discontent from a small group of protesters who want to pursue a more-confrontational strategy.
Categories: China

China police detain teachers after strike

FT China Feed - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 19:58
Rare instance of labour unrest involving the country’s public sector workforce
Categories: China

Attorney Says Pu Zhiqiang Could Face Harsher Charges

China Digital Times - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 15:54

Human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, detained in May after attending a gathering to mark the 25th anniversary of the June 4th 1989 crackdown and formally arrested in June on suspicion of causing disturbance and illegally obtaining personal information, may be facing additional charges that could yield up to a ten year prison sentence. Reuters’ Megha Rajagopalan and Sui-lee Wee report:

Prosecutors are considering adding charges of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination and separatism, a more serious crime, said Pu’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping. He said he was less certain of the more serious separatism charge.

“That charge (of separatism) is extremely unusual,” Mo said.

Mo said the charge of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination stem from a blog post Pu wrote about a violent attack in the southwestern city of Kunming that killed 29 people in March. China blamed the attack on Islamist militants, sometimes referred to as East Turkestan separatists, who it says seek to split the country by seeking an independent state in the country’s far west region of Xinjiang.

“You (the party) just give me one line – extremely heavy casualties with too brutal consequences – but to say you bear no responsibility for Xinjiang separatists’ cruelty, I am not satisfied with that,” Pu wrote in his March 2 microblog post.

Inciting ethnic hatred or discrimination carries a prison sentence of up to three to ten years in serious cases.

Authorities have transferred Pu’s case to prosecutors who now have to decide how to proceed. […] [Source]

Rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang could be imprisoned 10 years for writing these 4 lines criticizing govt policy in Xinjiang pic.twitter.com/aS4b8SQBAK

— Megha Rajagopalan (@meghara) November 20, 2014

As part of a broad crackdown on civil society, Beijing has been aggressively targeting human rights lawyers and activists. Several prominent international human rights groups penned a joint letter to Barack Obama ahead of his recent trip to China, urging him to publicly press China on its human rights record.

In response to a rise in violence in Xinjiang and greater China carried out by members of the Uighur ethnic minority, a “people’s war against terrorism” is being carried out in the region. Some point to increasingly oppressive policies in the region as a major source of unrest.

Read more on Pu Zhiqiang’s case, via CDT.

© josh rudolph for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

Chinese Activists Worry As Landmark Gay ‘Conversion’ Case Stalls

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 14:45
The excitement that coursed through China’s gay rights community in July when a Beijing court heard the country’s first case challenging gay “conversion” therapy has turned to apprehension after the deadline for a decision passed without news.
Categories: China

Badiucao (巴丢草): World Internet Conference

China Digital Times - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:26

China plays host to the World Internet Conference this week in Wuzhen; while offering unfettered Internet access to conference participants, authorities have also imposed further limits on what foreign websites the rest of the population can access. For his latest contribution to CDT, Badiucao imagines a poster for the conference, in which the Internet is represented by the Twitter bird. On the sidelines, a row of slingshots emblazoned with the Communist Party flag are aimed at taking it down.

World Internet Conference, by Badiucao for CDT:

Read also a CDT Q&A with Badiucao in which he discusses his artistic and personal influences. All Badiucao cartoons for CDT are available here. See also exclusive CDT t-shirts with a Badiucao design, for sale on our Zazzle store.

© Sophie Beach for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

Feng Zhenghu: The Narita Airport Diary (4)

China Digital Times - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:19

After being denied re-entry to China eight times, Feng Zhenghu lived in Tokyo’s Narita Airport for 92 days in 2009-2010. Now Feng is telling the story of his airport odyssey on his blog, and CDT is translating his account. This is the fourth installment. Read Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

November 6

In three days, I had only eaten three onigiri, and now they were all gone. My younger sister, who lives in Japan, tried to send food, but it was refused at customs.

In the morning, I went to the person in charge of the Narita Airport immigration bureau, Mr. Suzuki. Appealing to his humanity, I asked to have an immigration staff member take me to buy a few onigiri. He refused. He went on that I need only enter Japan and I could buy whatever I liked in the terminal. His reasoning was imperious: there were no regulations allowing them to take me across the border to buy food. Japan is a country where the lower always obeys the higher. If high-level officials prohibited me from being taken to buy food, then no one would show me pity.

It was clear to me that the Japanese bureaucrats were not at all sympathetic. They were not just indifferent, but even a bit cruel. Perhaps being a friendly country was merely Prime Minister Hatoyama’s ideal. If you bureaucrats have a bit of a sense of sympathy and friendship, then please don’t hurt me any more when I’m in these dire straits. I would pay myself. Surely it isn’t against Japanese law for an immigration staff member to take me to buy a bite to eat? The Japanese government shouldn’t speak emptily of friendship. It ought to have at least a little bit of sympathy.

If these things happened in China, no one would treat a foreigner like this. While Chinese people tear each other apart, they are always polite to foreigners. At the very least they wouldn’t play these kinds of games with a foreigner in difficult circumstances. A discordant country that deceives foreigners—this is China’s destiny.

China is ever stronger, and the government has money and power. Officials use their power to bully people, but the people don’t have freedom or human rights. Even the right to go home can be suddenly taken away. Who would dare to offend such a country if it is heavy-fisted, and who would respect such a country if it is weak? Japan can’t defend a Chinese person’s human right to offend the Chinese government, and the newly elected Democratic administration, heeding the signal of the United States, needed China’s strength. Perhaps the humane act of a functionary taking me to buy food would displease Chinese officials.

Japan is a democratic country with the rule of law, and respects the universal value of human rights. The Chinese police ignored my wishes and savagely kidnapped me to Japan’s doorstep, while the Japanese police wouldn’t dare to drag me into their country without legal grounds. So it goes without saying that the Japanese government could only starve me into “voluntarily” crossing the border into Japan. Japanese officials look down on us Chinese. So many Chinese people are illegally detained or steal over the border to Japan. So many dissidents China has barred from returning home merely say a few words in protest, then obediently become political refugees in the democratic nations of the Europe or the U.S. Who would be unwilling to stay in a democratic country, and instead fight to return home and be tormented? Perhaps, they had concluded, I was just another annoying Chinese putting on a show.

“If you enter Japan, they have all kinds of food that you can buy for yourself.” This one gentle sentence from the Japanese official had in fact humiliated me: just go through the doggy door, and the outside world is all yours. In the airport in Japan, I wasn’t only protesting the Chinese government’s infringement on my human rights. I was a Chinese person, representing China’s image. I would give my life for my country. I would uphold the dignity of the Chinese people. I would let the world see a staunch, optimistic Chinese person defy brutal oppression.

Today I didn’t eat anything. I drank some cold water, moved little, and sat quietly with my eyes closed to save my energy. I had been in prison and refused food before. I would make my body endure a little bit longer. [Chinese]

Translation by Anne Henochowicz.

© josh rudolph for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , , , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

Minitrue: Don’t Make HK Umbrellas, Yellow Ribbons

China Digital Times - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 12:03

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Mainland manufacturers must not produce Hong Kong umbrellas, yellow ribbons, or items related to Lion Rock—including postcards, T-shirts, rain gear, and all other related patterns or goods. (November 14, 2014)

内地厂商不许制作任何与香港雨伞、黄丝带、狮子山等有关的东西,包括明信片、T恤、雨具等一切相关图案和产品。[Chinese]

In September, protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas, garnering Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement the nickname “Umbrella Movement.” Umbrellas have become the primary icon of the ongoing protests. Many of the protesters and those offering solidarity across the globe have also been wearing yellow ribbons over the duration of the pro-demcracy protests. Another lasting symbol of the movement has been the large “I want real universal suffrage” banner that protesters hung from Lion Rock late last month.

Hours after bailiffs cleared camps at the Admiralty protest site earlier this week, a small group of protesters, frustrated with the lack of results civil disobedience has so far won their cause, attacked the Legislative Council office buildings.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

© josh rudolph for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

Minitrue: Reporting on the Xu Caihou Case

China Digital Times - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 11:03

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Without exception, adopt a unified approach with authoritative media in reporting on the case of former [Central] Military Commission [General] Xu Caihou. All websites in all locales must strictly inspect coverage of this case. If problems arise, responsibility will be traced. (November 19, 2014)

原军委徐才厚案,一律以权威媒体统一口径报道。各地各网站需严格检查有关此案的相关报道,如出现问题将会严肃追责。 [Chinese]

Days after military prosecutors announced that Xu Caihou had confessed to bribery, Hong Kong’s Phoenix Weekly reports that one ton of cash was discovered in the basement of Xu’s Beijing home. From Reuters:

In March, prosecutors searched Xu’s luxury home in Beijing and discovered stashed in the basement “more than a tonne” of US dollars, euros and Chinese yuan, reported Phoenix Weekly.

Xu had also stored countless precious gems and hundreds of kilograms of expensive jade, as well as rare antiques, the magazine said, citing a person with knowledge of the matter who is close to high levels of the military.

“Case handlers had no option but to call more than 10 military trucks before all the confiscated property piled up like mountains from this former Central Military Commission vice chairman’s house could be taken away,” the magazine said.

The report, which was carried by several mainland China news outlets, added that Xu was forced to “bow his head and admit defeat” when confronted with a list of the items. [Source]

The revelations are being deleted from Chinese news sites, as broken links from a Baidu search [Chinese] show.

Xu Caihou become the subject of a graft investigation in June, and has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and stripped of his former titles.

Last week, RMB 120 million ($19.6 million) in cash and 82 pounds of gold were found in the home of a Hebei cadre.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

© Anne.Henochowicz for China Digital Times (CDT), 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: , , , , , , , ,
Download Tools to Circumvent the Great Firewall

Categories: China

India’s Modi joins great power game

FT China Feed - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 09:55
PM has disappointed at home but been energetic and assertive internationally
Categories: China

The Deal With Dealers: How Audi, BMW Stake Out Share

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:58
Intense competition between German luxury car makers is playing out in one key part of the auto business: the quest to add new dealers. But in China, the No. 1 and No 2 players in the luxury-car market are taking different tacks. Audi is way out ahead in terms of vehicles sales and said it is confident it can further extend its lead this year. But when it comes to dealerships, the current No.2 in the market, BMW AG, has stepped on the gas and added dealers more aggressively.
Categories: China
Syndicate content

FutureofUSChinaTrade.com is a program of The Kearny Alliance